To our beloved, Orthodox brethren...

Would it be impossible for Catholics and Orthodox to hold an Ecumenical council and sort out our problems?

Is there a problem to be sorted out?

Already there are groups working together towards better understanding and consideration, e.g. The Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue, which has come to several agreements, in particular, the Balamand Agreement.

It seems from what I’ve found that for the most part the Orthodox reaction to the Balamand Agreement is not a good one. Can anyone shed any light on that?

Please don’t take this the wrong way. I love you and I love Catholics. I especially loved Pope John Paul II.

Dialogue is pointless. We believe we have preserved the Apostolic Faith and Catholics believe they have preserved it. The only way to union is for one side to admit they are in error and have been in error for centuries. According to our own belief systems that is impossible as we each see ourselves as the true Church of Christ.

Sorry but that’s just the way it is. :twocents:

Yours in Christ

If we could hold an Ecumenical Council with the Arians and other heretics, why couldn’t we hold one now to finally decide what the Truth is? Pride? It would be a sin to let the mystical Body of Christ stay divided simply because of pride.

True, a lot of Orthodox do not like it. However, I think that nonetheless it does help members on either side obtain a better understanding of the other. Dialogue at least helps prevent additional degrees of separation.

Very good point.

Personally I think the Catholic Church could do worse than bring the Orthodox liturgy into it’s churchs. As some once said of the Orthodox liturgy, they couldnt quite work out if they were still on earth or in heaven. (or words to that effect).

And what would be the result of said Council? The Catholic bishops would vote for Catholicism, the Orthodox bishops, for Orthodoxy.

If we could hold an Ecumenical Council with the Arians and other heretics, why couldn’t we hold one now to finally decide what the Truth is?

But the Arians and other heretics left PRECISELY because they would not accept the teaching of the Councils.

The result would be the Truth revealed, in line with the teachings with the Fathers. If one side is in discontinuity with the faith of the Apostles, the most appropriate forum to discuss and remedy it would be an Ecumenical Council.

Well honestly we might possibly (that’s a really big might) come to an understanding on purgatory and the Immaculate Conception if the Catholic Church would agree to not call them dogmas. I think the filioque could be sorted out in one day. The jurisdiction of the Pope is negotiable just like the jurisdiction of any bishop. A council could grant the Pope certain prerogatives. The one issue that I know there could never be any compromise on is Papal Infallibility. I just don’t see any way around that one.

Yours in Christ

That’s the thing. You don’t just “call an ecumenical council.” That’s never happened in the history of the undivided Church. It’s deemed ecumenical after the fact and when it affects the whole Church. At least, that is the Orthodox view.

In Christ,

Would you mind briefly stating the differences for me because I don’t know. What is it that the Orthodox Church preserved that the Catholic Church changed?


Yes, it seems to me that would be the big sticker. Sometimes it seems like it would have been a much better idea to hold back on the infallibility thing, which has managed to drive an almost insurmountable wedge between the Catholics and the OC, and also the Catholics and Protestants. It seems to be the number one reason people who are otherwise amenable to Catholicism stay away, and it’s just so recent. It hardly seems necessary.

I don’t see that liturgy, which a pp mentioned, would be a huge deal from a Catholic perspective, after all some of the Eastern Catholic Churches have liturgy very close to the Orthodox. But I’m not sure the Orthodox could handle the modern Catholic liturgy easily.

The Balamaand Agreement is heretical. It is also a slap in the face to the Eastern Catholic Churches, who were not allowed to participate in it. (No Eastern Catholic was present) An “agreement” that prevents missionaries to take Catholic sacraments to people is utterly invalid.

If the Vatican would just make Cardinal Husar a Patriarch, give the Russian Catholics of the Eastern Rite in Russia their own bishop, and stop prohibiting the Eastern Churches in the USA from having married clergy there would be conversions in droves to the Catholic Church.

We need ecumenism in the style of Blessed Leonid Feodorov, not Balamaand Compromises!

wait, the Eastern Catholic churches in the USA don’t have married priests?

I had the understanding that Russia only recognizes 4 traditional religions “Orthodox, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism”, and that for most part Catholics (of any rite) are repressed in Russia, so do you really think the Vatican is to blame?

Are you sure all of the Orthodox bishops are this strident? If so, what is the point of all the conferences between Orthodox and Catholic bishops?

Actually, it has been tried twice before. Both times the Orthodox wound up renouncing everything they had agreed to.

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