I’m usually pretty good at answering questions people have about the faith, but today I got one that stumped me. A Catholic friend of mine who is considering becoming Orthodox asked me if it counts as a doctrinal difference that Orthodox people think the priest confers the Sacrament of Matrimony, while we Catholics think the priest just witnesses the couple while they confer the sacrament on themselves. (He also insisted that this difference is a “sticking point” which blocks our churches from reuniting, but I doubt that because I’ve never heard an Orthodox person even bring it up, let alone make it a sticking point.) I told him I don’t think it is a doctrinal difference because our Eastern churches confer marriages the same way the Orthodox do, but I agreed with him that, at least on the surface, the question of who has the “power” to confer a sacrament Sounds like a doctrinal difference. Does this have something to do with delegation of powers? How is it that ordinary lay people have a power in the Western church which they plain-and-simple do not have in the Eastern church? (Or is that a mistake in my understanding?) Is that a doctrinal difference? Am I missing something?