Taking a posting break from humour (I told you this wasn’t the funniest blog), several have written me to trumpet the following piece. I’m all in favor of Orthodox and Catholic joint efforts — working together — toward the Kingdom, and I generally find our relations in the blogosphere a great blessing. Yet, forgive the paraphrase, as things now stand (I mean what has changed?), you cannot call the Church your Mother … while acknowledging two Papas.
Orthodox leader suggests “dual unity” for Eastern Catholics
Constantinople, Jun. 19, 2008 (CWNews.com) – The Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople has responded favorably to a suggestion by the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church for a system of “dual unity” in which Byzantine Catholic churches would be in full communion with both Constantinople and Rome.
Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople welcomed the proposal in an interview with the magazine Cyril and Methodius, the RISU news service reports. The acknowledged leader of the Orthodox world suggested that the “dual unity” approach would produce something akin to the situation of the Christian world in the 1st millennium, before the split between Rome and Constantinople.
Cardinal Lubomyr Husar of Kiev, the Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church– the largest of the Eastern Catholic churches– had offered the possibility that Byzantine Catholics might seek communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, without giving up their communion with the Holy See. Patriarch Bartholomew expressed distinct interest in the idea, saying that “the mother Church in Constantinople holds the doors open for the return of all her former sons and daughters.”
Patriarch Bartholomew acknowledged that a restoration of unity would require study, and important differences would have to be overcome. However, he observed that major steps have already been taken to resolve disagreements– most importantly the revocation of the mutual decrees of excommunication issued by Rome and Constantinople against each other in 1054.
While Catholic and Orthodox theologians continue their efforts to reach agreement on doctrinal questions, Patriarch Bartholomew said, “the people at the grass roots have to come together again.” He pointed to the “dual unity” idea as a possible step toward practical unity.
If you wish, here’s the rest.