Rorate Caeli

"Return to Orthodoxy without breaking unity with Rome"

NOTE: Notwithstanding its provocative title, if this article is indeed accurate, the Patriarch of Constantinople is now proposing a level of unity between Catholicism and Orthodoxy unknown since 1453. "Dual unity" here refers to communion with both Rome and Constantinople.

I post this article without necessarily endorsing the ecclesiology expressed in it. Emphases mine.

From the Religious Information Service of Ukraine (RISU), a project of the Ukrainian Catholic University:

Patriarch of Constantinople Proposes Eastern Catholicism’s Return to Orthodoxy

Munich—In a recent interview with the German ecumenical journal Cyril and Methodius, the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church in Constantinople Bartholomew I invited Eastern Catholic Churches to return to Orthodoxy without breaking unity with Rome. He noted that “the Constantinople Mother-Church keeps the door open for all its sons and daughters.” According to the Orthodox hierarch, the form of coexistence of the Byzantine Church and the Roman Church in the 1st century (perhaps what is meant here is 1st millennium -- CAP) of Christianity should be used as a model of unity. This story was posted by on 16 June 2008.
At the same time, the patriarch made positive remarks about the idea of “dual unity” proposed by the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Archbishop Lubomyr (Husar). Patriarch Bartholomew I noted in particular that this model would help to overcome the schism between the Churches.


  1. Is this just the Eastern Orthodox trying to re-posses the Eastern Catholics and eventually assimilate them? or are the Eastern Orthodox finally prepared to acknowledge that these Churches in union with Rome? I suspect that this half-way Church ([hopefully] doctrinally orthodox and in communion with Rome but also in communion with the Eastern Churches) would sow more conflict than unity. How, after all, can even certain Catholics be in communion with those who are not willing to be in communion with the Pope? If the Eastern Churches are not really for communion with the Catholic Church, how are they ready for communion with Catholic churches?

    The problems, I think, would come from the issue of authority. The Eastern Churches to remain Catholic would have to continue to acknowledge the primacy of Peter. This may oftentimes be only lip service -- especially if the church in question has a patriarch -- but it's a lip service that the Orthodox would surely want to discourage. No matter what problems with ecclesiology occur by this strange inter-communion, if the Eastern Catholic Churches loose the orthodox understanding of the Pope as the universal and immediate pastor and the sacrament of unity, in what way could they call themselves Catholic?

    The end result of the churches that would choose to take the orthodox up of this is most likely further schism and not further unity.

    Perhaps I'm wrong.

  2. Very confusing indeed. How can a church group be loyal to two types of communion? I think that the solution is for the Orthodox to recognize the Universal Jurisiction of the the See of Rome or the See of St. Peter. We have seen a lot of this in recent years. This is a false solution. This would bring more confusion, chaos and schism. The status quo is more preferable.

  3. Confusing, yes, and doctrinally ambiguous, but not unprecedented.

    The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch maintained communion with Rome on and off from 1054 to 1724 whilst maintaining communion with Constantinople. There were many examples of de facto double communion in the Greek islands from the medieval ages until c. 1700.

    It would be very interesting to see how the other Orthodox Patriarchates and Rome respond to this.

  4. Expect some angry backlash from the other Orthodox patriarchates.

    If you look to even recent history the idea of points of communion has come up before (most notably between the Melkites and Antiochian Orthodox).

    As I know it's coming, pointing out Vatican I serves as much of a line in the sand to those in the West as it does in the East. As much as you may see it's acceptance as a requirement for unity the East sees it as a very good reason to stay away.

  5. Anonymous4:28 PM

    Is it not ironic that the Oecumenical Patriarch has proffered the oxymoronic idea of "dual unity" for the Eastern Rite Catholics but not the Orthodox?

    BTW, Carlos is correct about the first "millenium" vs "century"; both the Ukrainian text and the article have "millenium".

  6. The problem here is that there is no unity without a unity of doctrine. You can not be in union with both, it is really living a lie. St. Paul preaches this clearly (Eph. IV:5). The Church has already declared that the only path to reunion is complete submission to the authority of Peter, and complete return to the Catholic Church. The Uniates are the Eastern Church, not Constantinople, as much as we may agree with the Orthodox on so many other matters.

