"The Church does not exist for itself, but for the whole world and its salvation" - emphasises the Orthodox Synod on Crete 2016 (opening address by Patriarch Bartholomew). The Russian Orthodox Church already expressed this conviction in 2000 in the document "Fundaments of the Social Conception of the Russian Orthodox Church". A further document was drafted largely in the Orthodox Diaspora in North America and adopted by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in 2020. It audaciously and concretely addresses the challenges of our time and is guided by a clear option for the poor.
The goal is not a "social doctrine" but a lived ethos that shows ways of "good life" as ways of salvation. In this respect, the document deserves the attention of all Christians who want to bear witness to God's "philanthropy": to God's love for human beings, for humanity and for the whole of creation.