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I wonder what he knows that the rest of us don't know? I just saw this article on NC Register today. The NC Register is pretty solid and avoids sensationalism. Your thoughts?

Here is the article:

Article by Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register


"The Catholic Archbishop of Moscow has given a remarkably upbeat assessment of relations with the Orthodox Church, saying unity between Catholics and Orthodox could be achieved “within a few months.”

In an interview today in Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper, Archbishop Paolo Pezzi said the miracle of reunification “is possible, indeed it has never been so close.” The archbishop added that Catholic-Orthodox reunification, the end of the historic schism that has divided them for a millennium, and spiritual communion between the two churches “could happen soon, within a few months.”

“Basically we were united for a thousand years,” Archbishop Pezzi said. “Then for another thousand we were divided. Now the path to rapprochement is at its peak, and the third millennium of the Church could begin as a sign of unity.” He said there were “no formal obstacles” but that “everything depends on a real desire for communion.”

On the part of the Catholic Church, he added, “the desire is very much alive.”

Archbishop Pezzi, 49, whose proper title is Metropolitan Archbishop of the Mother of God Archdiocese in Moscow, said that now there are “no real obstacles” on the path towards full communion and reunification. On issues of modernity, Catholics and Orthodox Christians feel the same way, he said: “Nothing separates us on bioethics, the family, and the protection of life.”

Also on matters of doctrine, the two churches are essentially in agreement. “There remains the question of papal primacy,” Archbishop Pezzi acknowledged, “and this will be a concern at the next meeting of the Catholic-Orthodox Commission. But to me, it doesn’t seem impossible to reach an agreement.”

Prospects for union with the Orthodox have increased markedly in recent years with the election of Pope Benedict XVI, whose work as a theologian in greatly admired in Orthodox circles. Benedict is also without the burden of the difficult political history between Poland and Russia, which hindered Polish Pope John Paul II from making as much progress as he would have liked regarding Catholic-Orthodox unity.

Relations have also been greatly helped by the election of Patriarch Kirill I earlier this year as leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, which is by far the largest of the national churches in the Orthodox Church. As the former head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external relations, Kirill met Benedict on several occasions before and after he became Pope, and the Russian Orthodox Patriarch is well acquainted with the Roman Curia and with Catholicism."

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As much as I'd love to see union between our Churches, I wouldn't start planning on any celebrations until we see such articles in Orthodox newspapers, too.

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It will never happen because as much as some few Orthodox hierarchs (maybe even patriarchs) desire it they know union with Rome, without the latters renunciation of Papal Infallibility and Universal Jurisdiction as well as of the Filioque and Immaculate Conception, would cause immediate schism within the Orthodox Church itself.


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Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
It will never happen because as much as some few Orthodox hierarchs (maybe even patriarchs) desire it they know union with Rome, without the latters renunciation of Papal Infallibility and Universal Jurisdiction as well as of the Filioque and Immaculate Conception, would cause immediate schism within the Orthodox Church itself.


Are there Orthodox bishops who believe in "Papal Infallibility and Universal Jurisdiction as well as of the Filioque and Immaculate Conception"?

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Christ is in our midst!!

As much as we would all love to see full communion restored, there are so many obstacles out there that these articles are really overly optimistic IMHO.

I consider some of the wild things that have been discussed on this forum--some of the liturgical foolishness that has gone on in Catholic circles in the English-speaking world in the last 40 years comes immediately to mind. Many of our Orthodox brethren were scandalized by it and were surprised to learn that there is no way to rein in a bishop who allows such things to go on in his own diocese short of having to have Rome intervene.

I have the greatest respect for my Orthodox brethren because they do not tolerate any shenanigans when it comes to the Liturgy and especially in relation to the Holy Gifts. Not so in the Latin Church in my own experience. The gay men in drag pretending to be nuns in San Francisco comes to mind. Allowing people to self intinct the Sacred Host and literally "shake off" the excess Precious Blood--pardon me while I shudder at the memory of witnessing this one.

So before we chill the champagne, let's take a strong cup of java, wake up, and pray for the day but with sobriety.

In Christ,

BOB

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I believe there are some who are willing to accept a primacy for Rome that others are not. I believe some don't see the Filioque and Immaculate Conception as heresy. I think some would concelebrate as long as they were not asked to assent to these things.


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Quote
I believe there are some who are willing to accept a primacy for Rome that others are not. I believe some don't see the Filioque and Immaculate Conception as heresy. I think some would concelebrate as long as they were not asked to assent to these things.