  7. Anonymous5:34 PM

    hahaha " How, after all, can even certain Catholics be in communion with those who are not willing to be in communion with the Pope? " yeah like some of the posters on this site...

  8. Anonymous6:58 PM

    I am not sure how great an idea it is or how it would work out theologically, but it certainly is good that we don't hate each other just for the sake of hating each other as much as we used to. And this is not a case of disinterest in religion creating a unity of relativism (like the new unity in the Protestant world), but a realization that our mutual need for each other's support demands that we try harder to seek unity.

    Nonetheless, if I were Orthodox, I would be incredibly confused by the Roman Church's insistence on Petrine supremecy in light of its tireless promotion of ecumenicism, inclusiveness, dialogue, etc. We seem to downplay our Catholic and Apostolic nature with everyone but the Orthodox. Websites like this one, where people talk about the Church as it has not talked about itself in decades, would be particularly confusing. The Orthodox must wonder who they are talking to: the bored liberal and Protestanized Church of most of the world, the rejuvinated neo-conservative church of JPII, or the Ancient Roman church that is scknowledged, if not fully embraced, in Benedict's reign.

  9. Anonymous8:51 PM

    This is smoke and mirrors, symbolism over substance. There really is no Orthodox Church but orthodox churches all autocephalous. Russia would not necessarily be bound by this. Moreover there are serious doctrinal issues to be resolved: the Primacy of the Pope as Bishop of the Catholic Church as well as Bishop of Rome; the issue of divorce and remarriage; and so forth.

  10. Anonymous8:52 PM

    Ecumenical hogwash. The Orthodox Churches (yes Churches, as there is no central governing principal) are dead branches of the Catholic Church. There is no other way to put it. The Holy Father, the Vicar of Christ, is the key to unity.

  11. Anonymous9:23 PM

    Husar issued an unprecedented statement denying that he was the person mentioned in a list of Freemasons. The other problem is the loads of political agents that are imbedded in the Eastern Catholic Churches. This is more than theological games. Underneath the good intentions, the game is dead serious.

  12. Dual communion is doctrinally unsound. It will not even contribute to the cause of ecumenism. Right. it will result in baclash from other orthodox communions especially from the Russian Orthodox Church. The Roman Catholic Church if it pursues unity or ecumenism will not attempt to enter into this kind of agreement. Is the table of Christ divided for some and united for some?

  13. Anonymous12:56 AM

    Is this a play by the Orthodox to encourage "Uniate" Chuches loyal to Rome to return to Orthodoxy?

    If so, why is the Vatican so wimpish about proclaiming our True Faith and True Mass (hint--not the Novus Ordo)?

    The Orthodox at least have not gone into ecumenism, or inter-religious dialog with practically every one of the 15,000 or so Protestant groups like Rome has...or dialog with the Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Muslims, Jews, Zoroastrians, Animists, etc, etc.

    Even the Vatican's Cardinal Tauran (a rad liberal of the 1st class), said last week that " all religions are the same".
    With friends like that in the Vatican who needs enemies!

  14. Someone said: Even the Vatican's Cardinal Tauran (a rad liberal of the 1st class), said last week that " all religions are the same".

    Do you have a source for that quote?

  15. "There really is no Orthodox Church but orthodox churches all autocephalous. "


    Orthodoxy is like a patchwork quilt that is not sewn together. The creation of this sort of "third way" church will only lead to a division among the Orthodox themselves as some of the national churches reject it and realign... No way is Moscow - short of a sign in the heavens - going to continence the likes of this... If the Ukies banded together in one "we are in communion with everyone" church, Modvoe, Bucharest, Sophia, et al would get together and respond "The hell you are!"

    A disaffected party would get propped up and picked up by the Moscow Patriarch and there would generally be re-alignment as to who is in communion with whom.

    Josephus is right that it is a stumbling block to the East, but...

    No one ever talks about how the block causes stumbling in either direction. That is to say, the insistence of autocephalic polyarchy and each nation-state church's insistence for self-rule and autonomy (what end function does that serve on matters of dogma?) is none-too-appealing to this Greek Catholic pleased to be in union.

    If they find it hard to embrace a Petrine ministry as something greater than the "Ecumenical Patriarch of the West" (If you are first, you are not equal, if you are equal, I am sorry there is no first. The EP is proving that title is like a dog without teeth in the MP/EP showdowns!)... Well I say we Catholics have dome difficulty with the structures they have in place that look to ensure paralysis in administration and doctrinal agnosticism on issues as far ranging as contraception to whether Catholic priests even have valid orders.

