Do you notice this? Orthodox tend to distance themselves from Catholicism, while Catholics


Oversimplification, if not revisionist, IMO. Certainly, that plays a part, but I cannot fathom how either the divided Orthodox (or the even more divided reformers for that matter) could muster a naval force sufficient to repel the Ottoman Turkish fleet - more than once.

And, can it reasonably be argued that the division in Christianity was a factor in the Turks’ decision to attack?

Battle of Lepanto, anyone? 500 years after the great schism, and just as the “reformation” was raging (1571).

As to your purely historical argument: I always thought that God was in charge of all things.


Exactly, the Western Christian Navy ships were outnumbered by the Turks Navy three to one. In addition, the Christian Navy Captains could not communicate with each other, due to different languages spoken. Yet, the victory came by way of the Christian laity, who prayed the Rosary in diverse languages during the Navy battle at Lepanto.

“You are Rock and upon this Rock I will build my Church…Thou the gates of hell will come against you, they will never prevail” God.


The European navies were considerably more modern, God tends to be on the side of those with the better firepower in a war. Nor were the Christian naval ships outnumbered three to one, the Turks had around 40 or 50 percent more ships. Many of which were of older design or had limited amounts of artillery. They were a formidable force but the Holy League had far more firepower and in particular had a number of ships with extremely heavy artillery in the presence of the galleases the Venetians had. Also, the Holy League was composed members from Spain and the states that made up what is now modern Italy. I doubt they find it that hard to communicate. . The Holy League troops had muskets and arquebuses the Ottomans were relying on bowmen in the same role…


I see your history of God who acts in human history is limited. When Israel was at war with the Philistines, David was no match to the fire power of Goliath to begin one of too many examples.

I rest my case;

8,000 Spanish

5,000 Venetian

1,500 Papal

5,000 German

5,000 Italian

4,000 noble adventurers
Again I rest my case;
All their fellow country men were praying the rosary in diverse languages.
And why are we discussing this? To prove what? Islam so far killed and enslaved all the Christian lands, until one little Navy Battle finally stopped Islam from invading and conquering the World?
My only interest is how powerful the Rosary is in uniting diverse cultures, languages and peoples proved to be a historical miracle.
I would be happy to yield to your opinions of how the outcome of the battle ensued.


The Battle of Lepanto is not part of scripture and David’s fight with Goliath has quite a lot of issues textually in the Bible by the way.

How so? Records for what each side had in the way of ships have survived. The Turrks certainly outnumbered the Holy League but not by three to one and I am curious as to where that figure came from. Also, the Ottoman’s were becoming more arrogant as they had not suffered a major defeat in some time and their technology lagged behind the League’s as did their tactics.

8,000 Spanish

5,000 Venetian

1,500 Papal

5,000 German

5,000 Italian

4,000 noble adventurers

Italy in any unified sense would not exist for more than three centuries after this battle. That said several of the groups you’ve put on that list would share languages they could communicate in which are the basis of modern Italian. The Germans would likely have the most trouble but the Ottomans themselves tended to use warriors and sailors drawn from all over the place. Their galleys were mainly manned by slave oarsmen, many of whom were Christian. That is not consistent with getting a great sense of morale going.

However Lepanto also took place at roughly the same time the Ottoman’s seized Cyprus. Also, their were other Christian lands free at the time of Lepanto. The Ottoman peak expansion era was coming to a close at this point and they would slowly start to decay. They remained a potent force for a time after Lepanto but they slowly started to slide as they didn’t keep up with modern technology and that gap became more and more obvious over time between them and other powers.


The Russians would defeat the Turks numerous times later in history. They also had reversals where they were defeated as did the Europeans. The Russians were part of the Holy League themselves at a somewhat later date in history. The Crimea which features so heavily in the news in recent years became part of Russia due to war between Russian and Ottoman forces. The Russian forces were led by General Peter Lacy who was an Irish émigré. His defeats of Ottoman forces led the way to absorption of the Crimean Khan into the Russian Empire not long afterwards.


Yet many do. Its well known that Melkite Greek Catholics and Antiochian Orthodox inter-commune on a regular basis. There are many Orthodox Christians who regularly attend Liturgy at the local Melkite mission (and receive Sunday after Sunday) just because there isn’t an Arabic language Orthodox liturgy in the area… they choose the Arabic language Catholic liturgy over the many Greek/Russian/etc. Orthodox liturgies nearby.


I don’t feel any hatred at all from our Orthodox friends at all. In fact here in Pittsburgh, the Serbian Orthodox has a great fish fry on Lenten Fridays which caters to Roman Catholics. I don’t think they do the fried fish thing on Fridays in Lent themselves, do they?

Their viewpoint, from what I’ve seen, is that they see themselves as a “3rd way” and equidistant from Protestants and Catholics. No particular hate to any of the non-Orthodox churches.

I can respect that.


I agree. History did much to divide and separate us. This is always my position with regards to the schism with the Orthodox Church, which today makes it difficult for unity.

However, argument on this will not bring to any conclusion. Our Church Fathers would have gone through all these no doubt. The clergy, the laity and the secular government were pretty much various factors which were in opposition to each other.


Coincidence, but reading what you said, we’re both living up to the temperaments out “names” (Catholic vs Orthodox) suggest. At least, in stereotypes, which may not always be fair.


