It seems that the Pope’s emerging policy is ecumenical toward all strands of Christian faith — except Catholic traditionalists — and of good will toward all people except the rich and the capitalist creators of income, wealth, and material progress. Pope Francis has a good heart, but his head is muddled by half-baked ideas from the Left. I hope and pray that time, reflection, and the Holy Spirit will remedy these faults or at least limit their mischief.
The fastest and friendliest ecumenism with the Orthodox can happen by jumping on the momentum Putin has created for that purpose: in effect, making Moscow the new Constantinople.
To explain, in the old Roman Empire, Rome was in decline, surrounded by barbarian hordes, so an eastern capital of the Empire was created in Constantinople (now Istanbul), in 330AD. So when Rome fell to the barbarians, the eastern Roman Empire continued, with Constantinople as the new capital of Christianity.
Under great pressure in the West, but flourishing in the East, by the time Constantinople fell to Islam in 1453AD, Moscow assumed that it would take up the mantle as the center of eastern Christianity, to again rule in tandem with Rome, by then again somewhat restored.
Divisions within the Orthodox churches interfered with this, but it has remained a long term dream of Russia since then. A dream that is being brought back to life by Putin.
He managed to pull off an unbelievable conclave of the Orthodox churches in Moscow that was almost all “sweetness and light”, and now he seeks to bring the Vatican into the entente. The Vatican also grasps the value in this.
As the Protestant churches in the west are to a great extent withering under the stress of liberalism, paganism and atheism, a Catholic-Orthodox confederation would be a huge shot in the arm for Christianity.
Putin, as his reward, would almost certainly be declared a saint of the Orthodox churches, which might even be recognized by Roman Catholicism. Russia would become *the* destination for Christian tourism, as part of a “Christian Renaissance.”