    Yet no one ever couches the question in terms of what is disaffecting, disenchanting or off-putting to us. Interestingly, that could be because - from where I stand - it is Rome that constantly holds out the olive branch in obedience to "That they all may be one" to an often aloof set of Greco-Slavonic nation-state churches who slap it away and tell us our flaws.

    One wonders, why don't we see initiatives coming out of the East reaching westward? Is it because there is no one who could do it, no mechanism in place? Or is it because they are content to remain aloof in their parochial and nationalist existences?

    These are honest and real concerns on my part. And now is where I am prepared (usually) to not get answered but instead be told that I am "Latinized", triumphal, angry or mean. So be it.

  16. I think this is absorbed! What the patriarch proposes is schism in silence for Eastern Catholics. This is outrightly unacceptable for Rome. If our Eastern brethren recognize the "authority" of Constantinople the juridical power of the Roman Pontiff could be or is jeopardized! The so-called "Orthodox" Churches especially that of Constaninople doesn't recognize important articles of our Catholic faith, if they again embrace this "unity" will not the faith be compromised? Furtheremore, Christ established One and ONLY ONE Church on earth and that is the one committed to Peter thus the Roman Church is the MOTHER of all Churches how this patriarch claims the they are a mother church to our Eastern brethren! I would like to reiterrate what had be said before by the Pope when he was still the head of the Holy Office. "the Roman Church is the mother of ALL Churches...not the sister, nor the cousin but the Mother of it all!"

  17. Anonymous5:20 AM

    The EP can make any pronouncement it wishes. The Orthodox Church will never receive such a profoundly flawed solution. The Church of Russia and her spiritual children in the diaspora, along with the Churches of Serbia, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the other autocephalous Churches would undoubtedly reject such a proposal. The EP is first among equals but nothing more. The EP has only jurisdiction over the Phanar, Mt Athos (whose holy monastics would anathematize any such dual communion) a few Aegea islands and the GOA in the US; a small percentage of the Orthodox world. If the Patriarch of Constantinople acknowledged The Roman doctrine of the primacy, this would only mean one thing, the patriarch would then be a Roman Catholic.

  18. "Mt Athos (whose holy monastics would anathematize any such dual communion) "

    There's the rub in my mind. The Orthodox communion of nation-state churches has a hierarchy whose ability to govern is largely predicated on the will and acceptance of the governed. In showdowns between monks and patriarchs, this has proved telling...

    "The Roman doctrine of the primacy, this would only mean one thing, the patriarch would then be a Roman Catholic. "

    Moving past the liberal usage of "Roman" here and all that it entails, your point almost perfectly makes my point! That is to say re-alignment would be had ASAP via the consensus of the anti-western majority (among those who care) and the re-alignment would just take place with the "true Orthodox" headed towards Moscow...

  19. I am under the impression that Patriarch Bartholomew is projecting the way things work among Orthodox Churches into trying to resolve the schism between Constantinople and the Eastern Catholic Churches.

    It is not unknown for Orthodox Church A and Orthodox Church B to be not in communion with each other and yet be in communion with Orthodox Church C. For example, ROCOR was not in communion with Moscow from 1927 to 2007, and yet both were in communion with Serbia and the Jerusalem Patriarchate. ROCOR, at one point, was in communion with various factions of Old Calendarist Greek Orthodox who were not in communion with each other. The EP and Moscow are, at present, in communion (albeit a very tense and fragile one), but are not necessarily in communion with each others' daughter Churches.

    A very confusing situation indeed, and one that no Latin would like to see. However, it should be pointed out that Bartholomew is only adopting a solution already proposed by the Melkites and the UGCC. What surprises me is why Rome has not taken stronger steps to discourage the Melkites and the UGCC from promoting such views.

  20. Anonymous8:53 AM

    The anonymous poster is spreading calumny. If you read the original interview Cardinal Tauran: Islam Mustn't Demand All Our Attention it is quite evident that the cardinal is not a relativist. Moreover, he gave a speech in London last month where he made this distinction, But be careful: we do not say “all religions are of equal value”. We say “All those in search of God have equal dignity”!

