Thursday, May 20, 2010

Catholic and Russian Orthodox Moving Closer

The relations between the Russian Orthodox and the Catholic Churches have been growing closer in recent years, primarily since the election of Pope Benedict XVI. The Vatican is having a day of celebration for Russian spirituality and culture this week. The Vatican will also be publishing a book by the Patriarch of Moscow Krill, titled Liberty and Responsibility in the Search of Harmony. The dialog has gone positively in both directions. In 2009 one of Pope Benedict's books was welcomed in Russia by the Orthodox Patriarch. The unity between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches is certainly important for evangelizing the torn Protestant world struggling to survive in its doctrinal uncertainty. 

While as we know, the Catholic Church is the true Church founded on Christ, the Orthodox can be considered Churches in the truest sense, separated by a few doctrinal differences, and in my opinion a host of exaggerated perceived differences. Yet their priesthood and apostolic succession has remained in tact with the validity of their Sacraments including the Eucharist, which in my opinion has been the reason why they remain as close to Catholic unity as they have. The Eucharist and the Sacraments have been the ultimate difference between their doctrinal uniformity and the Protestant deluge of doctrinal upheaval experienced since the pretended "Reformation"  which has now produced the likes of homosexual "bishops", women "priests", their love affair with artificial contraception, the invention of many doctrinal forms of Justification and Sanctification, the many opinions of what Baptism really is, etc. This has all come about by the selfish abuse of the Sacred Scriptures. 

Recently there have been others signs of dialog between Moscow and Rome when Metropolitan Filaret met Cardinal Severeino in Turin, Italy when they both visited the Shroud of Turin. In 2009 the Pope met the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos and the Pope met Patriarch Bartholomew in 2006. It is my hope that there will come about some great theological discussions in the future between the two. As the two grow closer it will undoubtedly cause many Protestants to gravitate towards the true Church where one can find doctrinal certitude concerning Divine Revelation. When one starts to actually study the history of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches in any depth and realizes the historic certainty of the priesthood, apostolic succession and the Real Presence of the Holy Eucharist, an honest person seeking the Truth could never remain a Protestant. Let us pray for the unity of the Church.

1 comment:

scotju said...

I'll pray for the reunion of the EO with the Catholic Church. We have the same faith, the same basic liturgy, the same God, and the same enemies. May the day of reunion come soon!