Saturday, September 19, 2009

"We Shared Everything For the First Millenium of Christianity"

Very hopeful news this week. Let's pray for a healing of the breach between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches!

From the National Catholic Register:

"A leading figure in the Catholic Church in Russia made a startling statement in recent weeks.

In an interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera Sept. 14, Archbishop Paolo Pezzi of Moscow said that unity between the long-separated Catholic and Orthodox Churches could be accomplished in the very near future.

In fact, he said it could be a reality “within a few months.”

That would be an astonishing accomplishment, considering the fact that the split between East and West has existed for almost 1,000 years and that at times the road to communion has been full of boulders, potholes, ambushes, false exits and missing bridges....

The pontificate of Benedict XVI has made many Orthodox leaders optimistic: His work as a theologian is greatly admired in Orthodox circles, and he is without the burden of the difficult political history between Poland and Russia, which hindered Polish Pope John Paul II from making as much progress.

And the election of Patriarch Kirill I of the Russian Orthodox Church, a man seen as more open to the West than his predecessor, has also encouraged those who hope for unity.

There’s another factor that bodes well for future developments, as well: Orthodox and Catholics are finding that they share common concerns, particularly the increasing secularization of Western society. Patriarch Kirill said recently that “Catholics understand that Orthodox are their allies. And Orthodox are more and more coming to understand that Catholics are their allies in the face of hostile and nonreligious secularism....

There seems to be less and less that separates us on other issues, as well. Orthodox are closer to Rome than perhaps any other church or faith community. The Catholic and Orthodox Churches have the same seven sacraments, valid apostolic succession and valid priesthood. Except for the primacy of the papacy, we believe the same tenets of faith. We venerate many of the same saints. We shared everything for the first millennium of Christianity (including the Church Fathers) and much else since the split of 1054."

Pray God this reunification comes to pass!

The AP is covering the story as well.


Anonymous said...

Is "Christianinity" a new religion?

Anonymous said...

I believe this will become the biggest story of Benedict's papacy. Unfortunately, most Catholics are blissfully ignorant of the Eastern churches, and I would include in that term the Eastern Catholic churches.

The Liturgy is a big concern for the Orthodox Churches, which were not significantly affected by the banality in Liturgy that followed Vatican II. Benedict's efforts to reform the western liturgy are an important factor in ecumenical relations with the Orthodox.

Gibbons in SF said...

Oops! Thanks....corrected.