VATICAN CITY, OCT. 6, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI sent a personal message to Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II saying that modern times call for a hastening of the journey toward Christian unity.
I believe a prayer is in order here…
Almighty Father, so long we have waited for the right time for you to fix what we have made a mess of. Pray that we have finally learned that a body with all her parts is a mighty instrument of your glory and restore to us our brothers and sisters that we might praise you with everlasting worship!
God Bless Pope Benedict the Sixteenth, Patriarch Alexy II, and all Christian leaders!
Heavenly Father, your Son prayed that we might all be one just as You and He are one with the Holy Spirit. Please bless us with your unifying grace so that we may receive the answer to this prayer that Jesus made while on Earth.
AMEN!!! I do!!!..and share this prayer to St. John Chrysostom:
*O great Hierarch John Chrysostom!
Thou hast received many and various gifts from the Lord, and, as a good and faithful servant, hast shown good increase of all the talants given to thee: for this cause thou wast truly a teacher of the universe, for every age and calling learneth from thee. Thou art a model of obedience for children, a luminary of chastity for the young, a teacher of industry to grown men, an instructor of forgiveness to the aged, a rule of abstinence for monastics, a leader inspired by God for those at prayer, an enlightener of the mind for those who seek wisdom, an inexhaustible source of the living Word for well-spoken orators, a star of mercy for the charitable, a model of wise rule for those in authority, an inspiration to boldness for those zealous in the truth, a teacher of patience for those persecuted for truth’s sake: thou art become all to all, so that in any way thou mightest save some. But above all these, thou hast sought after love, which is the bond of perfection, and by that as by Divine power thou hast united all these gifts into one in thyself; and the same love, which reconciles the divided, thou hast preached unto all the faithful in expounding the words of the Apostles.
As for us sinners, each having our own gifts, we lack the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace; we are vain, provoking one another, envying one another: therefore our divided gifts come not unto peace and salvation, but rather unto enmity and to our judgment. For this cause we fall down before thee, O hierarch of God, in the grip of dissensions, and in contrition of heart we ask: By thy prayers, drive away from our hearts all pride and envy that divide us, so that in many members there may be one churchly Body, and so that according to the word of thy Prayer we may love one another and in one accord confess the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Trinity One in Essence and Undivided: now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
Hail Mary, full of Grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Theotokos Virgin, rejoice, Mary full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, for you have borne the Saviour of our souls. Amin.
Why would the Orthodox Patriarch want union with a pack of heretics (which is what, AFAIA, the Orthodox think Catholics are) ? Hell will turn Arctic before they change what they believe about us. And why the hurry ? We’ve been spitting anathemas & similar venom at one another since 1472 at least, & that was “modern times” then: not that it made a blind bit of difference to either side then; so why the hurry now ? In 10,000 AD, Benedict the 585th will say exactly what his current predecessor is saying: because 10,000 AD will be very modern in 10,000; just every past time was modern in its own time. But mere chronology has no bearing on the worth of a theological position.
A rushed job is always a botched job - premature union, before all the substantive issues of all sorts are properly thrashed out, will only lead to papering over the cracks (canyons, rather) that separate the two bodies.
The Orthodox do not trust the Papacy as far as they can spit, & wheeling out Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev (as “Inside the Vatican” does all the time) as a trophy Orthodox bishop friendly to Rome, is no replacement for the hatred that plenty of the Orthodox feel for Rome. If all the Orthodox clergy turned pro-Papal overnight, that would mean nothing for the rest of the Church if they did not agree: has the Pope never heard of Mark of Ephesus & the rejection of the Union of Florence by the Orthodox faithful ? The “Union” of 1274 was no more durable. The truth is, Orthodoxy has no place or time for Rome, except as a penitent returning from Papal error. This is a recognisable Fundamentalist position, & it’s equally impenetrable.
It is no mistake that Orthodoxy in Russia resents the presence of RC bishops on “Holy Mother Russia”'s soil - the very fact that it does, proves ten time over that Orthodoxy cannot stand the Papacy. As for the Nazi invasion of Russia, don’t let’s imagine that has not been thought of as an RC assault on HMR.
