Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Orthodox and Catholic Bond Deepens: Will the Two Lungs of the Church Breathe Together Again?
Catholic Online ^ | 5/21/10 | Deacon Keith Fournier

Posted on 05/21/2010 4:52:16 AM PDT by tcg

First, I must lay all my cards on the table. I long for the full communion of the Orthodox and Catholic Church. I pray daily for the full communion of the Orthodox and Catholic Churches. I do so because I believe it is the will of God that "All May be One" (John 17: 21). I also believe that the healing of the division between the two churches would unleash a profound renewal of the entire Church at the dawn of what I believe is a new missionary age. I believe that the gifts found in the whole Church will enrich both East and West and assist us in the mission which we must face together in our One Lord.

I long for this full communion because I believe that as the West implodes under the fierce ravages of what Pope Benedict XVI properly called a "Dictatorship of Relativism" it is only the real humanism found in the fullness of truth revealed in Jesus Christ which can save the West from rushing over a cliff to its own demise. The West needs the Church to once again become its soul in this age which has lost its moral compass.

I long for this full communion because, as a "revert", one who returned to my Catholic faith as a young man, I walked the way home by way of the early Church Fathers. Had I not had been baptized a Catholic of the Latin Rite; I might have become an Eastern Christian. As the decades of my life have unfolded, including my theological studies and ordination to the Order of Deacon, my vision and theological viewpoint are profoundly Eastern. So too is my worship. I have long prayed with icons and love the Divine Liturgy. ....

(Excerpt) Read more at catholic.org ...


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Orthodox Christian; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: catholic; orthodox; patriarch; pope
The move toward full communion between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches is prompted by the Holy Spirit. It is the most important development of the Third Christian Millennium. It has extraordinary implications for the West, indeed for the whole world, at a critical time in history. It will continue and it will result in the healing of the wounds which for too long have separated the Church.

Yes, the Orthodox and Catholic Bond Deepens. Will the Two Lungs of the Church, East and West Breathe Together Again? As we approach the celebration of Pentecost, the Birthday of the Church, let us pray that it does indeed happen - for the sake of a world still waiting to be set free and reborn into the New World of the Church.

1 posted on 05/21/2010 4:52:17 AM PDT by tcg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: tcg

“....at the dawn of what I believe is a new missionary age.”

Ohhhhhhh yeah.....I believe that we ARE very close to this new missionary age. It is already beginning.


2 posted on 05/21/2010 4:55:54 AM PDT by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tcg

“The Four Marks of the Church are a group of four adjectives - one, holy, catholic and apostolic - that describe the marks or distinguished characteristics ...”

Those are the Pillars of the Catholic Church . If I got it right!


3 posted on 05/21/2010 4:57:12 AM PDT by chatham
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tcg

Can’t help but notice that he writes Protestantism out of the Christian Church (unless he means it’s the heart of the Christian Churh as opposed to only a lung?) I read about “anti-Catholic bigotry” on FR posts all the time, I suppose tit-for -tat is something we all engage in.


4 posted on 05/21/2010 5:05:26 AM PDT by gusopol3
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gusopol3

Don’t worry. There are plenty of Catholics who “long” for “communion” between Catholics and Protestants as well.

I used to be Eastern Catholic, but am now Orthodox. Having lived the “reunification” I can tell you that it is simply Rome running the show, with all it’s dysfunctional policies. When my group rejoined (1596), priests could be married (they’ve changed that almost everywhere and without discussion), they changed the liturgy (which they claim to love), they changed the theology and inserted as many Latin practices as possible in every parish that didn’t fight back.

What most of these guys “long” for is for all Christians to say “uncle” to the pope so they can go to a church with some smells and bells and take communion.

Trust me, the less you’re wanted, the better all you’ll be.


