[POLL] Would you rather (1) Orthodox Constantinople (only) OR (2) ALL Lutheran denominations re-unite with the Catholic Church?


#1

Just a fun thought experiment.

IF you were alive for the day, which would you rather see, and why? What do you think the significance would be? Either the Orthodox Church headed by Constantinople (so NOT necessarily other autocephalous Orthodox churches; i.e., Eastern Orthodoxy would still exist) OR ALL*major Lutheran denominations? Why?

*NOTE: This question isn’t meant to imply that the other group would never re-unite with Catholicism. Rather, which would you rather see first – even in your lifetime?

  • Constantinople (Ecumenical Patriarch and his individual church)
  • ALL major Lutheran bodies

0 voters


#2

I vote the East.

When I was investigating Catholicism as a potential convert the Great Schism was a huge source of scandal for me. Indeed, I probably would’ve been baptized a couple years earlier than I had if I didn’t have to spend that time trying to figure out which communion teaches the correct things about the Pope. To be frank, I’m still not 100% convinced of the Catholic Church’s teachings, but I eventually took them on as a matter of faith. I can’t imagine that I’m alone in this, so I’d expect a unification of the two communions to be monumental in effecting conversions.


#3

This answer makes sense, but remember that I nuanced it by specifically referring to Constantinople. All other autocephalous churches may still maintain their Eastern Orthodox faith.

Still, Constantinople would be significant in itself.

I only nuanced it because, I think if I said ALL of the Orthodox communion, the choice would be much easier (at least for me).

Plus, it’s hard to think ALL Orthodox would enter into communion at the same time with Rome.


#4

On the other hand, what would it mean to all protestantism if the “original reformers” were reunited with the Church?


#5

Yes, this is what I was focussing on. The historical schism was between the Patriarch of Rome and the Patriarch of Constantinople, and it was that historically headache that specifically caused me so much angst! If that schism specifically was healed it would be monumental, no matter what Moscow, who’s not much more than piggybacking off the original schism, says or does.


#6

2dgp79


#7

True, especially considering, as a schism between Rome and Constantinople, it was only afterwards, through various factors, that other Eastern sectors maintained communion with C and not R.


#8

Aye, because that doesn’t make a fun topic of conversation.


#9

Well,

  1. In the scope of this question as posed by the OP, only Lutheran bodies were mentioned, not all the original reformers.

  2. Given the very nature of Protestantism I’m skeptical that would even be possible. The Lutheran bodies are not in communion with each other. Neither are all the Methodists with each other, or the Reform Churches with each other. It’s true that “Orthodoxy” isn’t as neatly in communion with one another as, say, the Catholic churches are, but I find Orthodoxy to be in more close communion, more explicit communion with one another due to the shared ecclesiology of Catholicism and Orthodoxy. Protestantism is just too independent to have any kind of meaningful “communion”.

  3. You’re probably not going to like this, but I’m Catholic and I share the traditional Catholic teaching about protestantism: it’s a heresy not a schism. Protestants repudiating protestant heresy and joining the Catholic Church is great, but what I sort of expect. Schismatic churches coming back is far more profound to me. I appreciate that my opinion on this will likely be seen as “triumphalist”, and it probably is, but it’s how I genuinely feel.


#10

You’re right. It is a bit different. With Lutherans, it would be better to think of it as groups of individual Lutherans coming back to the Faith, whereas with Orthodox, you’re dealing with real churches that have jurisdiction, and so on.


#11

I’d also be open to revising my opinion with regards to Anglicanism and perhaps Scandinavian Lutheranism (like you said, solid churches with a real sense of episcopal jurisdiction).


#12

Ah, but does this spin the question differently? If Constantinople didn’t enter into communion with Rome, they’d still have access to the sacramental mysteries, especially the Eucharist, as well as the thrust of apostolic teaching.

But if Lutherans did, that would mean a great chunk of Christians previously without access to sacramental mysteries, especially the Eucharist, would get to enjoy a fullness of the means to sanctification.*

*From the Catholic perspective, of course.


#13

I meant that as, Luther was the catalyst for the Reformation, so what would it mean for protestantism as a whole if Luther’s “progeny” were to abandon the ideas that made them leave in the first place?


#14

True, it might be a wake-up call to at least the more informed Protestant Christians.

Most Christians in the West, besides Catholics, may not appreciate the significance of an Orthodox-Catholic re-union.


#15

I went with Lutheran because of the lack of access to sacraments and the potential impact the return of Lutherans would have on the other Protestant denominations.

I want the East to return as well, but they at least have valid sacraments and apostolic succession.


#16

These are both good points!


#17

If I were to choose one, I would choose Constantinople. Because that has the potential of eventually bringing a large percentage of the East into communion with Rome.

Bringing the all of the major Lutheran denominations into communion with the Catholic Church is an impossibility due to female priests and bishops. If unification with Lutheran Churches happened, there would be a schism with the Lutherans right away, as all proponents of female ordination would split to create their own Church.

God bless.


#18

I look forward to the day when all Eastern and Western Churches can be one again.

However, I think I will say Lutherans, as it would seem to go a long way to healing the divisions in western Christianity… Clean up our own house, so to speak.


#19

True. Unless the Catholic Church changed its teaching on women priests and bishops, there could not be union with Lutherans. However, IMHO, the differences between Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox are not insurmountable, given a strong willingness and desire to resolve them. However, given that the Melkite Catholic church attempted on July 22, 1996 to provide a path toward reunion with the Orthodox Church and given that the Roman Catholic Church firmly rejected this initiative, I don’t see the strong desire on the part of Roman Catholics which is necessary for reunion with the Eastern Orthodox Church.


#20

This is what occured to me also when I read your OP. While I would like to see the Schism reunited, at least the Orthodox have Apostolic succession and the Sacraments.

If Lutherans joined they would have access to these. Of course, they (or at least some) already feel that they have both those things already so they don’t see the need.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.