Is there a real chance of communion between the Catholic Church and the orthodox?

I mean, is it possible that, having their cultural and liturgical practices respected as Eastern Catholics have, the orthodox accepts Papal authority and everything else and return to communion with the Catholic Church? Is something that we can reasonably hope?

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I think it’s reasonable to hope that the Eastern Orthodox will eventually be in full communion with Rome. I would say the Oriental Orthodox are likely to enter full communion before the Eastern Orthodox though.

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The Orthodox look at it differently. According to their view the Roman Catholic Church should return to the Eastern Orthodox Church and not the other way around. This is explained in a letter to Pope Francis by the Orthodox Metropolitan Seraphim.
http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/epistle-to-pope-francis.pdf

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No. I don’t hold out hope for the Eastern Orthodox, at least within our lifetime. It’s not doctrine; heck, it’s not even the primacy of the Pope. I believe those are obstacles that can be overcome with openness and charity.

Unification will not occur because of bad attitudes and long memories on the part of the Orthodox. I speak especially of the Russians. Yes, the Latins have committed atrocities against them, for which we have admitted our sins and apologized. It is they who continue to harbor resentment. All that stuff about the filioque and even Papal supremacy is all a smokescreen. They’re really sore about 1204 and have not let us forget it.

I believe we are closer to reunion with the Oriental Orthodox.

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As I said. Bad attitudes. They simply don’t like us, and that is a major wrench. Everything else, including this letter, is a smokescreen.

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I know a lot of people don’t have a very high opinion of Pope Francis, but the one thing that does give me hope, is the fact that he has a background dealing with Ukrainian Greek Catholics, so he’s already largely familiar with Orthodox spirituality.

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If he succeeds in reunifying with the Eastern Orthodox (i.e. Constantinople), I will forget everything from Amoris Laetitia to the Pachamama fiasco and clamor for his canonization. If he succeeds in reunifying us with the Russians, I will further clamor to have him declared a Doctor of the Church and Equal-to-the-Apostles.

However, call me cynical. Not gonna happen. While he or I draw breath, there will be no reunion with the Eastern Orthodox. Too much bad blood. However, I still hold out the hope that I will live to see the Oriental Orthodox reunified. Even that would be a major win for all churches concerned.

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I guarantee that the Orthodox won’t forget about AL, the idolatry, blasphemy etc during the Amazon Synod etc. Humanly speaking, if there was any chance of reunion, the Amazon Synod killed it imo.

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Yes, there is. Some long ago returned to communion. One of the greatest pastoral challenges facing the Church is dialog with our ancient brothers int he faith.

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We’re more than just the “Roman Catholic” Church, and while the Orthodox are free to desire what they want, the Catholic Church can do nothing but hold to the truth. We cannot “return to the Orthodox” because it is not we who separated ourselves from them, anyways.

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That is the attitude of the Roman Catholics which is not particularly helpful for any chance of reunion. Who was it that excommunicated whom in 1054? And what were some of the reasons for the excommunication? One reason was that the Greek Church had allowed married priests. Do you really think that this was an appropriate issue for Rome to have excommunicated Michael Cerularius and all of his followers in 1054? After all, wasn’t St. Peter married? According to the Orthodox POV, this is where Rome separated itself from the Orthodox Church, not the other way around.

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No, re-union is nowhere in sight. I think it would pay Catholics do some reading about the Orthodox position. This would help one realise, inter alia, that there is no comparable central authority in Orthodoxy to the pope. The eastern Orthodox are sixteen independent churches; therefore, any agreement has to be met with these different churches, not with a single Orthodox entity.

It also seems to me that many Catholics believe that there are only two obstacles to re-union between the Catholic and Orthodox communions, viz. the papacy and the filioque. There are far more differences between our communions.

In addition, Catholics take the stance that the Eastern Orthodox should return to the Catholic Church. Well, the Eastern Orthodox view the situation from the alternative perspective. Catholics should return to Orthodoxy.

Not only can the Catholic and Orthodox communions not agree on many points of theology, there are also internal disagreements between the Orthodox churches. These are primarily political in nature rather than any deep theological differences.

Do not anticipate any re-union between the East and West because if it ever happens it is a very long way off.

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I think that it is possible. In our lifetime, not likely, but there has been a lot of progress between the two Churches. Read the Ravenna, Balamand and the Chieti documents. Most Orthodox theologians that work with dialogue between the two churches primary concern is immediate and universal jurisdiction over the whole Church. Again, the Chieti document is a great start to further dialogue on this issue.

It takes two to tango. Look at St Pope John Paul’s Ut Unum Sint. If both the Orthodox and Catholic Churches are true Churches (yes, the Catholic Church recognizes the Orthodox as true particular Churches with the sacraments, read Unitatis Redintegratio) one doesn’t need to return to anything. I’ll borrow one of @dochawk analogies, the issue between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches is a family spat. If two siblings have not spoke with one another for years or even a generation, they do not cease to be part of the same family.

ZP

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Well, the Catholic Church is more for a father than a sibling, since it has the primacy.

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However, we are “sister Churches.” This is the term used in John XXIII’s letter to Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople. The term was also used by St Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras in 1965, when both represented their sees. Vatican II also uses the term “sister Churches” to describe the relationship between particular Churches. Here is an excerpt from the Note on the Expression “Sister Churches” put out by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith:

“in the East there flourish many particular local Churches; among them the patriarchal Churches hold first place, and of these, many glory in taking their origins from the apostles themselves. Therefore, there prevailed and still prevails among Eastern Christians an eager desire to perpetuate in a communion of faith and charity those family ties which ought to exist between local Churches, as between sisters.”

The See of Rome, a particular Church. The See of Constantinople, a particular Church. According to Popes of the last 50 years, Vatican II and the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, Rome and Constantinople are “sister Churches” not “father and daughter Churches.”

ZP

And, the Catholic Church left behind “regional authority,” what Metropolitan Ware calls a 2nd level/tier of authority within the church. So both East and West have local authority (eg, bishop), but the Orthodox have regional authorities (eg, patriarch) that Catholics do not have. And then, only Catholics have a universal authority (pope).

Also, primacy of the pope will likely never be recognized by the Orthodox in a juridical manner. If they could ever see the pope as having primacy, it seems this would only be in pastorship—pastoral primacy. I think that’s really all we could hope for—viewing the pope as the “servant of the servants of God.”

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So what is the justification for the supremacy of the Pope with we are all just brothers? It just does not make sense…

I agree. Hopefully the Chieti document will be a good springboard into future talks.

ZP

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That’s a good document! The history of the church in the first millennium is “decisive” and a “necessary reference point” for the Catholic and Orthodox churches today. Good, strong language used…

I want to say yes, but realistically the answer is no.

Which is a shame because RCs and EOs are so close.

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