Skip to comments.The Search for Unity
Posted on 06/03/2014 8:04:45 AM PDT by marshmallow
A look at the 1,000-year-old divide between the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic churches and whats being done to bring them back together
Hail East and West, for whom both we fight and from both we are fought!
St. Gregory the Theologian
In 2011, I published Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint and the Prospects of East-West Unity (University of Notre Dame Press, $38). There I tackled what serious observers describe as the one final substantial hurdle to unity between the Orthodox and Catholic Church: the role of the pope. The picture on the front cover features a beaming Pope Benedict XVI and beaming Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, arms united upward as though in victory salute at the latters church in Constantinople during a visit in 2006. Poll Have you ever attended an Orthodox liturgy? Click to answer.
Now, this month, the imagery will soon be of Pope Francis and Bartholomew making their way to the Holy Land for another encounter. Though they have already met Bartholomew made history by being the first patriarch from Constantinople to attend a papal inauguration last year the encounter this year is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras meeting in Jerusalem in 1964. That gathering was the beginning of what has often been called the dialogue of love between the Eastern and Western churches after more than 900 years of estrangement.
After 50 years of this dialogue, where are we? How has the relationship changed over time, and what roles have the last several popes played in bringing Catholics and Orthodox closer? And what remains for us to finally achieve unity?
Beginning of the divide
If you pick up many standard textbook histories of East-West relations and subsequent division, you normally get confronted very quickly......
(Excerpt) Read more at osv.com ...
Right, all the Orthodox have to do is kneel and kiss the Pope's ring. Anyone see that happening?
"Seem to be somewhat differing disciplines"? There's no "seem to be" or "somewhat" about it.
Ecumenism is apparently at the root of Cardinal Kasper's serene theology and the Papal praise it has garnered. The author's neutral tone implies acceptance of the Orthodox approach is a potentially viable path to "unity". But even Cardinal O'Malley (oily politician in practice and member of the Pope's gang of eight) has publicly stated that the Church won't change Her teaching on the indissolubility of marriage.
It happened over time.
**If you pick up many standard textbook histories of East-West relations and subsequent division, you normally get confronted very quickly with the year 1054, which is very often described as the Great Schism between East and West. But history is messy. It is not as if everything was wonderful until one day in July 1054 when catastrophe struck and Cardinal Humbert and Patriarch Cerularius decided to tear the Church apart. Indeed, things already began to fall apart after the Council of Chalcedon in 451 when, in a Christological dispute that today seems largely due to linguistic misunderstanding, the Churches of Armenia, Syria and Egypt parted company from the rest of the Church and remain divided from us still today, though the reasons for that remain hard to fathom after decades of dialogue and signed agreements.**
A good chart on the difference in the Sacraments at the site.
Also a listing, which I have not read yet, of the differences in the liturgies.