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.”
Seems a little like some kind of drunk fantasy Putin would have. St. Putin? Really?
But I agree that we are seeing Christianity shift geographically in a huge way.
Middle East ——> Africa
Western Europe & America ——> Eastern Europe & Asia
Just look at the explosive growth in China.
Christianity really shouldn’t be as divided as it is today. Its not like our texts are so obscure that they are open to a variety of interpretations. We just have a lot of people who want to ‘modernize’ the Word with radical left wing theory. How anyone could reconcile infanticide with Christianity is a mystery to me.
Whatever aids in the growth and flourishing of the faith is good in my book, and we need to start clearing out detritus like the Universalist Unitarians.