Too many Orthodox Christians have turned Orthodoxy into a ethnic badge of honor rather than a spiritual reality.
Luckily there are many Orthodox Christians who do not think or act in this way, so there is hope for the future.
posted on 04/04/2005 10:12:04 AM PDT
(God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
To: wideawake; annalex
I hope prospects are not dimmed. But Pope John Paul was uniquely qualified, being a Slav himself and familiar with both cultures and faiths. I'm Catholic, but my background is almost exclusively Byzantine Catholic and Russian Orthodox. I grew up with exposure to and appreciation for all 3 (in as much as Byzantine is different from Catholic, it's mostly the same). I shared the Pope's longing for some sort of union between the 2. No flames, but I sadly think that much the way Vatican II's misuse led some priests further away from the faith, so too did Soviet intervention and attempts to control some of the Russian Orthodox priests add to the gulf and create distrust. I don't know what the answer is, but I had hoped that Pope John Paul would have an opportunity to make inroads. We both have so many beautiful things to share with each other vis a vis saints and teachings that have evolved separately over the last millenium. I mean no disrespect to people of either of the faiths, that's just my unique perspective.
This Russian icon, the Vladimir Virgin with Child, is one of our family favorites:
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