Is Orthodox Christianity seen as a place where the Catholic & Protestant Churches could possibly reunite?

Orthodox Christianity has so much in common with Protestants and with Catholics. Is Orthodoxy seen as a middle ground?

Catholic Churches hold in common with Orthodoxy things like the Holy Eucharist, Liturgical worship and Honor of Mary the Mother of God.

Protestant Churches hold in common with Orthodoxy things like Christ’s resurrection-focused, the sole head of the Church is Christ and daily Bible reading and study.

Could Orthodox Christianity be a unifying factor for the Catholic and Orthodox Churches? Or is it seen as an obstacle?

Considering the rise of the Islamic State and other forces attacking Christianity, it’d be good thing for all the various sects, branches and denominations of Christianity to come together and unite. Not to mention its what Jesus prayed for.

I’m pretty sure that neither the Orthodox nor the Catholic Church is interested in finding “middle ground”. In my opinion there is very little separating us, but what does separate us, basically the supremacy of the Chair of Peter, is a big enough issue, apparently, that I don’t see unity happening any time soon. :frowning:
We should all be interested in finding truth and finding unity in that truth.

And we should be working together in many areas of common ground.

The Orthodox resources on the Internet are some of the best. I am a nonposting member of a website of Orthodoxy through patristic, monastic and liturgical study. One of the seven main forum sections is called Monasticism. The resources are very helpful to me.


As one who came from Protestantism, I viewed Anglicanism or Lutheranism as a middle ground.

I viewed orthodoxy as Catholicism without the Pope.

I know many Protestants convert to Orthodoxy when they feel called to liturgical worship and the Eucharist but don’t accept the authority of Rome, but an equal amount, or perhaps more convert to Catholicism because of the authority issue.

The best thing orthodoxy and Catholicism could do for Protestants is unite.

I am sure the church would be open to the orthodox rite, and the Lutheran rite, and the Methodist rite, etc…

It’s just these rites would need to become catholic in dogma and practice while maintaining some aspects of their culture.

I’ve always shied away from participating in any orthodox services because most orthodox churches are based in Eastern European culture and language. Are there any orthodox churches which use English?

I imagine the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) would.


We would have to reunite Orthodox and Catholics first.

That probably isn’t happening before all of us currently alive are in Purgatory (whether or not we believed in it :))


Most Orthodox parishes in the US use English at least in part. Quite a few use it almost exclusively.

I don’t know why the Roman Catholics decided to split from the Orthodox Church in 1054 and excommunicate Patriarch Michael Cerularius. It seems like it would have been more charitable if the Roman Catholic legate, Humbertus, had spoken with Michael Cerularius privately and in a spirit of good will tried to work things out. But instead, the Roman Catholic Humbertus barged in the Hagia Sophia in the middle of Divine Liturgy and excommuncated the Orthodox leader. However, the fact is that there were several Patriarchs of the Catholic Church at that time in 1054. And all of them, except for the Patriarch of Rome, remained in communion with the other. Why did the Patriarch of Rome, decide to break off from the other Patriarchs instead of working together with them in a spirit of Christian charity?

In the United States the Orthodox Churches’Liturgy is either exclusively in English or at the very least partially or in some cases the entire liturgy, including homily, is done in two or more languages. At a Greek Orthodox Church near me the Lord’s Prayer is prayed in 10+ languages to represent all the different cultural backgrounds of those in attendance at that parish on any given Sunday.

No I don’t know where you got that impression. Orthodoxy is very much traditionalist church similar to other eastern churches. They are into saints, icons, relics, hierarchy so they are very different from evangelicals and Pentecostals and they are way to conservative for the liberal protestants. If your reading into the Russian orthodox courting the anglicans that was mainly a political move which even they had to abandon now.

I don’t think they can be a unifying force either because they don’t speak with one voice for one. They are self governing churches biased mainly on ethnicity/country and very independent of one another. Maybe one member of the communion could try but the branches can’t even all agree on the patriarch of Constantinople being the spiritual leader let alone some huge ecumenical work

He was dead when Humbert did his thing, for starters.

That’s not really accurate. No one disputes that Constantinople occupies the first place. And all of the Churches participate in ecumenical dialogue.

There is a pretty heated debate between the patriarch of Moscow and Constantinople’s over what first place really means. Even in that case there is conflict. If the ecumenical patriarch actually had any power could you imagine the friction it would cause. They are pretty much separate churches in a lot of ways.

All of the Churches are fully independent and self headed. There is no “leader” in the sense of the pope. But I don’t think the differences between Moscow and Constantinople are as large as some think.

They are independent which is why I think giving the orthodox one voice which the poster seemed to make the case for isn’t accurate.

If there is a consensus the Ecumenical Patriarch would speak for the Church.

And why then did not the next Pope, Victor II, who reigned from 1055 to 1057 rescind the excommunication of Cerularius? The excommunication of Humbertus stood, and Patriarch Michael Cerularius and the other Patriarchs, except for Pope Victor II, remained in communion. Why did not Pope Victor II try to charitably and kindly heal this horrible division which was caused in 1054 when the Roman papal legate Humbertus placed the bull of excommunication at the altar of the Hagia Sophia? And what about the next few Popes, such as Stephen X or Nicholas II? Why didn’t they lift the excommunication or proclaim it null and void?In fact, wasn’t it Cardinal Frederick of Lorraine who later became Pope Stephen who accompanied Humbertus to Constantinople in 1054?

"I don’t think they can be a unifying force either because they don’t speak with one voice for one. They are self governing churches biased mainly on ethnicity/country and very independent of one another. Maybe one member of the communion could try but the branches can’t even all agree on the patriarch of Constantinople being the spiritual leader let alone some huge ecumenical work-sorry, I messed up the quote a bit

I think the Orthodox do speak in one voice albeit differently than the Catholic Church does. The relationship between the hierarchy and the laity are different in both traditions. While the Magisterium speaks with one voice, the laity seems to speak with another. Catholics in America seem to hold to beliefs that contradict Church teaching (homosexuality, contraceptives to name a few). They tend to adopt the spirit of modernity with its emphasis on freedom of thought unfettered by ancient traditions. In my fallible opinion, I think this is caused by how easy it is to become a member of the Catholic Church. Once you complete RCIA, you’re in.

 In the Orthodox Church, what the clergy and laity believe are for the most part the same. Again, I think this has much to do with the process of joining the Orthodox Church which is harder and less structured than in the Roman Catholic Church. There is a long discerning process one has to go through even before becoming a catechumen. Then, you must wait for enlightenment, an encounter of sorts with the Truth that removes all doubt. Until you reach this point, I don't think a Priest would let you join (correct me if I am wrong Seraphim). My point being, no one can get into the Orthodox Church unless one believes everything it teaches to be true. 

I think you will find this podcast by Father Thomas Hopko on the state of American Orthodoxy enlightening. He contrasts the unity of the Catholic Church with the unity of the Orthodox Church.

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