Father Deacon,

I think the Orthodox should look at us Eastern Catholics. We don't use the Filioque in the Divine Liturgy and really the Churches that did at one time were under extreme latinizations. The Union synods never forced the Eastern Churches to submit to the Filioque.
The first paragraph of the Union of Brest says this,

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Since there is a quarrel between the Romans and Greeks about the procession of the Holy Spirit, which greatly impede unity really for no other reason than that we do not wish to understand one another—we ask that we should not be compelled to any other creed but that we should remain with that which was handed down to us in the Holy Scriptures, in the Gospel, and in the writings of the holy Greek Doctors, that is, that the Holy Spirit proceeds, not from two sources and not by a double procession, but from one origin, from the Father through the Son.


So that is a good sign for the Orthodox.

I think there is much work to be done but I think we are closer now than before to reunion. Still I don't share the Archbishops opinion that it will be very soon.
I think the important thing is for Liturgical reform within the Latin Church (and also a more authentic return to the Eastern Liturgy in some EC Churches). This to me is so important in the unity talks and one that the Catholic Communion of Churches needs.

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With all due respect for the Archbishop, I cannot imagine from whence he draws his conclusions. As much as I would like to see this happen, I doubt that anyone older than my as yet unborn grandchildren will be able to celebrate it as a fiat accompli.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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Well said Neil smile

I was trying to think of a nice polite way to say that the Archbishop was being unduly optimistic , but you managed it very nicely for me .

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With all due respect for the Archbishop, I cannot imagine from whence he draws his conclusions. As much as I would like to see this happen, I doubt that anyone older than my as yet unborn grandchildren will be able to celebrate it as a fiat accompli.


In Church terms, that's "just around the corner".

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My take.

Long story short: what?

Explanation, Your Grace?

Most agree that the filioque never meant what its Orthodox critics claim it meant; the question is did the West eventually overstep its bounds by adding to a creed put together by ecumenical councils? The Immaculate Conception can be said to answer a question Byzantine theology doesn't ask, to do with a certain framework for looking at original sin, but as Kallistos (Ware) has written that's not the same as saying it's heretical; an Orthodox can believe in it as he (an Orthodox bishop in good standing) says.

The scope of the Pope (divinely instituted channel of the church’s infallibility or a perfectly good man-made rank, for the good order of the infallible church, of that church’s divinely instituted episcopate?) is the only real difference (a central command vs a communion held together only by a shared faith, doctrinally as tight as Rome but organisationally looser than Anglicanism) but as I say parallel paths don’t meet: I see what most of the experts see, an insurmountable difference between two Catholic churches.

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I don't see anything new here- Catholic leaders tend to enjoy downplaying or denying the real doctrinal differences and say that it's just a matter of a willingness for communion. If one accepts such premises, we could say that reunion has been imminent for 1000 years. I imagine the Orthodox at the meeting walked away with markedly different feelings.

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Originally Posted by Embatl'dSeraphim
...Catholic leaders tend to enjoy downplaying or denying the real doctrinal differences...I imagine the Orthodox at the meeting walked away with markedly different feelings.
Half empty or half full? The issue that is the insurmountable obstacle, it seems to me, is not doctrine but power (autonomy).

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Rome has in fact dogmatized her understanding of power, so the distinction doesn't count for much. Papal supremacy and infallibility are not just bad theological opinions that can be ignored by the faithful. And, as much as I respect Bishop Kallistos, SS. Photios, Mark of Ephesus, and the countless other saints who reject filioque have more credibility for me.

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Originally Posted by The young fogey
The scope of the Pope (divinely instituted channel of the church’s infallibility or a perfectly good man-made rank, for the good order of the infallible church, of that church’s divinely instituted episcopate?) is the only real difference (a central command vs a communion held together only by a shared faith, doctrinally as tight as Rome but organisationally looser than Anglicanism)

YF,

As long as things have to be black and white, there can be no reunion.

That said, however, let me hasten to point out that it is precisely our mutual suspicion and reluctance to trust each other that drives us to insist on seeing things as black and white.

For example, I regard the Papacy (or Petrine Ministry) as a divine institution, but I don't think for a minute that every detail of the papal office as it is known today is of divine origin. There is a lot of room for discussion, if we really are willing to sit down and discuss this matter and others.

While ISTM that the good archbishop is indeed overly optimistic, there may very well be some reason behind his optimism. For example, he alludes to the next meeting of the Catholic-Orthodox Commission, and would be in a position to know how the preparations for that meeting are going.

Originally Posted by The young fogey
... but as I say parallel paths don’t meet: I see what most of the experts see, an insurmountable difference between two Catholic churches.

As you are aware, the role of the Bishop of Rome in the undivided Church of the First Millennium is slated to be the topic for discussion at the next meeting of the Catholic-Orthodox Commission. If the members of the commission are at all serious about what they're doing (and I suspect they are), their findings will undoubtedly be surprising to many on both sides.


Peace,
Deacon Richard

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