What’s your take on the Orthodox-Catholic consultation vision statement?

A vision for what the unity of the Orthodox and Catholic churches might look like was offered by the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation earlier this month. CNS published a story Oct. 8 that looked at what the consultation had to offer for consideration.

In one of the documents developed during a meeting that ended Oct. 2, members of the consultation laid out their thoughts on issues such as the primacy of the pope and suggestions upon which to build a “worldwide ecclesial communion.” Topics addressed included acceptance of each church’s diversity and continuing traditions and practices and the selection or election of bishops.

A second document looked at using advanced scientific instruments to calculate the date of Easter so the entire Christian world can celebrate the resurrection of Christ on the same day. Only rarely does the celebration of Easter in the Latin and Orthodox churches correspond. One such time is in 2011 when both churches celebrate Easter April 24.

What do you think of the vision of the consultation? What will unity between the Catholic and Orthodox churches mean? How soon can unity occur? Are there too many differences to overcome?

9 Responses

  1. I think it is worthwhile to get Easter celebrated together (and Christmas for that matter).

    I am not particularly fond of the reduced role of the pope within the Latin Church (as I understand the statement to read). I could see a looser relationship with Eastern Churches, but I believe that a weaker pontificate in the Latin Church would be a mistake – particularly in Western cultures like the United States.

  2. Seems a sensible thing to do – as I understand it we believe the same thing so seems to make sense.

  3. I am praying so hard for the full unity of our Orthodox brothers and sisters with our Catholic Church under the Pope. Half of my family here in Western Alaska is Orthodox and the other is Roman Catholic. May God hasten the day we are in full communion as one.

  4. It’s about time we hve this discussion. As a Roman Catholic priest with Bi-Ritual faculties I believe we have lived in scandal too long by our division with the Orthodox Church. The proposals can only lead to the orignal concept of Church, as well as the role of the Bishop of Rome. Orthodox theology compliments that of the West, we can only be a better church that is one, holy, catholic and apostolic. Read the early church Fathers!

  5. This process should be started as soon as possible. The world is in urgent need for a renewal, and a unmistakable sign of the Holy Spirit. I don’t really understand the problem of the Filioque, because it seems theologically sound to me. The role of the Pope as the successor to Peter in context to the New Testament is interesting since the Popes were vital to early Christians, and in determining the Canon of Scripture, 400+ yrs. after the time of the Apostles.

  6. This could be the fulfillment of Rev. 6:2.. The pope could be the rider of the white horse with a bow and a crown given unto him. Who went on conquering, and to conquer. Conquering all Christians [Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants] and Jews [Messianic and Traditional] to be united as one with our Lord Jesus Christ. Praise be to Yahweh, our God Most High! Hallelujah!!

  7. I think this is a wonderful development and I hope to see it come to fruition. I am currently in the middle of reading the Catholic Catechism for Adults in the United States. While reading this, it is apparent that our country has a rich heritage of both Eastern and Latin rites Catholicism and that both traditions have helped to shape this country in meaningful ways. I find it painful that the two rites, who agree on all of the most important liturgical issues are still separated after all this time. I am praying for greater unity among all who have communion with the Church. This goes for Eastern and Latin Rites Catholics as well as our Anglican Brothers and Sisters. All involved will likely have to make concessions for it to happen but the results will be worth it. I hope that those involved in the decision making on this issue will be guided by the Holy Spirit towards God’s wishes.

  8. Yet, the papacy was not central to large parts of the eastern empire,and the pope’s authority was not viewed as Roman Catholics would see it today, or in the 6th century either.

    Until the authority of the local bishop is better understood, from the earliest days of the Church to the present, we can’t fully grasp how the papacy functions in a united Church. The same is true as we trace the exercise of primacy in and out of conciliar and synodical structures.

    What were those structures in the east and west? How was the pope seen actualizing Peter’s commission in the day to day running of ANY diocese? Where did the authority of council, synod, patriarch, and local bishop begin and end vis a vis the bishop of Rome?

    Shouldn’t the Church be looking at where the primacy MUST inject or assert itself to remain faithful to Christ’s commission to Peter, as opposed to what is merely an advisable interjection for the purpose of admonishing hiw fellow bisops?

    Is Peter expected to accept the general consensus of the apostolic college on teachings which they have jointly defined? Is Peter’s role simply to give advice to the college? Exercise some loose oversight by working to persuade the college, or move it one direction or another? Can he completely overrule the college of apostles.

    What are Peter’s maximum boundaries beyond which he cannot go? We have an historical as well as a theological issue to resolve. The Church needs to know much more about the early papacy and early church governanace theologians may not be able to throw much more light upon.

  9. Unity would be great since I feel the division of Christendom has caused confusion regarding Christianity in general and the power of unity for influence in the world instead of internal bickering. The Protestant division is of course the major problem, but the only hope is that unification will make the truth of the Church of Christ more blatantly obvious.
    The role of pope has changed since the first millenium in matter of degree of authority it had among the bishops. The increasing authority of the pope since the division of Christendom is crucial in this day and age, when democratic tendencies can easily erode truth. The orthodox would like more autonomy from the pope, but I don’t think that is a good idea at all, particularly in the West. Maybe a different criteria for Orthodox patriarchs. The orthodox should not only take into consideration the role of the pope in the early church and first millenium, but also the development of the papacy during the separation, as well as what is practical and realistic for the Church in an increasingly troubling world from a Christian perspective.

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