On Keeping Peace Within the Local Church

Once, an Orthodox clergyman from abroad asked [St. Paisios] about a difficulty he had encountered. His bishop put halls under the churches for dancing and other anti-traditional activities. The Christians in his diocese, ill-at-ease, had fled to a schismatic church. The Elder’s response was, “If you want to help the people, you shouldn’t take what your bishop is doing lightly. That’s just the kind of behavior that makes people leave the Church. I’m not saying you should break communion with him and cause a schism, or that you should speak against him publicly. But you shouldn’t praise him either.”

With his love, prayer and discretion, the elder knew when to speak and how to act to quietly help the Mother Church, avoiding extremes and healing wounds that afflict the body of the Church and scandalize the faithful. (Elder Paisios of Mount Athos by Hieromonk Isaac, p. 665)