5 posted on 05/21/2010 5:27:55 AM PDT by cizinec
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: tcg
I have my doubts.
Russian Orthodox Church is spearheading the process of unification, and that fact alone raises my suspicion: the Russian Church is known by it's collaboration with devilish communist regime and long prior history of been a tsarist government branch. They exhibit disturbing totalitarian tendencies, which may be inline with Catholic, but are contradictory to Christ’ teaching.
There is only one Church that is Christ's Body and I don't think it needs Pope or other bureaucracies.
6 posted on 05/21/2010 5:54:50 AM PDT by Samogon (stepping on the same rake)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Samogon

The restoration of communion between Moscow and the ROCOR demonstrates to me that something good is blowing in the wind.


7 posted on 05/21/2010 6:54:39 AM PDT by don-o (My son, Ben - Marine Lance Corporal texted me at 0330 on 2/3/10: AMERICA!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: cizinec
What most of these guys “long” for is for all Christians to say “uncle” to the pope so they can go to a church with some smells and bells and take communion.

Wow, how very "Christian" of you to say such a thing.

8 posted on 05/21/2010 7:26:57 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If you know how not to pray, take Joseph as your master, and you will not go astray." - St. Teresa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480
The Eastern Orthodox Churches are fraught with problems which impede true spiritual growth. The Russian branch has been and probably still is controlled by KGB agents who fake belief in God. The remaining Orthodox groups are so nationalistic that one would think they are still living in 1914. Oh wait, they still use the Julian calendar.
Rome would do well not to seek immediate reunification with the Schematic but keep a polite distance and use them to battle the secular humanistic agnostic groups. The growth of Eastern Orthodox has been stunted since 1054 and the reasons must be explored before any meaningful steps of unity are taken. Perhaps they are not directed by the Holy Spirit.
9 posted on 05/21/2010 9:12:35 AM PDT by bronx2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: bronx2
Oh wait, they still use the Julian calendar.

All use the Julian Easter, but I thought most use a modified form of the Gregorian now.

10 posted on 05/21/2010 9:30:04 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If you know how not to pray, take Joseph as your master, and you will not go astray." - St. Teresa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480

“Wow, how very “Christian” of you to say such a thing.”

That’s hilarious after reading most of the comments on this site about the Orthodox Church.

Having *lived* through what Rome actually *does* to Orthodox who choose to keep their liturgy and come into communion with Rome, I can tell you what it’s like. If it isn’t very Christian, it’s not because of me.

And yes, Orthodox Churches were almost destroyed by Communism. Good grief, is that our fault? Probably the strongest national Orthodox church out there is the Serbian Church. The Russians are still sucked into being controlled by the state. The Greeks are as much a part of the state as the politicians.

I think the real difference is the fact that we recognize our problems as being worldly problems in the church. The Latins believe all problems to be external to it, as they believe the pope (a person) has special knowledge given by the *office.* It’s a different ecclesiology that, while granting worldly success, ultimately fails to provide pastoral care.

That’s my opinion. If I were to agree with you, I’d be a Latin. I don’t despise anyone, but I’m not going to change my view because you see your view as more “Christian” than mine.


11 posted on 05/21/2010 11:04:37 AM PDT by cizinec
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: bronx2

“The growth of Eastern Orthodox has been stunted since 1054 and the reasons must be explored before any meaningful steps of unity are taken. “

The reason is easily explored.

Islam. The Crusades. Integration into government structures. Communism.

Lest you forget, our military is protecting Albanian Muslims who are burning down Orthodox churches in Kosovo. How about exploring that reason for a while?


12 posted on 05/21/2010 11:07:53 AM PDT by cizinec
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480

All use the dating of Easter except the Finns. Most of the Orthodox *Churches* use the Latin calendar for fixed feasts/fasts. Most Orthodox *Christians* are members of churches that use the Julian Calendar (i.e., they are Slavs, not Arabs or Greeks).

Local autonomy can be confusing at times, but it provides for more freedom to minister to the local population.