  21. Thank you, Adam. "All religions are the same" just didn't sound like an authentic quote, so I'm not surprised that it is spurious that that Cardinal Tauran didn't say it.

  22. For some insight into the genesis of the phrase "Return to Orthodoxy without breaking unity with Rome" serious readers should consult "Logos" Vol. 49, 1-2 (2008) pages 1-19 ISSN 0024-5895. This citation consists of two editorials in memoriam with foot notes the first of a member of the Kyivan Church Study Group (Ukrainian Orthodox Archbishop Vsevolod of Scopelos) and the second of a Melkite Archbishop Elias Zoghby.

  23. Anonymous4:18 PM


  24. Anonymous6:05 PM

    Neo -Uniatism in reverse, perhaps.

  25. First I am waiting for some form of clarification from a reliable source connected with the Ecumenical Patriarchate's office. There is much here that is confusing and many questions have been raised. That said I tend to agree with the many posters who have expressed skepticism over this idea as it is presently being understood.

    The term "unity" is one that we Orthodox are not interested in. What we are discussing is communion, which is among other things, an expression of a shared faith. That shared faith does not presently exist between Rome and Orthodoxy. This raises the question of where do the uniate churches stand on a number of issues. If they are adopting the position proposed by the recently reposed Melkite Archbishop Elias Zoghby of blessed memory, and said...

    # I believe everything which Eastern Orthodoxy teaches.
    # I am in communion with the Bishop of Rome as the first among the bishops, according to the limits recognized by the Holy Fathers of the East during the first millennium, before the separation.

    And further expressed the position which most Melkite Catholics (including bishops) hold, that the councils of the western church post 1054 were local councils not ecumenical, with the "dogmas" emanating there from being at most theologumena or the pious opinions of the Latin Church and not binding on the Church Universal, then we might be at a point where we could discuss restoration of communion, although I would still have some reservations.

    However, this does not at present appear to be the case. As such, I personally am very uncomfortable with the proposal as it is presently being interpreted by the press.

    To those who are concerned about the autocephalous nature of the various Orthodox Churches, I would make a couple of quick points. This has served us well in preserving Orthodoxy from the unfortunate problems which have plagued Western Christianity since the schism (though I concede it makes things move very slowly and often by fits and starts). And also it is likely the key to restoring communion between East & West if and when the time is right. There will probably never be a point where all of the churches will agree on such a radical move. And it will take one or two of the patriarchates (probably the EP and the Antiochians) to step forward and act on their own. This will precipitate a minor (or maybe major) crisis in Orthodoxy and will force some sort of council to address the issue which Moscow currently is resisting.

    It is also worth noting that for historical and cultural reasons intercommunion between the Orthodox and the Melkite Catholics has been informally tolerated as a matter of economia for a long time. The ties of the Melkites to Rome although historic are not very strong theologically and most of them do not accept the psuedo councils of the post schism Latin Church as anything more than local councils (see questions 8 &9 from the Melkite web site here …


  26. "The ties of the Melkites to Rome although historic are not very strong theologically and most of them do not accept the psuedo councils of the post schism Latin Church as anything more than local councils (see questions 8 &9 from the Melkite web site here …"

    Ah yes, the old "pseudo-councils & Melkite tinyurl... Haven't seen it in a few, it always and invariably pops up.

    Does no one ever consider that their could be such a thing as "Byzantine Rite Dissidents" or that these folks who gravitate toward the most extreme positions and expressions (I find as often as not, folks who have become Melkites by choice!) and have gained ascendency...

    Well, maybe, just maybe, they don't represent a definative Eastern Catholic position or even a majority within their own particular sui juris church.

    Ruthenians, Romanians, and Ukies all get roundly dismissed as just the "Latinized Uniates", but the fact of the matter is, our working praxis is not the same as the tinyurl offering of the anglophone Melkites in the West. Go figure.

    Then again, I get a little nervous or bemused if and when someone starts speaking with the "voice of Orthodoxy"... Among the nation-state church communities in the Orthodox communion, manifold expressions and views are held up and seen as quite allowable - even if they conflict with what one's neighbor is doing. The disparate and conflicting positions on the validity of Catholic Holy Orders or even contraception or baptism is spoken about in very different ways from the various and sundry official mouthpieces of the nation-state churches in the autocephalous polyarchy of the Orthodox Communion.

