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Patriarch Bartholomew says reunion with Catholics is inevitable #419669 11/29/19 06:19 PM
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On November 12, Patriarch Bartholomew participated in the Vespers service at the Catholic Abbey of Our Lady of St. Rémy in Rochefort, Belgium, together with Archimandrite Alexios, the abbot of Xenophontos Monastery, and Hieromonk Theophilos of Pantocrator Monastery, both on Mt. Athos.

According to a new report from the Union of Orthodox Journalists, during his trip to Mt. Athos the previous month, Pat. Bartholomew attempted to convince several Athonite abbots and monks that there are no dogmatic differences between Orthodoxy and Catholicism, and that reunion with the Catholic church is inevitable.

Pat. Bartholomew expressed his personal convictions during a private talk at Pantocrator Monastery with the brethren and guests of the monastery, including other Athonite abbots. Eyewitnesses report that Pat. Bartholomew’s security did not allow anyone to record the conversation.

In his opinion, the division that now exists between Orthodoxy and Catholicism is merely a matter of historical events, not dogmatic differences.

Catholics “are just as Christian as we are,” Pat. Bartholomew emphasized, adding that the recent gift of the relics of St. Peter from Pope Francis is proof of the Catholic church’s nearness to Orthodoxy.

According to the UOJ’s sources, Pantocrator abbot Archimandrite Gabriel, Xenophontos abbot Archimandrite Alexios, Vatopedia abbot Archimandrite Ephraim, the brethren of several monasteries, and other guests were all present for the talk.

Most of the brethren were at a loss, hearing Pat. Bartholomew’s ecumenistic arguments, though none present objected. Some of those present reportedly began to weep when Pat. Bartholomew said that reunion with the Catholic church is inevitable.

Recall that Xenophontos and Pantocrator Monasteries have been the most receptive to the Ukrainian schismatics. Abbot Alexios of Xenophontos concelebrated in the enthronement of Epiphany Dumenko as primate of the OCU, and Pantocrator was the first monastery where schismatics served Liturgy on Mt. Athos.

At a recent meeting in Constantinople with representatives of Tbilisi University, Pat. Bartholomew said that dialogue with other Christians, especially Catholics, is one of the priorities of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.


http://orthochristian.com/125924.html

Re: Patriarch Bartholomew says reunion with Catholics is inevitable [Re: Augoustinos] #419671 11/30/19 07:53 PM
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theophan Offline
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Christ is in our midst!!

A few things come to mind here.

First, His All-Holiness is not the Eastern Pope so his opinion will have to be concurred with by all the Orthodox bishops in the world to get to the end he envisions. Given what has happened with his unilateral moves in Ukraine, a move like this without each and every Orthodox bishop on board may only add schism to schism. From reading different sites, it seems that the bulk of the Orthodox Churches oppose communion with the new Ukrainian ecclesial body.

Then there is Rome to consider. The fact that many Orthodox bishops and autocephalous Churches consider many of the Ukrainians His-All Holiness has entered into communion with as having no canonical orders or episcopal succession--especially the former Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church--would give Roman authorities pause, especially the most conservative members of the hierarchy. In fact, if Pope Francis were to try a unilateral move like this it could cause a schism on the Roman side. I don't think Rome would move until all internal Orthodox issues were resolved. And it seems that the Ukrainian issue could prove to be one where the sides harden their attitudes toward each other over time.

So while we all pray for the day when we can share communion in the bond of One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, it seems to me to be farther away than the time of the ecumenical moves of 50 years ago when Pope Paul and Patriarch Athenagoras met in the Holy Land to lift the anathemas of 1054.

Bob

Last edited by theophan; 11/30/19 08:05 PM. Reason: spelling of name
Re: Patriarch Bartholomew says reunion with Catholics is inevitable [Re: Augoustinos] #419673 12/01/19 10:13 PM
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The stern voices of this Orthodox Christian website, linked above, echo the dark past; while that of His Beatitude represents the bright present and still brighter future. God bless that gathering for Vespers at Rochefort, Belgium! I'm an optimist: the Holy Spirit will won out perhaps sooner than we think. The official Catholic/Orthodox dialogue has reached its 40th year and has born fruitful results. I feel certain that the Moscow patriarchate's rumblings will fail and fall as quickly as the Iron Curtain and Berlin Wall.

Last edited by Utroque; 12/01/19 10:14 PM.
Re: Patriarch Bartholomew says reunion with Catholics is inevitable [Re: Augoustinos] #419674 12/02/19 12:26 AM
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theophan Offline
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Christ is in our midst!!

I read the website comments linked above. But I think that with all those issues aside, there are more practice issues that actually seem to bolster His All-Holiness' comment of a few years ago that we are "ontologically different."

