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Is Christian Unity possible? - AntoniusMaximus - 10-04-2010

By this, I mean is it possible for the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, and Roman Church to become unified once again under the Pope.  Or are the rifts so vast, that it is impossible for a wholesale reintegration?  I view the Protestantism as something that is dying (at least the mainline versions are, I reckon Cletus' Backyard Baptist Church may be around a little longer) so I don't consider them to be part of the equation.  While the sui juris model works well for the small Eastern Catholic communities, how could we incorporate the 100+ million Orthodox members into union that satisify all parties involved (concessions will have to be made to each party, but what is not on the table is the question)?

Re: Is Christian Unity possible? - Cetil - 10-04-2010

Right now I don't think it is possible. The dialogue though is encouraging but the progress is slow. Success may have to be measured in centuries, as the dialogue proceeds like a glacier.


Re: Is Christian Unity possible? - glgas - 10-05-2010

Jesus Christ prayed for it. His will is creative.

Re: Is Christian Unity possible? - SouthpawLink - 10-05-2010

I've read that there are 300 million Eastern Orthodox Christians. As far as unity is concerned, if we start from the standpoint of the Church being one, having one faith, and having the attribute of infallibility, then it should follow that the Eastern Orthodox Churches would be expected to accept the definitions of Rome since the schism. I could see it being permitted that they would be allowed to express doctrine in their particular manner, provided it does not contradict what has been defined by Rome at the ecumenical councils. Some doctrinal issues that I'm aware of are:

Orthodox consider grace to be uncreated energies of God: -
Opposition to "the primacy of the pope, his infallibility, the riches of Christ and the saints, indulgences, purgatory, the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary* and her bodily assumption" (cf. The Basic Sources of the Teachings of the Orthodox Church:
Misrepresentation: "the theory that the human soul is totally corrupted and man's salvation is God's work alone, predestining man to salvation or to perdition (Augustine)," -
* See also: "Though she was not exempt from original sin, from which she was cleansed at the time of the Annunciation..." -

Re: Is Christian Unity possible? - WhollyRoaminCatholic - 10-05-2010

Yes, it's possible.

They're all welcome to convert any time.  :)

Re: Is Christian Unity possible? - INPEFESS - 10-05-2010

(10-05-2010, 03:57 PM)WhollyRoaminCatholic Wrote: Yes, it's possible.

They're all welcome to convert any time.  :)


There can never be a unity of Christian faiths. There can, however, be a unity of Christians.

Re: Is Christian Unity possible? - Cyriacus - 10-06-2010

Incorporation is possible. It happened quite a long time ago, but the example of the Chaldeans is significant: a schism occurred within the Nestorian Church, with the ultimate result being an Eastern Catholic church that is numerically larger than its counterpart outside of the Church.

It would completely sabotage the current ecumenical discussions and efforts, but if Rome were a little more wily, I think she would try to take advantage of squabbles among the Orthodox; as of now, there are a number of Orthodox churches that proclaim autocephaly but are unrecognized by others (e.g., Macedonian Orthodox Church, etc.) and conceivably might accept jurisdictional status as an eastern particular church rather than trying to get recognition from Constantinople.

Re: Is Christian Unity possible? - Lagrange - 10-06-2010

(10-05-2010, 07:21 AM)glgas Wrote: Jesus Christ prayed for it. His will is creative.

Primarily, I would see this already fulfilled in the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Only secondary is it a prayer 'awaiting fulfillment' in some way (in all the differing epochs of A.D.), not only concerning heretics and schismatics, but also lack of charity amongst Catholics.

Re: Is Christian Unity possible? - Lagrange - 10-06-2010

Concerning the topic specifically, I would agree it is reducible to God's grace in accepting the Pope's authority.

Implicitly they have all doctrines the True Church teaches, but since they were cut off from the Magisterium, all subsequent development has not occurred for them. So it's harder to flesh things out.

But if they've had certain developments of their own in contradiction to the Catholic Church, then there's real incompatibility. Hopefully then they see the incompatibility within their own system, between Tradition (from where they come), and their aberrations. 

Re: Is Christian Unity possible? - Exilenomore - 10-06-2010

True unity will only be established when those who are in error convert to the truth. We must always pray for this.