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This may be a rather large request, especially as many of the discussions which were had here years ago are continually rehashed on Facebook and other forums, but would some of those who have been on this forum for ten or more years be interested in providing, from their perspectives, summaries of the work of reconciliation performed in that time?

I find myself running across old articles or old interviews from the turn of the millenium in which I see many sentiments expressed which haven't had a chance to develop much today - either we continue to hope as small steps are made or we become jaded about the progress on certain fronts as obstacle after obstacle is added - and I wonder, how do those who long for reconciliation between East and West feel about the developments since the article that was first written and discussed.


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Christ is Risen!!

This is a rather broad request.

What articles are you referring to? What topics are you referring to? What steps toward reconciliation are you referring to?

It seems to me that whenever something seems to be moving in one direction, one or the other Churches or ecclesial communities does something that undoes what had been hoped for. It seems that we are moving toward each other at times, but each of us is also growing and changing as we live and that means that sometimes the person we were moving toward is not the same person we thought we knew earlier. And that seems to apply to Churches and ecclesial communities, too.

On the ground, I, for one, find that old attitudes are default positions that people reflexively return to. Though there is a lot of high-level talk of people wanting to be reconciled, there is also the parish-level where the "us vs. them" attitude still prevails.

Bob

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He is Truly Risen!

I suppose I left the request rather broad with hopes that it would elicit personal reflections and recollections of milestones, as, in my experience, revisiting particular topics of discussion from five or more years ago hasn't been very successful at generating new conversation.

Your sense of the fluid state of reconciliation resonates very much with my own. I have a sense that we live in an historic time, and, as an Eastern Catholic, I fully hope that my children or my children's children may find themselves in full communion with their Orthodox counterparts, but, there is also the constant feeling that one step forward is followed by two steps back. Within the churches, various figures come to the fore and make their marks, and we can see a progression within the Roman Catholic church at the level of the papacy - a movement that has slowly but surely pushed forward through the last three popes (those of my lifetime) but surely since John XXIII: relics and icons have been returned, historic meetings have occurred, the openness to ecumenism is pronounced frequently - and this is echoed by the Eastern Catholic prelates. I find it harder to track this movement on the Orthodox side, what with language barriers, push-back from anti-ecumenists, and communication/information that is a little more "siloed", yet we see glimpses of the movement through events like the recent meeting of the Pope and Patriarch Kyrill, or the meeting at Lesbos.


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Christ is Risen!!

I've read some articles that were supposed to be about events involving Roman cardinals and other clerics of high rank that have made me cringe of late. One was of a cardinal who was supposed to be involved in ecumenical work, who made a comment that the chant of the Russian Church wasn't as beautiful as Gregorian--and I wondered where Rome had found this guy who had so little class and sensitivity. One does not measure another with one's own yardstick and hope to make positive steps toward full communion. I wondered if it had eve occurred to this man that the Orthodox don't need Rome--haven't for a millenium.

I think it will take a century or more of people being trained to see our brethren truly as our brethren. It will take everyone to see the path of the other as being different and that different is not necessarily bad or heretical. Doctrine is another matter. But to look at another's musical tradition, for example, as "not as good as" is one way of undermining decades of hard work at overcoming real issues. Why should people want to be in communion with those who look down on them as "less than"?

On the Western front, Protestants simply want some sort of recognition of their forebearers being right--sort of an "in your face" thing. Many are simply ambivalent about being in communion with Rome. They usually practice "open communion" which means that anyone can approach and they simply don't see the need for any kind of single-entity organization. Many of these brethren have an explanation that the Church is an "invisible" thing that includes anyone and everyone who professes Christ and any and every doctrine that anyone holds as being okay.

Another example that I see is our annual ecumenical prayer for unity services. In our diocese, the bishop approached the Lutheran and ACROD bishops decades ago and they host these annual events. However, since there are no leaders of like rank in the area, there are some large communities that have never participated: mainline Protestant and Anglican. I can't get a straight answer as to why they are either not invited or choose not to participate, but their absence speaks volumes.

So for all the positive spin in so many areas, I see very little actual, real reconciliation going on.

Bob

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Originally Posted by N Mosley
I have a sense that we live in an historic time, and, as an Eastern Catholic, I fully hope that my children or my children's children may find themselves in full communion with their Orthodox counterparts, but, there is also the constant feeling that one step forward is followed by two steps back.
One problem here, I think, is that we tend to judge these spiritual realities by "external" (i.e. visible, measurable) criteria, when the reality is always unseen. Just as the roots of the East-West schism go back way before 1054, so have the seeds of reunion been sown, and all of us need to take on the challenge of following Christ more closely, for it is He alone who can bring us together.

Originally Posted by theophan
I think it will take a century or more of people being trained to see our brethren truly as our brethren. It will take everyone to see the path of the other as being different and that different is not necessarily bad or heretical ... to look at another's musical tradition, for example, as "not as good as" is one way of undermining decades of hard work at overcoming real issues. Why should people want to be in communion with those who look down on them as "less than"?
It seems to be human nature to gravitate to one's own "home group," and cherish those things in particular that make "us" unique--conversely disparaging those groups that are "different." Clearly, this is not a Christian way of looking at things! We need to counter this by living and encouraging an openness to diversity that is truly Christian--as opposed to the secular vision of "diversity" that is so popular in today's world--and that includes a genuine sensitivity to others (as opposed to the secular version of "sensitivity").

If enough of us can achieve this (with God's help!), we will surely have made some real strides toward unity.


Peace,
Deacon Richard


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