13 posted on 05/21/2010 11:11:57 AM PDT by cizinec
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: cizinec
Blame everything on the Crusades and Communism. Much of the advance of Communism can be attributed to the conduct of the Russian Church in the 19th Century and their attachment to the nobles and the court of the Czar instead of the peasants. The Crusades were an attempt to rest the Holy Lands from Islam but your using the Crusades as an excuse for the ills of Eastern Orthodoxy merely masks the true problems within the entity.
Islam historically has been a problem but the Eastern Orthodox negotiations with Islam since the 7th Century have been abysmal. I am astonished you didn't use the Inquisition or Galileo to bolster your effete contentions. In essence, Eastern Orthodoxy must look within itself and take responsibility for its shortcomings instead of using others as convenient excuses for its failures. Perhaps a takeover by Rome , hostile or otherwise, would be in its best interests.
14 posted on 05/21/2010 12:02:42 PM PDT by bronx2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: cizinec
Having *lived* through what Rome actually *does* to Orthodox who choose to keep their liturgy and come into communion with Rome, I can tell you what it’s like.

So that justifies your false portrayal of the "Latins"? It's true that the Eastern Catholics haven't always been treated well by the "Latins," but does that justify such animosity? That's what I'm pointing out.

And yes, Orthodox Churches were almost destroyed by Communism. Good grief, is that our fault?

No, I think the other commenters had a longer-term view of the decline of the Eastern Orthodox.

I think the real difference is the fact that we recognize our problems as being worldly problems in the church. The Latins believe all problems to be external to it, as they believe the pope (a person) has special knowledge given by the *office.* It’s a different ecclesiology that, while granting worldly success, ultimately fails to provide pastoral care.

Not at all- I don't think any serious "Latin" denies there are internal problems in the Catholic Church.

15 posted on 05/21/2010 12:39:39 PM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If you know how not to pray, take Joseph as your master, and you will not go astray." - St. Teresa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: gusopol3
Can’t help but notice that he writes Protestantism out of the Christian Church (unless he means it’s the heart of the Christian Churh as opposed to only a lung?) I read about “anti-Catholic bigotry” on FR posts all the time, I suppose tit-for -tat is something we all engage in.

The Catholic Church uses the word "Church" in a different way than most "protestant" Christians. The Catholic Church believes that in order to be properly called a "Church" under the technical definition, a group must have a valid and recognized claim to the priesthood through Apostolic Succession by the laying on of hands. (You have to be ordained in a proper way by someone validly ordained and who themselves was validly ordained by someone who was validly ordained all of the way back to the Apostles.)

Since in the view of the Catholic Church protestants don't ordain in a way considered valid for Apostolic Succession to occur, most "protestant" denominations don't have valid priests/bishops and thus don't fall under the Catholic Church's technical definition of what a "church" is. Nevertheless, the Catholic Church generally recognizes most "protestant" denominations as Christians with valid baptisms.

The Orthodox are considered by the Catholic Church to have valid priesthood with valid bishops. In fact, the Orthodox are just about the only major group of Christians that are considered a "Church" in the Catholic meaning of that word. That is probably why the author of the article is talking about the Orthodox without mentioning the "Protestants". The "Protestants are considered Christians, but not as Churches under the Catholic's ancient and technical definition of the word. This issue is further blurred by the fact that many Protestants have a slightly different take on what the word "church" means than the Catholic Church does. I hope this makes things a little clearer.

16 posted on 05/22/2010 1:07:05 PM PDT by old republic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: old republic

Thank you; very clearly explained, and,as a matter of fact, I agree with them; I see Protestant churches in terms of local assemblages of believers.


17 posted on 05/22/2010 1:17:16 PM PDT by gusopol3
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: old republic

And, of course, a mystical Universal Church.


18 posted on 05/22/2010 1:20:06 PM PDT by gusopol3
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: bronx2

“he Crusades were an attempt to rest the Holy Lands from Islam but your using the Crusades as an excuse for the ills of Eastern Orthodoxy merely masks the true problems within the entity.”

