Sunday, September 6, 2015


All recent popes since Blessed Paul VI have tried to pave the way to closer ties with the Church of the East and undo some of the damage of the Great Schism.

I'm not sure all Orthodox would reunite with Rome but I suspect some could. Would it be similar to the Eastern Rites which seems to me to be similar to the Anglican Ordinariate (or rather the AO is similar to the Eastern Rite) or a completely different method of reunion?

What about the Councils of the West which the Eastern Orthodox do not accept to include Vatican I which defined papal infallibility? And what about the two dogmas defined by the pope alone concerning the "Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary" what we call the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception?

Obviously Pope Francis is striving the develop Roman Catholic synodalty. The Orthodox bishops I believe work on this model, but strive to maintain orthodoxy not novelty.

And what about the theology of the Sacrament of Marriage that does allow for a non-sacramental marriage after a sacramental one has "died" which I believe is a part of the theology of marriage, meaning if the marriage is so corrupted by division that it no longer is the substance of the sacrament. I am sure those more knowledgeable about Orthodoxy will chime in.

I think in this country we would have a bit of a hard time working out some kind of unity as I think many Orthodox communities fear the Latin Rite taking their sheep from them. I could be wrong about this, but it is my sense of things.

At any rate, this development is interesting:

Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople rebukes Moscow, underlines importance of ties with Rome

Catholic World News - September 04, 2015
Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople underlined the importance of ecumenical ties with Rome, and criticized the resistance of the Russian Orthodox Church, in an August 29 address. The Ecumenical Patriarch—recognized as the “first among equals” of the world’s Orthodox leaders—stressed the primary importance of ecumenical affairs, and reiterated that his role involves “protecting the unity of the whole Orthodox Church.” He said that opposition to ecumenical unity reflects a “diabolical” impulse. Patriarch Bartholomew said that his continuing contacts with the Holy See are a critical component of his ecumenical work. He expressed his enthusiasm for the planned worldwide Orthodox council, but conceded that it cannot accurately be described as an ecumenical council “because Western Christians are not invited to participate as members.” The Ecumenical Patriarch—who has frequently sparred in recent years with the leaders of the Patriarchate of Moscow—clearly appeared to be criticizing the Russian Orthodox leadership when he spoke critically about Orthodox bodies that “maintain intimate connections with the government of their land and enjoy abundant financial support,” and advance the political interests of their nations.


Unknown said...

I'm not even sure some would. Nothing is stopping them now, so why would it change down the road?

HAH is in an isolated and weak position here. Russia's influence is resented on most issues, except this one. Here, the Orthodox world is quite happy to let Russia have the stage.

I admire HAH's 'green theology'. Other than that, I view him as exactly the reason Orthodoxy in America is so divided. He would prefer the Church in America be Greek, where non-Greeks are often treated as second class. And so, he continues to protest the OCA's autocephaly, whilst doing nothing to further Orthodox unity in the US.

Православный физик said...

Well, save the prayers for the Pope, there probably won't be much different from day to day operations, They'd probably leave both Bishops (Catholic and Orthodox) until both died, then consolidate dioceses and metropolia accordingly....It'd be virtually exactly as the Eastern Catholic Churches function now.

Anonymous said...

Given what is going on in the RC Church, why would they?

George said...

The most important thing that distinguishes the Catholic church from all others ecclesial communities (even those that have valid sacraments) is the office of the papacy. To that end, a group such as the SSPX has shown enough sense not to declare themselves separate, and therefor place themselves into the situation of being in formal schism. Simply put, if you are no longer under the authority of the Pontiff, you are no longer part of the Catholic church. To be sure, there can exist discord and dissension between the Holy See and some within the Church, and so there are situations where certain disciplinary measures must be imposed as with the SSPX. It is never a good thing however, to move outside the gates of the Holy Catholic church. Continuing dialogue between the East and West is not a bad thing. There is always hope that one day there will be unity again. There is much to overcome however. There are some doctrinal matters (the Immaculate Conception for instance) where I don't see that there can be any compromise.

Calvin of Hippo said...

Any devout/believing faction of Catholicism that unites with the RCC under this Pope is only going to see their beliefs muddied and their flock sown with confusion. Don't do it.

Unknown said...

Given the discussion on the other thread, I think it's safe to say such a reunion isn't going to happen within my lifetime.

A reunion for the Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox is probably already on the horizon, and likely will happen within my lifetime. We already accept the sacraments of the OO in the Middle East, and they accept ours, as a matter of economia currently. The current situation in the ME is almost a rehearsal of sorts.

Anonymous said...

Don't see it happening. Differences are vast between the two, especially in the manner of church government---centralized versus decentralized. And each claims to be the "one, holy, catholic and apostolic church." So I can't imagine what dialogue must be like at a Catholic-Orthodox ecumenical discussion. Up here in Atlanta, the local Catholic and Greek Orthodox bishops twice yearly hold a worship gathering, usually alternating between each cathedral, at which there are hymns, scripture readings and addresses/speeches. But no recitation of the creed (because of different versions), and the clergy dress is subdued---no copes, no miters for either bishop---choir dress the norm for those events.

The need for Church, God and traditional mores has never been more apparent in Atlanta the last few days---50 car-break ins and several "smash and grabs" in the affluent Buckhead section. Two car break-ins were just down from Atlanta's Cathedral of Christ the King. When you look at the absence of fathers up here (as in a parent, not a priest), it is pretty evident why there is so much crime up here like in Macon.

Anonymous said...

There is another thing Macon and Atlanta have a lot of in common...there's your crime spree.