RCs may have forgotten, or never known about, the attacks on Russia by Polish Catholics, with Papal support: it does not follow that because we have forgotten the “false Dimitri” (a Polish adventurer who passed himself off as the son of Ivan IV), the Russians are as conveniently forgetful. And they have a lot to say about Vatican I. As for Vatican II - that merely confirms their distrust of Rome (not that confirmation is needed !), because it proves, to their satisfaction, that Rome is quite prepared to vandalise its Liturgy in the interests of Papal tactics; & that is something they are most unlikely to tolerate - as the almighty & lethal row over the Liturgy in the 1660s proves.
Unless all these concerns, & others, are honestly addressed, & the suspicion that Rome is power-hungry & unscrupulous is faced by Rome & not shirked, there is not a hope in hell of corporate reunion. If Popes & ecumenists can’t face facts, they are living in a fantasy world. We aren’t united ourselves - so how can we possibly expect others to unite with us ?
As for prayer - forget it: no prayer can have any any effect in a situation like this. The situation is absolutely hopeless. This is not something the Pope can complain of, since his own predecessors helped to poison relations by their claims. He can hardly be unaware that the beatification of Pius IX sends its own message: that Rome, for all its pretty words, has not budged one inch from that Pope’s doctrine on what Rome now calls “other Christians”, including the Orthodox. The Balamand business merely proves to the Orthodox that Rome will unsay anything, no matter how much it claims to believe it, provided that it can lure the Orthodox into its embrace by doing so.
However sincere the Pope may be, the Orthodox do not trust us, & have every reason not to. It would be far more productive to make a nice big bonfire of those ecumenical papers & agreements & so on: at least the blaze would serve the purpose of keeping us warm. They have no use otherwise.
Apologies for length Sorry to “rain on the parade” - but we have to face facts, including the ones that make re-union an impossibility; no matter what their source.
I, as a recently reverterd Catholic who thought abiout Orthodoxy, desperately want to see the “two lungs of the Church” reunited. We need what I call “Apostolic Christianity” to unite as one entity to fight protestantism and secularism in our society. After that, we can prove to the world that the truly “one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church,” is truly the only way to know God. We can’t tell Muslims and Hindus that “we’re” right, when not even the “real” churches (ones with Apostolic Succsession) will admit that one another are right.
God bless the Pope. As I have said on this board before, the day when the Patriarch of Constantinople and/or a majority of the Orthodox enter into communion with Rome will be the day I show up at the door of the nearest Catholic/Orthodox church and ask to be received. Any justification (pretty slender as it is) that Protestantism has derives from the unfortunate division of East and West and will end with the end of that division.
I think you might be spending too much time on the internet. If you get to know the “real Orthodox” (as opposed to the image of them that’s presented on the internet), you’ll see that they are a lot like us: they want unity, but only unity based on truth.
BTW, nobody (regardless of whether you’re talking about Orthodox, Protestants, or Catholics) is saying to anybody else “We believe you’re in heresy; but that’s okay, you can enter into full communion with us while still continuing in your heresy.”
A huge group of Assyrians (an entire Diocese, if I remeber correctly) entered into communion with the Chaldean Catholic Church and became Chaldeans. There were 3,000 of them, I believe, complete with laity, Deacons, Presbyters and a Bishop. The Holy Spirit is certainly working for reunification.
We also have the pending TAC, which I try to pray for daily. I could also see the Syriac Orthodox entering into Communion with Rome, seeing has how they have a very strong Petrine theology.
It’s probably not going to happen in large amounts, but reunion is happening slowly. In the case with the Byzantine Orthodox, it will have to be one National Church at a time entering into union with the See of Rome. The same applies with the Oriental Orthodox as well.
Why wait, my brothers and sisters and remain outside of Apostolic Christianity? Why not enter into it now and continue to help to build the bridge?
Because there is also currently some movement between Lutherans and Rome as well and, save a dramatic turn of events, I am willing to see (and hopefully be a part of) how that plays out. I believe the HS is moving here, as well.
Besides, if protestants like Edwin and I who have positive feelings
(speaking in general terms, and not discounting current differences) about the Catholic Church converted individually, corporate unification would be less likely.
While I’ll admit that Gottle’s post is negative (and uncharactaristically so, as usually I really find his posts uplifting, positve and refreshing), I understand his point to be that human pride and sinfullness is so pervasive in this area that we make it difficult our prayers to be answered. And if history is any indication…
That said, I pray the HS to overcome our sinful pride.