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Featured 2054 project

Discussion in 'Denomination Specific Theology' started by bpd_stl, Mar 8, 2021.

  1. bpd_stl

    bpd_stl Member

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    I admit upfront that this is a fantasy of mine: but hear me out. 1054 AD is the "official" date of the formal schism between the Sees of Rome & Constantinople. However, the estrangement between East & West had been occurring long before that, certainly by the time of the rise of the Carolingians in the late 8th century.

    There is much we Catholics & Orthodox have in common, as well as a lot we have in differences. However, I think the commons outweigh the differences, which is why any slightest disagreement between us means so much. Also, it's just straight up politics & ego.

    Hypothetical Question: let's set the date of formal Reunion at 2054. What would have to happen on both sides to make this happen?
     
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  2. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    For the Orthodox to do it they would have to find their one Orthodox voice, which isn't working so well right now. There are several Orthodox bodies not in communion with each other over the situation in the Ukraine. And they tried for a synod a few years ago but it got boycotted by several Orthodox bodies. Right now Orthodoxy has a whole bunch of voices that aren't singing in harmony.

    For them to want to bother with us I think we would need to have another pope with the clarity of Benedict and of John Paul. I think we will have to weather the German schism first though. The Orthodox have a right to see us sure of what we believe. Right now, from the outside, it looks shaky. I wanted too say that Catholics would be ready to end the schism with the Orthodox at any time, but our harmony needs work too.

    I once held out hope that we could see a resolve in the lifetime of pope John Paul. Now I don't expect it in my lifetime. I honestly don't expect it by 2054 or even 2100. It is just straight up politics and ego. If it does happen at all it will be only due to a miracle. I guess that's worth praying for.
     
  3. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Without any question, the Papacy as it is understood in the West and as it operates in the RCC would have to go. That's why I would guess that the chances of the 2054 project succeeding are close to nil.

    At the same time, the fact that several of the Orthodox jurisdictions might not go along with a settlement, were there to be one, wouldn't pose an insurmountable problem since the great majority of Orthodox jurisdictions would no doubt stick together. The RCC lost the Old Catholics under similar circumstances, but their departure hardly mattered in the big picture.
     
  4. JSRG

    JSRG Active Member

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    The absolute biggest sticking point is the pope. (yes, there are other things, but all of those are secondary to that) Either the Catholics will have to renounce papal primacy, thereby going against at least a thousand years of their tradition and an ecumenical council that they deemed infallible, or the Orthodox will have to accept it, thereby going against at least a thousand years of their tradition.

    I don't think a compromise is possible on this point. Either one has to completely budge on this or the other has to completely budge on this. And even if that does somehow happen, we still wouldn't see true reconcilation because the group that budged would create an immediate schism within itself over it by those who disagree with the decision.

    So what would have to happen to make that happen by 2054? Most likely, we'd have to have the Second Coming occur.
     
  5. Ezana

    Ezana Ιησούς Χριστός Νικά

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    It's complicated, to say the least, but we're still in communion with each other. I suppose it depends on what your working definition of "communion" is, and which persons or bodies you're concerned with (just as the sense in which you used the term "schism" in relation to the German church might be different to how I would normally understand the word). Nevertheless, I sympathize with your response.

    Agreed. It's come to something of a stalemate; the Orthodox generally think the Catholics need to reform and renounce a few things before any serious chatter of reunion, and the Catholics generally think the Orthodox are ready for and worthy of reception, but are unwilling to be received. A tricky and most unfortunate situation. But truth must always prevail—even at the cost of fraternal communion. And that's where the real issues lie.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
  6. prodromos

    prodromos Senior Veteran Supporter

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    From Rome's point of view, all we Orthodox have to do is accept the Papacy and submit to the Pope. There is nothing otherwise lacking or invalid about our faith. So apart from that one thing, it seems from Rome's viewpoint we have almost nothing to change.
    From the Orthodox viewpoint, Rome would have to renounce all the dogmas regarding the pope's authority and jurisdiction within the Church, accept that the "filioque" is serious error and renounce it, and change the "Immaculate Conception" from dogma to theologoumenon.
     
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  7. Lawrence87

    Lawrence87 Member

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    To be frank and unashamed in my bias, Rome would have to give up her heresies. I don't see any other way the Orthodox Church would accept reunification
     
  8. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    All it would really take, given the immense power of the Pope, is one Pope who was willing to do what the Orthodox required. If a Pope were to recognize all Orthodox doctrinal expressions as valid and declare the Orthodox churches autocephalous in the same way the Roman church is, as opposed to being autonomous like the Sui Juris Eastern Catholic churches, I think that would do much of it. But I think the Orthodox, if a Pope were to offer to do that, would be well advised to push the Pope harder, to do more.