    If and when some anglo-Melkite enthusiasts seize upon a distinctive contradistinctive expression of Orthodoxy as the "Eastern position", I just smile and nod.

    Would that it were so simple!

  27. My own 2 cents is that for the Greek Orthodox, there's a misunderstanding of what having Universal Juristiction is all about.

    Servant of the Serveants of God is one of the Titles of the Pope. the more that they're able to understand this the faster full Communion can come.

    More later, I want to sleep right now, lol.

  28. Simple,
    Some of your points are quite legitimate. I agree that the Melkites almost certainly are the exception to the rule among the churches in communion with Rome. With respect to the other uniate churches, I can only speak from my own experiences,which have been confirmed by others with whom I have spoken as similar to their own.

    Those experiences with the Ruthenian and UGCC parishes that I have been to in the United States suggest that in terms of praxis they were indeed basically Roman Catholics offering Mass using a modified form of the Divine Liturgy of St. John and wearing Byzantine vestments. Is it possible that this is not universally true? Of course. But my experiences do not support the claims of "Orthodox in communion with Rome." And I have spoken with very few people whose experiences and conclusions have been much different than mine.


  29. Anonymous8:48 AM

    ad orientem,

    i'm a roman rite catholic attending a ruthenian byzantine parish. it is as you say, mostly comprised of roman rite catholics. most of us are there because we love the divine liturgy.

    there is no one trying to force latinizations into the church.

    as i understand it, the eastern expression of the faith is as valid and of equal dignity with that of the western because its the same faith.

    but i believe the orthodox in accepting contraception and rejecting the immaculate conception, are not just schismatic, but heretical.

    clearly, catholicism has a higher devotion to the blessed virgin mary than the orthodox.

  30. “The [Ratzinger] Formula itself was originally articulated in a lecture given by the then Fr. Joseph Ratzinger at an ecumenical gathering in Graz, Austria, in 1976. In sum, he proposed that the Catholic Church must not require any more from the Orthodox Churches concerning the Roman primacy than what had existed in the first millennium. On the other hand, the Orthodox must not condemn as heretical the developments that took place within the Catholic Church during the second millennium.”
    Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1987), 199 found in “Eastern Churches Journal” Vol. 12 No. 2 The Ratzinger Formula and the Great “Perhaps” Richard A. Mattiussi, 65

    Further on page 69: “[Cardinal] Kasper made a brief comment on the Ratzinger Formula when he stated: ‘It has become clear that the issue regarding the Oriental Churches in union with Rome cannot be discussed without taking up the main cause of separation and of union, namely the question of communion with Rome. That question cannot be considered in isolation; it concerns the relationship between primacy and synodical structure (we would say collegiality). Joseph Ratzinger – at the time in his academic rôle – laid the basis for that discussion in his well-know address in 1976 in Graz by stating … “On the doctrine of the primacy, Rome must not require more from the East than what was formulated and lived out during the first millennium.” Known as the “Ratzinger Formula,” this idea has become fundamental for the discussion; it has also been touched upon in the Encyclical Ut Unum Sint.”

  31. Elmwood,
    The the theology and spiritual praxis of the uniate churches were compromised centuries ago. I think there is a somewhat greater realization of this problem today but it remains a problem all the same.

    On the issue of contraception, that has not been resolved within Orthodoxy and there is a great diversity of opinion. It may take some time before that one gets settled. On the subject of the IC, we reject it because it is based on Augustine's heretical understanding of original sin. Thus we see the entire concept of the IC as absurd and unnecessary, because the need perceived by the Latin Church is a myth.

    With respect your belief that we are heretics, that is completely logical. We do not believe the same things and I have always wondered at the reluctance of Roman Catholics to say that the Orthodox are heretics. We certainly believe that you are.


  32. Anonymous11:27 PM

    Canada: Bishop Opposes Motu Proprio

  33. Anonymous11:32 PM


    Being well aware of the Orthodox objections to Augustine's theology, I wasn't aware the Orthodox Churches believe his views to be "heretical."

    After all, "Blessed" Augustine is also a saint of the Orthodox Churches.