First, in April 1204 the Crusaders invaded, sacked and burned Constantinople. That was one of many events, but one major one that drove a spike through the heart of the Christian Empire of the Middle East. Get your facts straight.

Second, you apparently skipped over the part where I stated that the marriage between the church and the state was one of the major factors that has caused us great difficulties. I am, by no means, blaming everyone else. However, if you can’t even admit the sacking of Constantinople, I doubt you will admit to anything Latins have *ever* done wrong. This is why there is no trust between us and the Latins.


19 posted on 05/22/2010 1:22:14 PM PDT by cizinec
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: gusopol3

You’re welcome. I’m glad that the previous explanation made these murky waters a little clearer.


20 posted on 05/22/2010 1:27:58 PM PDT by old republic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: bronx2; cizinec
‘Perhaps a takeover by Rome , hostile or otherwise, would be in its best interests.’

It is clear that the Pope would not desire a ‘hostile takeover’ of the Orthodox Churches, even if he was able to do it, which he is not.

21 posted on 05/22/2010 1:39:38 PM PDT by Lucius Cornelius Sulla (Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer Than this world dreams of.-- Idylls of the King)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: cizinec
Having *lived* through what Rome actually *does* to Orthodox who choose to keep their liturgy and come into communion with Rome, I can tell you what it’s like. If it isn’t very Christian, it’s not because of me.

I'm sorry to hear that you were badly treated by Rome. It doesn't surprise me though. Just look at what Rome has been doing for the last 40 years to its own Latin Catholics who want to use the old Latin missal. They have also been *thoroughly* mistreated....persecuted might even be an appropriate word just for wanting to use the traditional rite of their own Church's tradition. I don't know what exactly your experience was like with Rome, but the way that the Vatican has dealt with these types of issues in the past supports your complaint. The current Pope seems to want to clean up the shop a bit though so maybe things will change.

By the way, Communists and socialists have managed to infiltrate the Latin Church in less obvious ways. (Just last year a bishop designate was forced to resign for collaborating with the Communists behind the iron curtain). Socialists/Communists' influence has also thoroughly contaminated the Latin Church with the heresy of modernism, so the Orthodox aren't the only Church that is still suffering the scourge of communism. (N.B. Modernism is the belief that doctrines can change and evolve over time...kind of like our "living constitution". Latin Catholics have to watch out when they hear people talking about "living tradition". Its usually code word for Modernism.)

22 posted on 05/22/2010 1:58:36 PM PDT by old republic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: cizinec
First, in April 1204 the Crusaders invaded, sacked and burned Constantinople. That was one of many events, but one major one that drove a spike through the heart of the Christian Empire of the Middle East. Get your facts straight.

This is true. The Fourth Crusade is one of the most horrible disasters to befall Christendom in the last 1500 years and it should have never happened. Many seem to blame the Catholic Church/Pope for this disaster which doesn't seem entirely fair. Pope Innocent III had explicitly commanded the Crusade not to attack any of the Christian cities of the East under threat of excommunication.

However, IIRC, the Venetian bankers demanded a return on their investment in funding the expedition. The bankers conspired with the military leadership to attack even Catholic cities like Zara to loot their wealth as payment and funds for the expedition. The pope sent a letter excommunicating the crusade, but the papal bull was withheld from the knowledge of the army to prevent the breakup of the crusade. The pope also sent another excommunication letter if the crusader's attacked Constantinople but the crusade leadership/bankers were promised a huge sum of money by a rival claimant to the Byzantine throne, if the crusaders would make him Emperor. The army leadership once again concealed the excommunication threat, the crusaders took the bait and the rest is history.