    Speaking of the Sui Juris Catholic Churches, the Melkite Patriarch proposed full communion with the Antiochians, which politely explained this was impossible, and the Chaldean Patriarch actually proposed, at the height of the ISIS genocides, a reunification or merger with the Assyrian Church of the East, which was not well received, to put it mildly, but attracted an angry rebuke from the entire Assyrian Holy Synod.*

    However, Metropolitan Kallistos Ware has quoted Winston Churchill regarding the process of EO-RC reunification, publically declaring that “We are not even at the beginning of the end, but we are at the end of the beginning.”**

    *Yes, I know, the Church of the East is not Eastern Orthodox, but the specifics of its relations with Rome are analogous to those of the Eastern Orthodox communion, and what happened paralleled the Antiochian-Melkite incident,
    ** Forgive me, I cannot recall exactly the famous oration of Winston Churchill in the House of Commons at the end of the Battle of Britain, but I do recall Metropolitan Kallistos quoted him exactly.
     
  9. bpd_stl

    bpd_stl Member

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    I largely agree, other than the "to do more" part...which is a bit vague. IMHO opinion, the single most important thing in my imaginary 2054 Project is for the reigning pope to fully recognize the autocephalous status of both the Orthodox & Eastern Catholic churches...seeing his Primacy as a visible symbol of Unity and one of fraternal Charity and to settle intractable disputes within these churches that need a 3rd party.
     
  10. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    The Pope would have to make it clear he was Primus Inter Pares, but even that position could scotch the deal, because of late His Eminence the Metropolitan of Bursa has been arguing that the Ecumenical Patriarch is Primus Sine Paribus with the power to create and dissolve autocephalous churches, which has been not well received by the other Orthodox Patriarchates, but the EP did flex their status a bit over the Church in the Czech Lands and Slovakia, which is supposed to be autocephalous, and I have heard rumors that the constitutional documents of the politically charged OCU have the effect of granting the EP that power, which would mean that in traditional EO ecclesiology the OCU is an autonomous church analogous to the Church of Finland under the EP, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, ROCOR and the Church of Japan, among others, under the Moscow Patriarchate, and the Church of Sinai under the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem (which I love mentioning as it is the very smallest autonomous church in Eastern Orthodoxy, consisting of St. Catharine’s Monastery, home to the richest known treasure of Byzantine icons and manuscripts in existence*, and little else).

    *There is also great splendor in Mount Athos, and I expect in some of the more obscure monasteries on Mount Athos and elsewhere, there are many wondrous icons and manuscripts the Orthodox don’t even know they have. For example, given the EP’s preoccupation with seizing control of Esphigmenou, it would be interesting to know what all is present; we do know the Nazis conducted an extensive survey with a view to plunder, but I expect the monks hid some objects from the survey team. Then one also wonders what might be in the monasteries of Meteora, and for that matter, if the Communists thoroughly looted the monasteries of Romania, Russia and other lands to suffer that tyranny, or if there is still valuable and unknown material therein.

    This takes us, admittedly on a footnote, to one of the things I meant by “To Do More,” but I shall list those separately.
     
  11. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    Specifically, what I think the Eastern Orthodox should ask of the Pope as a condition for reconciliation, would be broadly popular among many Roman Catholics, with a few exceptions:

    • A declaration that all Orthodox doctrine is correct and legitimate, including the doctrines of St. Gregory Palamas and St. Symeon the New (something already recognized in the Greek Catholic sui juris churches).
    • A protocol for the voluntary reunification of those sui juris churches like the Melkites which have expressed a desire for reunion with their Orthodox counterparts.
    • An absolute ban in all signatory churches on the ordination of persons not permitted under the Apostolic Canons, such as those who have comitted manslaughter or murder, those who have divorced and remarried, those who are sodomites, and with respect to the ranks of priest and bishop, those not of the male gender.
    • Likewise, an absolute ban on unrepentent homosexuals receiving the Eucharist, and an anathema against churches that profane the sacrament of marriage.
    • An anathema against churches that do not ban abortions and euthanasia not required to preserve the life of the mother, and against politicians who fail to oppose abortion and euthanasia.
    • A protocol for shared access to the facilities of the Vatican City State and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, in particular, areas under the extraterritorial jurisdiction of these entities, such as the chanceries of Papal Nunciatures, as these facilities could be used as emergency shelters for persecuted Christians.

    • A modification of the Novus Ordo Missae so that it would basically be the Tridentine Mass, but with the Eucharist in both kinds and the use of vernacular and Latin together, and a one year lectionary, along with strict enforcement of the directives of Pope Pius X concerning church music, so that it would more closely resemble the Orthodox Divine Liturgy. Also, to ensure comparable liturgical excellence, it would be good to promulgate new directives after the fashion of those promulgated by Pius X mandating a return to traditional church architecture in accord with the legacy of the Roman Rite and the other liturgical rites of the RCC, and to ban certain rather ungainly modern vestments.
    • The return of all relics, icons and manuscripts previously under the care of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Assyrian churches to the custody of their former caretakers; substantial progress has been made in this direction, but it would be fitting to see the return of more material, such as those relics of St. Mark still in Venice, and the relics of St. Nicholas of Myra, although appeals could be made by the Roman dioceses to the Orthodox church, or exemptions made in the treaties, wherein perhaps either some relics, such as the two mentioned above, might be shared, or alternatively the churches in which they are kept shared, for if the Greek and Coptic Orthodox Churches of Alexandria for example were granted equal access rights to the Basillica of St. Mark in Venice to those held by the Patriarchate of Venice, this might be preferable to all parties, given the security situation in Egypt. But where an Orthodox church desired the return of anything taken by the Venetians or other Roman Catholic powers presently in the possession of the Roman Catholic Church, its dioceses, and religious orders, and the Sui Juris churches in communion with it, those items would need to be returned.
     
