Skip to comments.Orthodox and Catholic Bond Deepens: Will the Two Lungs of the Church Breathe Together Again?
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 ...
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.
“....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.
“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!
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.
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.
The restoration of communion between Moscow and the ROCOR demonstrates to me that something good is blowing in the wind.
Wow, how very "Christian" of you to say such a thing.
All use the Julian Easter, but I thought most use a modified form of the Gregorian now.
“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.
“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?
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.
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.* Its 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.
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.
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.
And, of course, a mystical Universal Church.
“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.
You’re welcome. I’m glad that the previous explanation made these murky waters a little clearer.
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.
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.)
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.
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
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?
“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.
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.