  34. Garrett,
    Blessed Augustine is indeed commemorated by most of the Orthodox churches. However his theological opinions are extremely controversial and some have been more or less universally rejected. This however is not inconsistent with his status as a saint. He is not commemorated for his theology but rather for the sanctity of his life. Many saints both East & West espoused opinions that were later held to be erroneous. I would point out that Thomas Aquinas wrote against the IC, and yet he is commemorated by the Latin Church.


  35. Anonymous5:13 AM

    As a convert from Orthodoxy, it seems to me that there will be some sort of backlash from other jurisdictions within the Orthodox Church.

    In 1453, the monks of Mt. Athos cried, "Better the Sultan's turban than the Pope's tiara." Would not the backlash be similar today? After all, many Orthodox countries are facing threats from militant Islam.

  36. "With respect your belief that we are heretics, that is completely logical. We do not believe the same things and I have always wondered at the reluctance of Roman Catholics to say that the Orthodox are heretics. We certainly believe that you are. "


    Tonto and the Lone Ranger are riding through the hills when all of the sudden the LR notices they are surrounded on all sides by Indians...

    The LR to Tonto: Tonto, Tonto! We are surrounded by Indians!"

    Tonto to the LR: "What do you mean we, white man?"

    When it comes to John's "We" I think mileage may vary. "We certainly do see you as heretics"... Practicing heresies as condemened at which councils of a communion that only affirms the infailability of counciliar initiatives? Easy enough to call one (one would think) and put an official voice to an official stance.

    "On the subject of the IC, we reject it because it is based on Augustine's heretical understanding of original sin. Thus we see the entire concept of the IC as absurd and unnecessary, because the need perceived by the Latin Church is a myth."

    Ultimately John, I have to ask "What do you mean 'we'?" Says officiall whom?

    However much currency the writings of the late Father Romanides has gained in the under-45 seminary set (many of who come with their convert baggage in tow), well to be somewhat ironic, I have to ask, "Who died and made him Pope of Rome?"

    "On the issue of contraception, that has not been resolved within Orthodoxy and there is a great diversity of opinion. It may take some time before that one gets settled."

    And there could be the rub. Neverminding that the mincing of words and kibitzing that is held during these decades of reconsideration... and the adverse effect that could be had if the hardest and worse possible speculation - that the Romans are right on this one - is in the end held to be worthy of be counted as a "Truism" (What then of all the people for whom this was more than a speculative theological question???)

    Well John when exactly would you be satisfied that the case is closed?

    To speak of "what the Orthodox believe" is to invite the question - a question that kept me Catholic - to where do we go to know an authoratative and comprehensive viewpoint?

    Invariably this objection invites comments of scorn or dismissal on the part of polemicists who accuse me of being "too Latin & Legalistic" in my thinking. I am just looking for authoratative voices on what to believe that are at least as comprehensive as the Ecumenical councils could initially prove to be on the Christological heresies. Considering the difference between "Christotokos" and "theotokos" I think it is fair and reasonable to expect that the Church which could settle and define such things with precision and authority... I don't think it is unfair to expect the same should be had today if the Orthodox are heirs to that tradition.

  37. Anonymous4:44 PM

    What strikes me in most those contributions from the context of which one can suppose that they come from Catholics, how little, we who claim to be Catholics, are willing to take on board that the present state of affairs is contrary to the will of Christ. We are so confident that what we believe to be the Catholic faith is truly the Catholic faith that we do not even think of the possibility of our misconceptions being the main obstacle to the restoration of unity. We are not worried about the state of our own household: the comments are prevailingly aimed at establishing what the Orthodox should do to be worthy of the Catholic communion; and how the divisions among them makes the restoration of unity impossible, thus offering us a just cause to wash our hands of it.

    We are supposed to stay put doing nothing but awaiting their submission to Roman aparatchicks, acceptance of the Novus Ordo concoction, of a false catechism in schools (or none), of paying for clerical abuses and for distribution of condoms in missionary areas, of homosexual mentality and false moral teaching in seminaries, of a widespread theological dissent and clerical disobedience, of a heterodox press styling itself Catholic in churches, of heterodox books in bookshops claiming to be Catholic etc.

    An ordinary, theologically unsophisticated Orthodox is far better off staying in the Orthodox Church: he has there a beautiful, doctrinally rich and sound liturgy to which no TLM is a match, not to mention the NO. A few extra dogmas we believe in and he is not supposed to believe, make no difference in his life, as they don’t, likewise, in our lives either.

