A ‘Roman’ Catholic reaching out to my Eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters.
I am called by Christ to be a uniter of His flocks. In order to accomplish this, I must know and understand those who follow Him better…no walls can be torn down if we do not see where the walls are, from both sides. Can you and will you help me to better understand your faith? Where do YOU see us as united? What do you see that divides us? I am not a priest, or even a deacon, but ‘just’ a member and follower of Christ.
As I currently understand, (and I freely admit to having very little understanding) the Eastern Orthodox Church is united with the ‘Roman’ Catholic Church in a great many things that relate to salvation. Baptism, the Eucharist, Confession. I see very few divisions on these matters. Am I correct in operating under this assumption? I see a wonderful opportunity for unity around these and other things!
Again, from my limited understanding, the major stumbling blocks are the pope and individual infallibility, and therefore the hierarchy of the Church. I am aware of some slight differences in our approaches to Mary, but to my knowledge, it comes down to how those nuances are expressed in language more than practice.
Are there other stumbling blocks for uniting our faiths? What would it take for an Eastern Orthodox to want unity? Does Rome need to do or say something that would drive you to desire unity with us? (That is to say, if the Church of Roman Catholicism made a move towards our Eastern Orthodox Churches, what would you desire to be done or said). How can ‘we’ as lay members, promote unity together?
I thank you in advance for your advice. I have no Eastern Orthodox Church within 2 hours of my home, so it isn’t practical that I simply go and approach someone there…
I pray that we may each humble ourselves before Him, that we may act as One Flock under One Shepherd.
Peace in Christ