Agreed; If the total Church can free themselves from secular powers including be free from Islam. Imagine how God’s Love would cover the earth.Yet these evil powers and principalities, Peter and the body of Christ must battle against.

My prayer, just once. For all Orthodox Bishop’s and Latin Bishop’s with the Pope cloistered themselves behind locked doors, while all the earth pray the rosary until they hear from God and settle their schism without interference from secular powers.
I believe God would separate the sheeps from the goats once again or expose the false shepherds.


Yes and as of late, he seems to be shortening the leash he has them on. Very sad.


Hmm…I would like to think both Catholic and Orthodox saints occupy the same space in heaven…perhaps wondering how trivial the differences are/were in the grand scheme of eternity.


Upon reflecting your comment here; I think your on to something here.I have heard many Latin scholars speak publicly of a bridge, that is lacking in the Church, that would allow communion between the East and West. Although, I have yet to hear any Orthodox leaders ever speak of such a bridge that can unite us in communion.
Both East and West liturgies become present with the Church Triumphant in heaven. Your “trivia” commentary may be the crack in the wall that can allow light to both the East and West.
Not to change the discussion here. Instead of dwelling so much attention on ecclesial and disciplinary matters between East and West. I would side with the Latin scholars and look for a solution that can bridge both communions.
In the heavenly Liturgy, Jesus our King presides with the Holy Saints and Martyrs (including my Mom and Dad, had to get that in), why can’t the Church Militant grow, develop in a more mature and profound faith, that places our one Liturgy in communion with the Church Triumphant.
It should be in our Liturgies, or Liturgy, where all things secular and carnal are left outside, where we can celebrate one Liturgy where Christ our King Present supersedes any and all silly tensions and divisions about Peter’s authority on earth.
I would like to see, Orthodox posters reach out and give their insights about building a bridge for our communions, without complaining about each other’s expression of faith and the Bishop’s of Rome constant battle to keep the whole Church free from secular powers infecting her. When most Orthodox leaders tend to side with their secular powers over the Bishop of Rome.
Sorry for the long “trivia” response, oh, and thank you for your post. It gives me something to pray for, A bridge, who is Jesus.


So for unity of east and west, all should use a distinctly western private devotion, rather than their own?



Not quite. But such suggestions should not come across as negative, but a concern.
I don’t pretend to have the answer. The Liturgical Bridge, which is on the radar among Latin scholars, should take into consideration such concerns as yours.
To make a suggestion, the bridge Liturgy should entail focus with the Church Triumphant present when both the heavenly and earthly liturgical prayer is focused on the King of King’s and Lord of Lord’s.
I believe in such a liturgical setting celebrated not every Sunday, maybe once a year or defined time, when all things carnal, including schism tensions and authority tensions pro or con, would have no place within a bridged liturgy.
No One Church should be pretending that each Church owns their own liturgy when the Liturgy is God ordained.
The bridge would encompass the details of the Liturgy, which can never change, what God has ordained, but our Faith can grow and develop more fully, with a mature faith that does not allow carnal spats and disciplines to get in the way.
What is your suggestion? Or do you not consider one?


For a liturgy, no, but expecting both to use an observance of one seems off.

Personally, I expect it to come from the Orthodox (probably with Melkite support), as the laity refuse to continue participating in schism. We already see this in some of the church pairs.

Or some smart-aleck synod will elect a leader from the other side of the schism.

Or the Russian church has a trend and new leaders who support unity over nationalism (at which point Rome and Constantinople could probably shepard the rest and solve it in weeks . .)



I am doing all I can to refrain from using scripture here.

Maturity in faith, is what the bridge is calling for.

To remove that which stunt’s the faith in God, which prevents faith in God from maturing, developing and growing in our faith in One God, the blessed Trinity.

So long as one remains stagnant in faith, without attempting to have faith in the things that are not impossible for God who loves us and is present among us.

That is where the bridge would be welcoming. Maybe it should start with the Laity, so that the hardness of the hearts that live today from our forefathers will either die or be moved by the Spirit to unity, if at all? an ecumenical spirit on both sides of the heart, is what the bridge begs for.


Catholicism does embrace the east. There are 23 eastern Churches in communion with Rome. These Churches are not Roman with an eastern feel. They have the same theology, liturgy and spiritual life as the Orthodox. As a matter of fact, we are called to be Orthodox in communion with Rome.

What the Orthodox say on paper and what goes on in the local Church varies. I had a Greek Orthodox priest tell me that “we (Catholic and Orthodox) are the same Church.”



Personally I had little knowledge about the Orthodox before joining CAF and meeting them here. The US has a completely different view on them because of the sizeable and varied communities that emigrated there (this historically also lead to a brief “jurisdiction battle” over bishops and dioceses with the latin church - which I find to be a very interesting episode, since in Europe the “jurisdictions” went along with old national borders.)

So (personally) the perspective in perhaps most countries -that don’t have the privilege of direct contact- is that the Orthodox are our brethren and ecumenism is the way to go. Anything beyond that makes for an “expert debate” that is mostly beyond the laity. The priests are off course obligated to know these things should they find themselves before orthodox faithful. But other than that, it’s a “non-issue” in the sense that no conflict of polemic is to arise among the faithful.

And I am rather surprised when I find certain “articles” wanting to cast these issues into question when those are mostly matters to be addressed between bishops and patriarchs at the highest level.

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