(An excerpt from The Life of Elder Paisios of Mount Athos by Hieromonk Isaac, pp. 658-659.)
From what has been related from the elder’s time at Stomio, it is clear that he was a resolute opponent of heresies. In matters of the faith he was exacting and uncompromising. “The Truth is not up for negotiation,” he said. “The Truth is Christ.”
He fought against ecumenism and spoke about the magnificence and uniqueness of Orthodoxy, obtaining his information by divine grace within his heart. His life attested to the superiority of Orthodoxy.
Discerningly, he stated, “There’s no need for us to tell Christians who aren’t Orthodox that they’re going to hell or that they’re antichrists; but we also mustn’t tell them that they’ll be saved, because that’s giving them false reassurances, and we’ll be judged for it. We have to give them a good kind of uneasiness – we have to tell them that they’re in error.”
Orthodoxy was extremely important to him, and this is why he didn’t accept the practices of communion or common prayer with non-Orthodox people. “In order for us to pray together with someone,” he stressed, “we must agree on the faith.” He cut off relationships with and avoided seeing clergy who participated in common prayer with heterodox. He didn’t recognized the “sacraments” of the heterodox and advised that those coming to the Orthodox Church should be well-catechized and then baptized.
For a time, together with almost the entire Holy Mountain, he ceased commemoration of Patriarch Athenagoras in response to his dangerous overtures toward the Roman Catholics. However, he did it with pain. “I pray,” he once told someone, “for God to take days away from me and give them to Patriarch Athenagoras, so he can fulfill his repentance.”