End of communism not all good for Christianity: Vatican
#1
End of communism not all good for Christianity: Vatican

[quote='CaptCrunch73']
From Yahoo News, religion was banned under communism was it not?
[quote]

Nov 17 (Reuters) - The end of communist rule in Europe, which began 25 years ago this month, was not all positive for Christianity because it brought tensions between Rome and Russia back to the surface, a senior Vatican official said on Monday.

Cardinal Kurt Koch, the top Roman Catholic official for inter-church relations, said the re-emergence of Eastern Catholic churches in Ukraine and Romania after decades of suppression had created major tensions with the Russian Orthodox Church.

Russian Orthodox leaders have accused the Vatican-aligned Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church of trying to take back churches and woo away believers from the Moscow Orthodox Patriarchate. The Ukrainian church and the Vatican deny this.

[quote='CaptCrunch73']
So the real issue is not Christianity it's sheep stealing?
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Moscow prelates cite this as a hurdle to closer ties between the Orthodox and the Catholic Church, which for decades prayed for the conversion of the Soviet Union only to see the newly resurgent Russian Orthodox Church become a difficult partner.

"The changes in 1989 were not advantageous for ecumenical relations," Koch told Vatican Radio. "The Eastern Catholic churches banned by Stalin re-emerged, especially in Ukraine and Romania, and from the Orthodox came the old accusation about Uniate churches and proselytism."

"Uniate" refers to eastern churches with Orthodox-style liturgies that recognize the pope as their spiritual leader.

Pope Francis will meet Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul late this month. The Orthodox spiritual head supports more cooperation with Rome, but cannot ignore the wary Russians, who make up two-thirds of the world's 300 million Orthodox.

Koch, who spoke a week after the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall's fall, and on the same day as Czechs marked the start of their democratic revolution, noted that talks on closer ties between Catholic and Orthodox theologians were suspended between 2000 and 2006 because of tensions between the two sides.

"There are always setbacks, but I'm convinced we can make more progress," the Swiss-born cardinal said.

Persecution of Christians in the Middle East has brought Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants there together, he said, but the Ukraine crisis has heightened tensions among churches.

"We've repeatedly heard major complaints from the Russian Orthodox," he said. "This is unfortunate because churches are supposed to be a factor for unity and reconciliation."

Metropolitan Hilarion, the number two man in the Moscow Patriarchate, used his guest presentation to a Vatican synod on the family last month to accuse the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church of trying to poach believers from Orthodoxy.

(Reporting by Tom Heneghan; Editing by Kevin Liffey)
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#2
If we truly believe in the importance of the papacy, then we ought to believe that others- even the Orthodox, who have valid sacraments, a strikingly beautiful and unique liturgy that is to be preserved, and a very rich heritage that is shaped by that liturgy and a beautiful and rich liturgical, spiritual and tradition all their own that is also to be preserved- should come into full communion with the Pope.  So, yes, Eastern Catholics ought to proselytize.  As St. Paul so eloquently and succinctly put it- "One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism." (Eph 4:5).
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#3
Rome shot itself in the foot with the Balamand Agreement which basically gave the impression that the Orthodox are fine as they are and that so called "Uniatism" is nothing more than "sheep stealing".  Just peruse the message boards at places like ByzCath to see the fruit if this false ecumenism, with both Catholics and Orthodox saying it doesn't matter whether you are one or the other, it's just a matter of conscience.

It's certainly true that the roots of the Eastern Churches are not in Latin Rite Roman Catholicism but it does not follow that the Eastern Rites, in order to be true to their Eastern Roots, must eventually sever communion with the See of Peter. That's the impression I get when I read and hear statements from many within both the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox camps.

The greatest reproach against the Orthodox is the existence of Eastern Rite churches in Union with the See of Oeter yet totally faithful to their Byzantine/Russian theological, ascetical and liturgical traditions. The Orthodox know this, which is why they hate it. It makes it clear that the only thing significant about Orthodoxy is its stubborn refusal to be in Union with the See of Peter. No doubt there is bad blood on both sides and a lot of political issues that make for mutual animosity but I think what I say about the spiritual side is spot on. Uniatism is proof that one can be Eastern and in Union with Rome. That's what is despised.

Rome should absolutely try to bring Orthodox into Union with the See of Peter, but it needs to leave alone the liturgy, the rites, rituals and practices of Easterners. I think some Orthodox are right,y concerned that what will happen with union will be modernist Vatican bureaucrats tinkering and "updating" their venerables rites.
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#4
(11-19-2014, 12:49 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: The greatest reproach against the Orthodox is the existence of Eastern Rite churches in Union with the See of Oeter yet totally faithful to their Byzantine/Russian theological, ascetical and liturgical traditions. The Orthodox know this, which is why they hate it. It makes it clear that the only thing significant about Orthodoxy is its stubborn refusal to be in Union with the See of Peter. No doubt there is bad blood on both sides and a lot of political issues that make for mutual animosity but I think what I say about the spiritual side is spot on. Uniatism is proof that one can be Eastern and in Union with Rome. That's what is despised.

