What is the main cause of the disunity throughout Christendom and can unity be achieved?

Do you think the main cause of disunity is,

a) Non–Catholic Christians who insist upon interpreting Scripture just as they please?
b) Catholics who presuppose that non–Catholics are to be scorned and derided?
c) Orthodox Christians who are opposed to everything in Western Christendom?
d) Ill–informed Protestants who misrepresent the Catholic Church and its teachings?
e) Poorly catechized Catholics who give a false impression of what the Catholic Church teaches?
f) Extra–biblical doctrines?
g) Christians who do their best to keep the arguments going?
h) Some other factor?

Assuming a desire for unity, what is the best strategy to adopt? Who should take the lead? Are “Agreed Statements” helpful or unhelpful? Are Catholics more likely to find unity with those who parted company with the Western Church as a result of the abuses that led to Reformation or should Catholics seek first to unite with Orthodox Christians?

Ecumenically,
Mick
:thumbsup:

Christ is risen!

I would have to say it’s a combination of all the above. I think the only way Protestantism will dissolve is by one of things two things (or a combination of them):
1.Drift into deep heresy to where it teaches blasphemous doctrines, e.g. Mormons and JWs.
2. convert to both Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

That’s my take on the issue. :smiley:

In Christ,
Andrew

Simply Sin keeps us in disunity.

How to come together? Simply…repenting of our sin. Examine yourself, what are you doing to bring Christianity back to unity.

But first, what is unity? That is the first question to answer. If you answer, everyone agreeing with me or my brand of Christianity…wrong answer.

Dcn Mark

Hi Dcn Mark,

Thanks for your comment. Quick question about the Anglican Church. Who appoints the Archbishop of Canterbury?

Cordially,
Mick
:thumbsup:

What keeps us separated? This is the work of the evil one and part of the divide and conquer strategy.

For unity, I have two points to offer. First, it is rare to find another person ready to hear the persuasive points you have to offer that favor your faith. Second, when that rare time appears, be ready, be prepared to make a good defense for your faith. These times are indeed rare and you have the make the best of them. Keep notes on these encounters if it helps to avoid repeating mistakes.

Until these opportunities comes along, keep learning the faith, growing in holiness, and strengthen your brothers and sisters in the faith.

I read somewhere that there were 3 theologists discussing this.One stated He thought the main problem was a lack of Knowledge,the second responded He thought the problem was a lack of Charity and Empathy,they looked at the third theologine he just said "I don’t know and I don’t care.:smiley: I live in SE.Ky,Not a lot of Catholics.I live among mostly Baptist,Pentecostals of various kinds,Holiness and even some snake handlers thown in for good measureMost of these people are good people but have been told by their ministers that Catholic worship Mary,Pray to statues,do not worship God the Father or Jesus,that the Catholic Church(to put it the way they do)was in cahoots with the Nazis.They believe Holy Communion is not the Real Presence,some believe Baptisim is just a sign.They believe Catholics party on fridays and confess on saturday(this is true of some who don’t have an intimate relationship with our Lord).Its popular for Protestants today to say Doctrine is not that important,Religion is something you don’t need etc.I honestly don’t know what the answer is except that I need to live my faith 24/7 as best I can.Rocky

what is unity?

Following Christ

The pope takes the lead by default. No other voice is loud enough.

Are “Agreed Statements” helpful or unhelpful?

helpful.

Are Catholics more likely to find unity with those who parted company with the Western Church as a result of the abuses that led to Reformation

Nope. Most Protestant teaching, or lack of it regarding moral issues (especially about contraception, abortion, and marriage) cannot look back now.

or should Catholics seek first to unite with Orthodox Christians?

I don’t think that the Catholic Church will prioritize Orthodox ahead of Protestants. It just wouldn’t be very pastoral. I do think unification with the Orthodox stands a better chance since . . . . well, you know.

Your question

what is unity?

can’t be answered until we answer the question “what is sin?”

I have met several people who give me this vibe (and it does trouble me greatly), but I can’t say that most non-Catholics I’ve met give me this impression. Some of my Protestant (e.g. Mennonite and Lutheran) friends seem to be aware of the importance of communal, doctrinal unity – and they do adhere strongly to the faith articles of their communion – while others (the more non-denominational kind) seem to give little thought to the doctrinal unity of Christendom at all.