The Latin Catholic Church has, over the course of the 20th century, abandoned all the practices that are day-to-day in the life of the Orthodox Church and which were a foundation of her own practice up to the Vatican Council of 1962-65. We have, for example, abandoned fasting--there are officially two days a year on which we are supposed to fast and a one hour Eucharistic fast, but these are more ignored than practiced--we have abandoned the idea of regular use of the Mystery of Confession--even the former rule of "Easter Duty" (once per year during the Lenten and Easter seasons) is something the average Catholic would look at you with a puzzled look if asked. (I know of many people who have not been to confession since their first. I also taught religious ed to Grade 7 twice in the past two years and found my students terrified when our pastor insisted they go to confession during Advent and Lent because they had not been back since their first in Grade 2. There are many adults of my acquaintance who admit of having been decades since their last. How that meshes with some strict Orthodox jurisdictions which mandate confession prior to Holy Communion is something I wonder about.) The catechesis we have had in the past 50 years has been inconsistent and largely devoid of content (and we wonder why young people abandon the practice of the Faith). Of those who do practice the Faith outside Sunday Liturgy, much has been abandoned with the phrase "we don't have to do that anymore." The idea, back in the day after Vatican 2, was that Catholics should take over those practices that were previously mandated because they were adults. That made for race to the bottom in practice with the previous phrase often repeated. I know a very few who have regular prayer and other practices interwoven into their daily lives but when I talk to clergy privately I find that they report that this is not anywhere near the norm.

So I don't see how coming into communion would not produce a myriad of problems apart from the discussions of doctrinal differences with which many of us are all too familiar.

But I do bow to the miracle of how the Holy Spirit can work.

Re: Patriarch Bartholomew says reunion with Catholics is inevitable [Re: Augoustinos] #419676 12/02/19 07:56 AM
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A few unfortunate things to note. The article seems to have absolutely no source other than "a new report from the Union of Orthodox Journalists." After skimming through the websites www.orthochristian.com and https://spzh.news/, they seem to run a lot of pro-MP/anti-EP articles and this might be another attempt to smear the EP. As Utroque mentioned, the stern voices seem to be the websites' target audience. In addition to this, the Joint International Commission on Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches, of which the Patriarchate of Moscow is a member, is essentially suspended until the EP/MP schism works itself out.

One fortunate thing to note. Pope Francis sends greetings and a delegation to Patriarch Bartholomew on feast of St Andrew.

Quote
MESSAGE OF POPE FRANCIS
TO HIS HOLINESS BARTHOLOMEW I ON THE OCCASION
OF THE FEAST OF SAINT ANDREW,
PATRON SAINT OF THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE


To Holiness Bartholomew
Archbishop of Constantinople
Ecumenical Patriarch

It is with great spiritual joy and in profound communion of faith and charity that I join the prayer of the Church of Constantinople in celebrating the feast of its holy patron, the Apostle Andrew, the first-called and brother of the Apostle Peter. My spiritual closeness is manifest once again this year with the presence of a delegation of the Church of Rome, to which I have entrusted the expression of my warmest greetings and best wishes to Your Holiness, to the members of the Holy Synod, to the clergy, monks and all the faithful gathered at the solemn Divine Liturgy in the Patriarchal Church of Saint George. Through the delegation, I convey the assurance of the unwavering intention of the Catholic Church, as well as my own, to continue in our commitment to working towards the re-establishment of full communion among the Christians of the East and the West.

This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the foundation of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, jointly inaugurated by Patriarch Dimitrios I and Pope Saint John Paul II during the latter’s visit to the Phanar on the occasion of the feast of Saint Andrew. During these years the Joint International Commission has taken many significant steps forward. I convey, therefore, my heartfelt gratitude to all its past and current members for their dedicated commitment. In particular, I recall with gratitude Metropolitan Stylianos, who for many years was the Orthodox Co-Chair of the Commission, and who earlier this year died in the hope of the Resurrection promised to all those who have placed their trust in God. During his visit to the Phanar, Pope Saint John Paul II declared that “the question we should ask ourselves is not whether we can re-establish full communion, but rather whether we have the right to remain separated” (Address to His Holiness Dimitrios I, Saint George at the Phanar, 30 November 1979). This question, which is only seemingly rhetorical, continues to challenge our Churches and demands that all the faithful respond with a renewal of both attitude and conduct.

The search for the re-establishment of full communion among Catholics and Orthodox is certainly not confined to theological dialogue, but is also accomplished through other channels of ecclesial life. Our relations are nourished above all through authentic gestures of mutual respect and esteem (cf. Rom 12:9). Such actions show a shared fidelity to the word of our one Lord Jesus Christ, and the will to remain together in his love (cf. Jn 15:10). This charity is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (cf. Gal 5:22) and a mark of genuine Christian life (cf. Jn 13:35). Moreover, mindful of the one baptism in which we have been regenerated, of the one faith that enlivens us, and of the one Holy Spirit who guides us (cf. Eph 4:4-5), our closeness grows and intensifies each time that we pray for one another (cf. Jas 5:16) and pray together as brothers (cf. Matt 18:19-20). Finally, our relationship is seen to be mature when, obedient to the Risen Christ’s mandate to take the Gospel to all creatures and to heal the sick (cf. Mk 16:15-18), Catholics and Orthodox work together in proclaiming the Good News and in serving the needy. The Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church have already embarked upon this promising journey, as testified by our joint initiatives. I trust also that in local contexts all of us will increasingly strengthen the daily dialogue of love and life in shared spiritual, pastoral, cultural and charitable projects.