Personally, I think that's a little harsh, especially the bolded portion. What about those Orthodox who, as a matter of conscience and with legitimate historical study, reject the papal claims as not historically justified? As heretical? The issue goes well beyond differences in praxis - Rome claims supreme, universal and immediate ordinary jurisdiction over every member of the baptized, including the patriarchs of the Eastern Churches. And there are not a few Orthodox who genuinely believe that Rome has abused this power to impose further heresies on the Western Church - among others, the Filioque, purgatory and indulgences, the Immaculate Conception, and all the nonsense emanating from Vatican II. Obviously a Catholic wouldn't characterize it that way - though we might come close on that last bit about Vatican II!

An outside and neutral observer could just as easily say that the enduring reason for the schism is Rome's arrogant insistence that it gets to call all the shots, with or without the consent or even input of anyone else. Let's be honest: Rome may strike a more friendly tone these days, but the issue is not really one of "union," like between Moscow and Constantinople - it is an issue of submission. Though there is obviously an undeniable reflexive anti-Roman component to much of the polemic, there are also legitimate issues from the Orthodox side. They can look and see how Rome basically destroyed its own liturgical and cultural heritage to kowtow to the ecumenical movement; they can see that Rome has at times imposed its own disciplines on Eastern Churches; they can see that Rome can't even control its own wayward clergy and religious. Why would they trust Rome?
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#5
(11-19-2014, 12:49 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: Rome shot itself in the foot with the Balamand Agreement which basically gave the impression that the Orthodox are fine as they are and that so called "Uniatism" is nothing more than "sheep stealing".  Just peruse the message boards at places like ByzCath to see the fruit if this false ecumenism, with both Catholics and Orthodox saying it doesn't matter whether you are one or the other, it's just a matter of conscience.

It's certainly true that the roots of the Eastern Churches are not in Latin Rite Roman Catholicism but it does not follow that the Eastern Rites, in order to be true to their Eastern Roots, must eventually sever communion with the See of Peter. That's the impression I get when I read and hear statements from many within both the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox camps.

The greatest reproach against the Orthodox is the existence of Eastern Rite churches in Union with the See of Oeter yet totally faithful to their Byzantine/Russian theological, ascetical and liturgical traditions. The Orthodox know this, which is why they hate it. It makes it clear that the only thing significant about Orthodoxy is its stubborn refusal to be in Union with the See of Peter. No doubt there is bad blood on both sides and a lot of political issues that make for mutual animosity but I think what I say about the spiritual side is spot on. Uniatism is proof that one can be Eastern and in Union with Rome. That's what is despised.

Rome should absolutely try to bring Orthodox into Union with the See of Peter, but it needs to leave alone the liturgy, the rites, rituals and practices of Easterners. I think some Orthodox are right,y concerned that what will happen with union will be modernist Vatican bureaucrats tinkering and "updating" their venerables rites.

I will add that in the case of Russia the implications of Roman union leave more contested than a potential latinisation of Orthodox rites. The political opening generated by the presence of a foreign authority will always undermine Russia's sovereignty in some way. Look at Ukraine. Uniates are at the forefront of the Banderist movements and the current pro-liberal movement seeking greater integration with the saecular west. Is Uniatism an equilibrium, or is it a road to westernisation?
The absence of Rome preserves a true separation from the west that is necessary in the face of saecularism which itself has become the cornerstone of western civilisation. 
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#6
(11-19-2014, 01:16 PM)aquinas138 Wrote: An outside and neutral observer could just as easily say that the enduring reason for the schism is Rome's arrogant insistence that it gets to call all the shots, with or without the consent or even input of anyone else. Let's be honest: Rome may strike a more friendly tone these days, but the issue is not really one of "union," like between Moscow and Constantinople - it is an issue of submission. Though there is obviously an undeniable reflexive anti-Roman component to much of the polemic, there are also legitimate issues from the Orthodox side. They can look and see how Rome basically destroyed its own liturgical and cultural heritage to kowtow to the ecumenical movement; they can see that Rome has at times imposed its own disciplines on Eastern Churches; they can see that Rome can't even control its own wayward clergy and religious. Why would they trust Rome?
This is one of the unfortunate reasons that I have severed myself from Rome. Is it better to submit in authority for the sake of unity? Or should unity arrive through right belief eventually generating some central authority? Forgive any generalisation but, I find that Rome has preached the former; submission for the sake of doctrinal unity. Ultimately, looking at the last century, this has led only to greater problems which you enumerated. Furthermore, it created a structure by which the faith could be corrupted in the name of obedience. The Orthodox have their problems, frequently similar to Roman problems. However, the fact that almost each nation has its own independent jurisdiction means that entire countries can become bastions of tradition against the current of liberal thought attempting to corrupt the Church
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#7
I'm not surprised that a churchman would find something nice to say about Communism. Marxism is a Christian heresy.

Balamand's not doctrine but yes, it's done some damage: ecumenism on a false foundation (that we no longer teach we're the true church, which is not so) and harming the souls of some, those converts who love the East so they're tempted to pass over to Orthodoxy, thinking Rome thinks it's OK. Well-meaning Orthodox, those who recognize our sacraments, buy into this and get mad when you point out we still have our true-church claim.

I'm fine with the modern policy of passive evangelism to the Christian East, not soliciting born Orthodox to switch like we would with Protestants. Because we have a different goal with them: "bring them back alive," bringing ALL their bishops and faithful back into the church, essentially as is.

That said, it's shameful to betray Eastern Catholics, most of whom, in the western Ukraine, went to heroic lengths to remain in the true church.
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