Personally, I think this is a step down, not up. Christians should face up to the reality of doctrinal disunity in Christianity and actually engage in testing and discussing these tough issues with integrity, honesty, humility, and prayer: the problem isn’t going to disappear if we just throw up our hands and say “Oh, bother with all this doctrinal disagreement! What’s really important is spreading Christ’s message!” It is only a cop-out disguised in false ecumenism which both liberal Catholics and Protestants are guilty of peddling. The Church of the New Testament didn’t operate this way and the neither should Christianity today.

b) Catholics who presuppose that non–Catholics are to be scorned and derided?

Among faithful Catholics, this especially annoys me. There are many, many Protestants who are just as un-formed as many badly-catechized cradle Catholics; these people aren’t all Martin Luthers and John Calvins. If you plan on winning converts, win them with apostolic Truth tempered with Love, not by shoving dogmatism and triumphalism in their faces.

c) Orthodox Christians who are opposed to everything in Western Christendom?

Unfortunately, I have not personally met any of my brethren of the Orthodox churches. I have read a few Orthodox authors in online sources, and I do sometimes get the East vs. West vibe, but I am not confident in my reading of them to say whether that is a major stumbling block.

d) Ill–informed Protestants who misrepresent the Catholic Church and its teachings?

I’d say this is a substantial problem, no less than the problem of some Catholics stereotyping Protestants as “Me, my Bi-bull, and the Holy Ghost!” ultra-individualists.

e) Poorly catechized Catholics who give a false impression of what the Catholic Church teaches?

When nominal Catholics aren’t serious about their own personal devotion and faith, this may give the impression that the Catholic Church teaches a salvation that comes just by going through the motions without any thought to the individual’s spiritual state. Thinking outside of this, my Protestant friends either ignored the doctrinal views that I adopted in my conversion and gave a generic “That’s awesome: go wherever God leads you” or they expressed honest contentions with them.

We should take great pains to avoid misinformation on all sides. Still, misinformation can only explain so much; I’d say down under all the clutter of misinformation surrounding many doctrines, there is a real and honest contention with each of these doctrines that needs to be addressed.

f) Extra–biblical doctrines?

By the time all Christian communions figure out and agree on exactly what these are, we will probably have achieved unity. :smiley:

Assuming a desire for unity, what is the best strategy to adopt? Who should take the lead? Are “Agreed Statements” helpful or unhelpful? Are Catholics more likely to find unity with those who parted company with the Western Church as a result of the abuses that led to Reformation or should Catholics seek first to unite with Orthodox Christians?

I think the Western Church has a decent shot at reunification with the Orthodox, the immediate successors of Luther, and the Anglican communion as long as charitable discussion and debate are pursued, always keeping in mind the goal of unity. I think there will be much greater difficulties in reuniting with the children of the Radical Reformation.

I see some truth in this. I think with the progression of the age, the mainline Protestants will continue to evolve in doctrine prompting many to convert to either Orthodoxy or Catholicism.

I do believe that if the Orthodox and the Catholics were to reunite, it would cause many other kinds of Christians to take pause. Even my Mormon mother confided in me that if such were to happen, she would seriously consider the possibility that the Holy Ghost was doing something very important.

(Bolding mine).

I understand that your point was to identify the problem with pure “it doesn’t matter” ecumenism, but the bolding I think is nonetheless very important.

We indeed face a world which is tumultuous to Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant alike which i do solemnly believe the basic message of the Gospel has the potential to remedy. I don’t believe we should completely ignore our doctrinal differences, but in some cases placing them on a temporary “back burner” or at the very least placing more emphasis on what we do share carries some significant weight.

Pro Life movement anyone? Imagine what would happen if every Christian present were to begin speaking of ecclesiology!?

With respect to true ecumenism, I think we must start with what we share in common and slowly build from that. We must not ignore doctrinal differences, but it is quite possibly best (in terms of optimization) to address those at a specific time, after the foundation is laid.

Using marriage counseling as an analogy: No competent counselor would start the very first session with “Please tell me what you don’t like about your spouse.”

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