Church Unity - Printable Version
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Church Unity - John Francis - 21-10-2009
With the recent talks between the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Archbishop concerning reunification and the welcoming of "concerned"Anglicans into communion with the Catholic Church what are your views /opinions/observations.
Is there possibility of other Orthodox Churches joining together with the Catholic church-Not subservient but as equals .All in full communion with each other?
Could this be at last the start of Christian Churches Being
"one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all,"
Or is this me being too optimistic and simple.
In God's love
- Severus - 22-10-2009
For a reaction to Pope Benedict's initiative, have a look at my recent posting in the General Conversation folder.
- Antony-Paul - 25-10-2009
I find myself in something of a dilemma here. As a Christian I am hurt and diminished by the divisions that exist within Christianity. Clearly the objective has to be the joining together of all God's people in His love.
And yet, the very existence of differences suggests there are factors that keep us apart. My own experience is one of examining such matters in my own life. As a 'cradle Catholic' I have spent 66 years trying to be true to my upbringing. But recent years have seen me struggling with various aspects of the Roman church that have given me major difficulties. Now I have been studying Orthodoxy (specifically the BOC) and finding that it meets my needs on the issues I have been upset by. Thus I am close to making a committment to the BOC and thereby severing my lifelong links to Rome.
Examining these matters over recent months has brought me to discern a distinction between unification of churches and unity in Christ. This has removed the sense of guilt and betrayal I have struggled with recently, easing my path into Orthodoxy. Furthermore, I have to consider the possibility that my searching has been a direct result of God's influence. I have placed myself in His service and allowed myself to be directed by Him as much as I can perceive His voice in my heart.
This means, nevertheless, that I have identified differences of view - things which keep us apart - and this means I am contributing to precisely the opposite of the aim of unity as commonly defined.
I have begun to rationalise this by considering myself a Christian first and foremost. (I actually came to this view many years ago.) I see this as more significant than which particular brand of Christianity is my spiritual home. I have no difficulty embracing Christians of other denominations - I see them all as my brothers and sisters in Our Lord. Thus while I can accept Orthodoxy as the true faith, that is the right place for me to be, I accept that others are 'different' Christians in good faith. This allows me to overcome my feelings of dilemma.
But where would all this take me if the BOC was to somehow move to Rome en bloc, thereby negating all my heartsearching?
I feel that redefining 'unity' can help to overcome the problem, without making me change either my difficulties with Rome or watering down what I see as the strengths of Orthodoxy.
I've probably said enough! Clearly I need some help with this (I am getting it from my priest, but any input will always be useful).
Please pray for me as I approach the point of making my committment.
church unity - kirk yacoub - 18-11-2009
Yes, it can be a dilemma, apparently uniting when there are so many serious differences. However, I doubt that, at the moment, there can be a merger of Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. I am a member of the Syriac Orthodox Church and for the past 25 years we have enjoyed a very close relationship with Rome, enabling us to commune each other and offer each other pastoral care. Yet this has not meant that differences have been put aside. We Orthodox still believe in the equality of Bishops, not the primacy of the Pope; we have not incorporated the filioque in the Creed etc etc. What is happening is that two Churches are trying to act as closely together as possible, believing that common prayer and worship will lead to us becoming worthy of the Holy Spirit's giudance in how to overcome our differences.
Yes, Christ is One, the Church is One, and we sinful human beings can only pray and act according to Christ's commandments in pursuit in a public union that is truly of His Divine Will.
- Antony-Paul - 19-11-2009
Thank you Kirk for your thoughts.
I have been most fortunate to have Father Simon as my priest, and he has confirmed the position as far as the BOC is concerned. The views of Abba Seraphim have been most comforting as well. I am no longer troubled by this issue. Indeed, I have had the joyful experience of admission to the Catechumenate last week, and so I am now moving forward in Orthodoxy.
With love and prayers,
- kirk yacoub - 21-11-2009
Welcome to Orthodoxy. My prayers are with you.
RE: Church Unity - Peter Cvek - 23-06-2012
Dear Brothers in Christ,
My name is Peter Cvek and I also am on the verge of finding my spiritual home in Orthodoxy. For many years I have struggled with the same questions and dilemnas as Tony has, excepting from a Protestant as well as Roman Catholic perspective, since being raised as a Communist I had not the benefit of a religious upbringing, and upon my conversion began to search through both... I would find it difficult to join, however, an Orthodox Church that would seek equality, let alone subservience, with the pretenses of Rome and its Papacy.. I can accept the Liturgy of Saint James and Saint Mark as of Apostolic origin and blessed indeed, but how can we partake of a liturgy in the Roman Church which is largely the work of Thomas Aquinas, and his wayward doctrines on Transsubstantiation, which certainly are and were not the original Orthodox teaching on the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper? How can we accept as equal, if Orthodox, a denomination that regards its Inquisition arm ( to this day) as a Holy Office? How can we accept as equal the blasphemous claims of the Papacy to Montanistic Infallibility, and to Indulgences? The last of the Orthodox Bishops of Rome, Bishop Hippolytus @ 200 AD, was ousted by the heretical Bishop Callistus to his rightful claim on the throne of Rome... The Popes since Callistus have in the main continued his legacy.. Are we asked to cast all genuine reason and historical discernment out the door if we join Orthodoxy simply for the sake of a worldly tolerance of matters that Christ never intended to be tolerated, or some vague " peace", which Christ did not come to give for, as He says, His peace is one that " passes all understanding" and " not of this world"? Dear brothers,the martyrs of old died for a point of doctrine that they knew would breed future heresy and apostasy.. The blood of martyrs stains Roman hands to this day.. What indeed do we do?... Must we compass land and sea, like Rome, in search of one proselyte and then make them twice the child of Hades as herself? Are sincere seekers, such as Tony and myself, being merely asked to move our capital from Rome to Byzantium, yet keep the same emperor's clothes and political agenda? I truly do not desire to be contentious.. I seek the same answers as Tony does, and as millions of other potential Orthodox converts do... I love the truth enough not to merely use it as a mask for tolerance of things that ought never to be tolerated.. It is still worth dying for... What must be done, brothers, if we be true not to man's inventions, but to the Lord.... Peter Cvek, Australia...
RE: Church Unity - DanielM - 25-06-2012
Peter, as mentioned previously in is post, these issues would all need to be addressed pre-reunion.
Tha matters of Roman Practice would certainly be addressed with regards to their doctrines but other matters would probably be left to Roman discression to be seen as a local practice. With regards to Liturgicl practice, key elements and prayers in the Roman liturgy come from the St James and much of it I recognise from our own practice. Even within Orthodoxy many elements in Liturgy have been adapted so we can admit Apostolic and Patristic origins in our Liturgies but not to use a completely Ancient Liturgy.
Either way, union between Rome and the East is looking unlikely for the time being so yu can hold your breath.
RE: Church Unity - sansan1 - 12-11-2012
Usually prioritize items which are from God. Mainly because what you have now is often a blessing from Him.
developing psychic powers
RE: Church Unity - DanielM - 20-11-2012
Indeed that is always the best case, but these issues always need to be addressed in order to recommune.