    What the Orthodox Churches would have to put up with if they submitted to the Pope in a way as conceived by the majority of the Western Rite Catholics? The hierarchy – of Divine origin – would be put under the Roman congregations – of the Church origin. Latin Rite dioceses would be set up on their territories, but not v.v., in spite of movement of population. As a Council Father of the Coptic Catholic Church said in one of the sessions, they are considered as “ecclesiastical oddities or exotic creations” and not “as sister churches which together with the Latin-rite Church make up the Universal Church”. Formally, there would be communion and, consequently, a sharing of the sacraments; but an average Latin Catholic would never do it, except reluctantly if necessary, and might even go to confession (to a Latin priest, of course) for this sin. De facto, there would be no communion. And so on….

    So many commentators professed their faith in the supremacy of the Pope. Now, the Pope, together with nearly all the bishops, signed the Decree on Ecumenism; likewise, John Paul wrote two encyclicals on the subject. I wonder how many contributors to this debate have read these documents…

  38. Anonymous5:48 PM

    "An ordinary, theologically unsophisticated Orthodox is far better off staying in the Orthodox Church: he has there a beautiful, doctrinally rich and sound liturgy to which no TLM is a match."

    I find the Gregorian rite far superior. The various orthodox rites in comparison, with no disrespect intended, are sloppy and flamboyant, even garish. Though admittedly these rites are very entertaining, especially for children.

  39. Anonymous5:06 AM

    "... these rites are very entertaining, especially for children".

    Speaking of children, the above-noted remark was puerile.

    Holy Mark of Ephesus, pray for us!

  40. Anonymous6:53 AM

    I recently read a post on a somewhat believable website in which the name of one Suslov was mentioned in connection with a list of famous Freemasons! Isn't Suslov one of the contributors to this website?

  41. Anonymous7:05 AM

    Suslov was the head of the KGB.

  42. Suslov died in 1982, so I’m pretty sure he is not one of Rorate Caeli’s contributors. Furthermore, I’m confident that none of our contributors are Freemasons. However, there is an individual who has posted comments here under the screen name of “Suslov.” Of course we can’t tell if that person is a Freemason, but there’s no reason to think he (or she) is.

  43. "Those experiences with the Ruthenian and UGCC parishes that I have been to in the United States suggest that in terms of praxis they were indeed basically Roman Catholics offering Mass using a modified form of the Divine Liturgy of St. John and wearing Byzantine vestments."

    Well, let's nail this down... how so?

    I am the first to grant their have been latinizations... When it comes to discussing their reception and implemenation I am not one to quickly "Blame the Latins" and insist they were foisted... Some of it was the logical next step for being in communion (once that fly got out of the midieval amber, their is a world of saints and spiritualities to look to, Sacred Heart and all...) Others of the Latinizations were distinctive forms of contradistinction and nationalism. Whatever the Russians did, the Ukies had to do differently, with a distinctive err of "Country come to town" superiority. Long scraggly beards? Russians! Primative monastic life? Russians! Cassocks without 33 fancy buttons? RUSSIANS!

    When our parochial life in our new transatlantic homes settled in, amidst the see of Latins we were, I grant "less parochial".

    But nail down what it was or is about our existence that is especially problematic or bothersome please. In the end, I suspect that Orthodoxy - most especially in its hip modern manifestation online - is so wrapped up in the contradistinctive, anti-Roman, anti-Western polemic, that we who are comfortable in the west, and with Rome are of course going to seem "not very Orthodox". IF not only DON'T hate the pope, but love him and are obedient and work with the Latins, accepting that many of our grandchildren will go Latin- who have the schools and majority of parishes in the post-ethnic suburban melees...

    Yea, I could see how we aren't "vostochnik" enough.

  44. Anonymous5:27 PM

    several points that need to be clarified:
    l. The Ep denies making the dual membership proposal.
    2. The Orthodox Church does not consider IC heresy, nor St. Augustine to be a heretic. At most we believe the IC doctrine to be meaningless if you have an Orthodox understanding of the Ancestral Sin.
    3. The eventual goal is not reunion but a state of inter- communion; hence the uniate mode will not be acceptable to the Orthodox, but perhaps, the Ratzinger formula will lead to some positive results.


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