Beloved brother in Christ, to whom I am bound by a sincere and fraternal friendship, these are just some of the hopes and sentiments that fill my heart and that I wish to share with you on this joyous occasion. United in prayer to the Apostle Andrew, I renew to you and to all those present my warmest best wishes, and I exchange with you a holy embrace in Christ our Lord.



Franciscus


http://www.vatican.va/content/franc...sco_20191130_messaggio-bartolomeo-i.html

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Re: Patriarch Bartholomew says reunion with Catholics is inevitable [Re: Augoustinos] #419680 12/02/19 02:17 PM
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Christ is in our midst!!

A note on the parish web page for Holy Transfiguration Melkite parish gave me another thought. A mention that Latin Catholics who were chrismated were welcome to receive Holy Communion at the parish.

There are a number of Latin Catholics who have skipped confirmation because it is now, in many cases, not celebrated until the end of one's high school years. There are many reasons for this, including the time demands on young people in this age bracket.

How do Orthodox Christians view this? The separation of confirmation and first Eucharist was made in 1910 by Pope St Pius X who had hoped that the bishops would confirm earlier than the age of 12--common at that time. First Eucharist was only given after confirmation until his indult permitted First Communion prior to confirmation. Now there are some Catholics who have come to believe that this latter sacrament is not necessary.

Bob

Re: Patriarch Bartholomew says reunion with Catholics is inevitable [Re: theophan] #419681 12/02/19 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by theophan
Christ is in our midst!!


But I do bow to the miracle of how the Holy Spirit can work.


It will be no miracle. Was it not an abandonment of the Holy Spirit that caused the split? We need to work with Him to heal the split, and that is exactly what His Beatitude and the Bishop of Rome, among many, are doing. Your lamentations about Latin Catholic praxis might be echoed by an experience my wife and I had in Greece a number of years ago. We enthusiastically went to a large Orthodox church for Vespers on the vigil of Pentecost: besides the priest, deacon and cantor, we were the only ones in church. The morning Divine Liturgy saw six more in attendance. Last May in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, I was startled when most of the congregation went outside for a smoke and conversation rather than approach the Chalice, only to return after several had received. Fasting? Please.

I think there's a winnowing process going on in the Latin church, and much fruit will come. I find it very interesting that His Beatitude led Athonite monks to a Cistercian monastery in Belgium. Perhaps it will be monks, eastern and western together, who will see us through this morass. As it is said, the Spirit leads where He wills.

Re: Patriarch Bartholomew says reunion with Catholics is inevitable [Re: Utroque] #419682 12/02/19 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Utroque
The stern voices of this Orthodox Christian website, linked above, echo the dark past; while that of His Beatitude represents the bright present and still brighter future. God bless that gathering for Vespers at Rochefort, Belgium! I'm an optimist: the Holy Spirit will won out perhaps sooner than we think. The official Catholic/Orthodox dialogue has reached its 40th year and has born fruitful results. I feel certain that the Moscow patriarchate's rumblings will fail and fall as quickly as the Iron Curtain and Berlin Wall.


So that's what holding to the truth is to you - "stern voices?" Mean-spirited men who do not understand that we must put love above any and all forms of truth?

How will this wonderful little pasture of roses and ecumenical butterflies come to pass when the Latin Church holds to teachings that were. A.) never taught by the Early Church B.) a direct result of Rome becoming more of a political than religious empire
C.) the Papal Reformation of the 11th century, in which Rome showed Her utter contempt and arrogance towards the East and D.) cause massive theological, soteriological, and anthropological problems for believers who take the faith seriously?

I would be very interested in your take on how this is going to happen without Rome recanting everything they invented after the 11th century and going into a truly ecumenical council with a humble heart ready to accept the decisions of the united council.

Re: Patriarch Bartholomew says reunion with Catholics is inevitable [Re: Irish_Ruthenian] #419684 12/02/19 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
How will this wonderful little pasture of roses and ecumenical butterflies come to pass when the Latin Church holds to teachings that were. A.) never taught by the Early Church B.) a direct result of Rome becoming more of a political than religious empire
C.) the Papal Reformation of the 11th century, in which Rome showed Her utter contempt and arrogance towards the East and D.) cause massive theological, soteriological, and anthropological problems for believers who take the faith seriously?


Well, I certainly do not think it will come about by clawing at and scowling about our liturgical practices and reforms that may have taken place centuries ago, and when we did what to whom. Is it not time to heal the deep wounds that have been inflicted by both sides? The Church needs truthful and humble dialogue, not stern warnings not to participate in the monastic Evensong of the "other side" because they baptize by pouring and not immersion and other such inconsequentials. This believer is in the dark. Can you tell me what those massive theological, soteriological and anthropological problems are for believers who take the faith seriously?


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