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  12. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think the Catholic Church could and should agree to these. Most would be wildly popular among practicing Catholics.

    I have two caveats though. And some things Catholics should ask in return.

    First caveat is clarification about 'toll houses' should be required before accepting 'all' Orthodox doctrine. The Orthodox have had developments along the way and this particular one should be made clear.

    Second caveat is that accepting all Orthodox doctrine could not be a repudiation of Catholic doctrine. I think some Orthodox require of Catholics that we repudiate Catholic teaching and then go and get rebaptized Orthodox.

    Ask, require, that the Orthodox accept Catholic baptism. And to accept the historic position of all Christianity in not allowing contraception.

    And something both sides have to work on, and should do it together, is divorce, annulment, remarriage. It's a mess in practice as it is now. Both sides could benefit by making this cleaner.
     
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  13. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    This seems reasonable to me.

    Alas if only you were the Pope and I the Ecumenical Patriarch, we could get a deal done by sundown.
     
  14. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The problem is this could have been done by sundown for YEARS now, ever since Paul VI was pope. But it won't happen.
     
  15. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    Surely if we pray for it, God will make it happen, unless perhaps it is his will that some kind of temporary ecclesiological compartmentalization exist as a safety barrier against an unforseen future threat. Consider as a hypothetical - the Eastern Orthodox were not as well equipped to deal with Communism as the Roman church, because most Orthodox churches were being held hostage. Conversely, the Roman church is now under extreme, crushing pressure by the EU on the issue of human sexuality. Perhaps it is the destiny of the three major branches of Christianity to safeguard each other. Consider, if you will, the hugely positive impact the Counter Reformation had on the Roman Catholic Church.
     
  16. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Maybe on the last day.
    Your hypothetical is interesting. I do accept that in some way the Reformation was necessary, an opinion shared with pope Benedict XVI. But I can't think the varieties of doctrine can be seen as a proper price for such a safety barrier. To me it seems like too high a price in subjecting parts of the Church of Christ to falsehood. Diversity in liturgy and spirituality do make sense and enhance survival but I can't think different branches of Christianity teaching incompatible 'truths' makes sense.
     
  17. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    But you already had that. It wasn't the case that there was unity before Protestants came along. The Great Schism had separated the RCC and EO, and both had been separated from the Oriental Orthodox, the Church of the East, the Armenian Church, and others even earlier. That was long before the Reformation.

    And while these may have had more in common with each other than they did with the extreme wing of the Reformation, there was still disunity and substantial doctrinal disagreement, mainly because of doctrinal innovations made over the years by the RCC.
     
  18. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    Actually by the time of the Protestant Reformation, the short lived schism between the Armenian and Syriac Orthodox churches had been resolved.

    Also, I am aware of no legitimate Christian denominations which predated the fifth century. Every schism before the Nestorian-Chalcedonian controversy involved a sect which was heretical to the point where on CF.com we could probably call them non Christian, and none of those heresies survived (the last Paulician Gnostics converted no later than the 19th century). Well, its possible Manichaenism still exists, because there are Manichaean temples in China disguised as Buddhist temples, although Mani was also heavily marketing to Buddhists and Pagans (consider the names he gave his three apostles: Thomas, whom he sent to Syria, Hermes, whom he sent to Egypt, and Buddha, whom he sent to India). So perhaps there is a secret Manichaean priesthood, although I really doubt it. Perhaps the ethnic Paulicians preserve as folklore some of their ancient rites, but I having looked into this have hit a brick wall...
     
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  19. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Yes, but I was replying to what 'chevyontheriver' chose as his point of contention.

    He seemed to be saying that the Reformation was wrong because heresy was involved and the unity of the church which he supposes existed prior to the Reformation was something that outweighed whatever reasonable contributions the Reformers made. I think I countered both of those and I also have the feeling that you've actually agreed by adding the additional, and welcome, information you did. (?)
     
  20. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You 'seem' to understand much more than I wrote or even intended, though I suspect you think you know what I intended.

    I was actually thinking of the vast diversity of theological doctrinal opinion WITHIN Protestantism, from one extreme to the other on a whole host of spectra. How that can be a good thing or God willed. I wrote "I can't think different branches of Christianity teaching incompatible 'truths' makes sense." I guess you think it does. I just don't see how. I did not say the Reformation was wrong because heresy was involved. You read that in yourself. I said that varieties of doctrine do not make sense as God willed. If you think they do, fine.
     
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