3 comments

  1. In my own estimation, it will be the rise of global Islam and the increasingly militant secularism of the west that forces reunion as opposed to anything theological or ecclesiological. The basic need to survive over reconciliation. It is not so much preserving or saving western civilization as it is self preservation.

  2. You raise good points here. While no one should blithely dismiss distinctions between Catholic West and Orthodox East, I have, nevertheless, always thought that the division was over emphasized. As you say, in a broader sense, both are part and parcel of “the West.” In the far eastern Orthodoxy of which I am most familiar—the Georgian church—one is struck by just how un-Byzantine and certainly how un-Russian it all is. And in the study of Georgian history, the word that comes up again and again is “chivalric,” hardly an Eastern concept. In their own self-image, they consider themselves part of the West (a bit incongruous given that a highway sign outside of Tbilisi gives the mileage to Tehran, but no matter.) The point being, of course, that Western thought did not stop at Croatia.
    So yes, given the internal and external threats facing the remnants of civilization today, I would think that Orthodox and Catholics ought to be huddled around the same campfires. And I will take your point one step further–out of the theological and into the realm of geopolitics. I am not as convinced as you of the decline of Russia, even given demographic trends and their moribund economy. They are a tenacious people. But considering the state of the world today, I am baffled by our continued insistence on seeing Russia as the eternal enemy. Just as Catholics and Orthodox should seek/pray for that “way ahead,” a clear-eyed assessment of things might also suggest that we have more in common with the Russians than we realize. A world where Russia is our adversary and Saudi Arabia is our friend is a world that has taken leave of its senses.

  3. Interestingly, to what – other than the filioque – could Orthodox strenuously object to in the Roman Catholic Mass, or Liturgy of the Hours? I mean, other than that Lord Voldemort of Innovation in the Creed, is there anything in western prayer life that are deal breakers?

    If no, then it would be a function of to what degree Roman Catholics must or actually believe that which is not publicly prayed. This variance is much, much smaller for Orthodox than for Roman Catholics – or maybe not. For what does the rule of prayer informing the rule of faith actually mean then?

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