If the Holy Father disbanded the Eastern Churches

As part of reunification with the Orthodox, if the Holy Father would say tomorrow that the Eastern Catholic Church members had the option to join the Orthodox or Latin Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches would be disbanded which would you choose and why?

You may want to clarify; I can read your question two ways:

  1. The Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches are re-uniting and so will be One Church again and the Eastern Catholic Churches are being disbanded.

  2. The Pope is going to disband the Eastern Catholic Churches as a sort of “goodwill” gesture towards the Orthodox in attempts to further re-unification efforts.

Which did you mean? You’ll get very different answers depending on what you mean.

Lets go with number 2.

I dated a. russian for 2 years, her father had his birthday on easter. As a Soviet officer, he was questioned for the celebration, they were lucky that year.

Byzantium and Rome were separated politically, as a catholic you will find eastern orthodox more conservative than roman Orthodox, but we are bound together by the word.

If it were #2, I’d probably keep inquiring into, and then subsequently join, the Orthodox Church.

While I am not positive, I may well do the the same.
If #1 I would become Orthodox in an instant.

Yes, Now Rome is facing such a situation due to the following article:

Amal, Jose Thomas, whatever new name you link

Stop derailing this forum and linking to your fake non-story of misquotes

Syromalankra, you say of ‘misquotes’. My point is that when the head of syro malabar church, george alencherry visited pope benedict 16 after his election as major arch bishop, then pope told mar alencherry to follow the tradition followed by cardinal vithayathil. What is the meaning of this?

The question is problematic on multiple levels.

I would become Orthodox.
My heart is in the Divine Liturgy I could not get the same fulfilment from the Latin Mass, also with regard to some if the doctrinal differences l don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other.

This is one of those hypotheticals that is, in my humble opinion, so absurd it is not even worth discussing. While some would argue that the Bishop of Rome could canonically carry out such drastic actions, I am of the opinion (as a Latin faithful to the magisterium), that such an act would be beyond the power of the Pope. The Papacy does not exist to unilaterally destroy churches in communion with it! There is a very important clause in the First Vatican Council declaration on the papacy which is reiterated in the Catechism:

895 “The power which they exercise personally in the name of Christ, is proper, ordinary, and immediate, although its exercise is ultimately controlled by the supreme authority of the Church.” But the bishops should not be thought of as vicars of the Pope. His ordinary and immediate authority over the whole Church does not annul, but on the contrary confirms and defends that of the bishops. Their authority must be exercised in communion with the whole Church under the guidance of the Pope.

Bl. John Paul spoke of the “synergy” that must exist between the Pope of Rome and the Eastern Catholic Patriarchs (see vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/speeches/1998/september/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_19980929_patriarca_en.html).

Many magisterial documents are very clear that the Pope is a servant of Tradition…and I would argue that the fundamental structure of the Church, as dictated by Tradition, is a communion of Churches, both Western and Eastern. The Pope is not above Tradition. I don’t consider the rights of the Eastern Churches to be a mere matter of canon law.

In a true reunion the Orthodox and Eastern Catholics would decide among themselves their common or separate existences in a spirit of love and reconciliation, and at the same time in communion with Rome. That the Pope would “dictate” anything in this regard is absurd, if by “dictate” one means making an arbitrary decision regardless of what the churches thought. The very spirit of reconciliation would “dictate” against any pope trying such a thing.

Is there a forum rule against asking hypothetical questions? If so please point it out with a link.

Well, I think the question could be improved if it were changed to simply “… if the Holy Father would say tomorrow that the Eastern Catholic Church members had the option to join the Latin Church or no longer be in communion with Rome…” but even then I think the idea of the Pope forcing EC Churches to make such a choice is, as you say, absurd.

But having said that,

this is another thing that I find problematic: the assumption that an EC would cease to exist if it stopped being in communion with Rome. The history of the Church is full of instances where 2 churches stopped being in communion with each other, but continued to be churches.

Hypothetical questions are allowed on the forum, but in my opinion (note that I’m not a moderator or anything) the opening post takes a bit too much license with that.

Along a similar line,

what would you western church members do if the pope, in a gesture of good will toward the Anglican Church, disbanded the Latin Church and asked us to join the Anglican Communion.

It is a hypothetical question, but what would you do.

I would move East.

The reason I asked tho original question is I’m told by someone working in the Orthodox/RC ecumenical field is the proposal is being discussed. I believe it has been suggested by Moscow.

That must be a Russian pipe-dream. No Orthodox bishop in his wildest dreams could consider that a realistic option.

^ ^ Hearsay. ∨∨

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