23 posted on 05/22/2010 2:26:35 PM PDT by old republic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: bronx2; cizinec
Cizinec as you see has what seems to be a common problem among Serbs: holding grudges for extraordinarily long times, in this case over 800 years. This has done Serbia and the rest of the world much harm.
24 posted on 05/22/2010 3:18:59 PM PDT by Lucius Cornelius Sulla (Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer Than this world dreams of.-- Idylls of the King)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: cizinec
My mention of the Sack of Constantinople was to provide evidence that 800 years later, the Orthodox are still whining about this event as if the perpetrators are still amongst us . Even the South has gradually lost some of it animosity towards the North but the Orthodox indoctrination of past misdeeds continues to relegate it to second class status. I bet your indoctrination sessions of the youth rival the reeducation camps of communist regimes. Holding on to old grudges mitigates the legitimacy of Orthodoxy to claim to be truly Christian.

Obviously, the unification of the East and West cannot be consummated while these perceived grievances command much of your attention. However, as Catholicism moves away from the hegemony of its Italian heritage and as more positions of leadership are assumed by Asians, South Americans and Africans, your grudges become increasingly irrelevant.Thus, as the Catholic Church becomes more universal/catholic, the Orthodox remain mired in their morass of nationalism. How sad

25 posted on 05/22/2010 5:14:36 PM PDT by bronx2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: cizinec
Having lived the “reunification” I can tell you that it is simply Rome running the show, with all it’s dysfunctional policies. When my group rejoined (1596), priests could be married (they’ve changed that almost everywhere and without discussion), they changed the liturgy (which they claim to love), they changed the theology and inserted as many Latin practices as possible in every parish that didn’t fight back.

Just out of curiosity, which Sui Juris Church had you been part of, and when did the Latinizations take place -- soon after reunification or more recently?

26 posted on 05/22/2010 11:13:05 PM PDT by GCC Catholic (0bama, what are you hiding? Just show us the birth certificate...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: bronx2

“My mention of the Sack of Constantinople was to provide evidence that 800 years later, the Orthodox are still whining about this event”

Not so. I mentioned it as *a* factor that has *contributed* to the decline of Orthodoxy. The Muslim enslavement of the Balkans was a huge factor and the West’s assistance in that destruction for their own personal gain was also a factor. To ignore the historical background of a situation, regardless of how far back it goes, seems asinine to me.

Many Orthodox nations were enslaved until the 20th Century. The few who were able to free themselves from this yoke (many were simply murdered or removed from their traditional homeland by the Turks), were then attacked by Germany and finally the communists. Orthodoxy has been legally suppressed in its traditional ground for more than half a millennium. It’s like talking to a Turk about the Armenian Genocide.

Why is Orthodoxy weak? I added internal and external reasons. Deleting data and ignoring facts doesn’t seem like a particularly helpful exercise when determining the cause of something.


27 posted on 05/23/2010 6:21:49 AM PDT by cizinec
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: cizinec
The rants of the Orthodox about the Rape of Constantinople do little to evoke sympathy from Catholics. For one who attended parochial schools in or near Orthodox neighborhoods I can tell you the kvetching act of the Orthodox concerning the Crusades mainly evokes disdain. We all knew the whiners had not personally suffered at the hands of the Crusaders unless Orthodoxy began preaching the doctrine of reincarnation. No one is disputing Western nations complicity in the persecution of Orthodoxy. What is the problem is the constant whining about this situation especially in confronting Catholics who were not accountable for its existence. We don't reincarnate either.

The Irish were persecuted by the Brits for over 300 years , yet the Catholic church in this country and Australia, controlled by Irish clergy, chose to downplay this salient fact. This downplay is much more efficacious than the Orthodox whine. Thus, It would behoove the Orthodox to reconsider its rants toward the Catholic Church relating to factors occurring many hundreds of years ago. These rants do not bring the desired results. Don't worry , the reconciliation with Catholicism which is truly dreaded by the Orthodox and smother its nationalism will not happen in your lifetime.

28 posted on 05/23/2010 7:19:47 AM PDT by bronx2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson