Thursday, October 21, 2004

Catholocism and Orthodoxy

The Catholic Pope is returning two relics of saints to the Orthodox church in Istanbul after 800 years of ownership. It's seen as a sign of goodwill between the two churches. It also seems that they may begin theological talks once again. I like to see the various Christian churches working together to make the world better. We may all have theological differences but that shouldn't get in the way of Chrisitian service.

That said, I don't see why the Catholic and Orthodox churches would begin theological negotiation. Let's look at it logically. The Catholic church believes it is the true church descended from the church began by Christ and the apostles. They claim that their authority has been unbroken over the 2,000 years. The Orthodox church broke off for many reasons, but foremost being the strength of the Pope. I don't know if the doctrinal changes between the churches occurred then or later, but they exist now. Basically if any side concedes to change, that shows that it is incorrect. I don't think either side is really ready to change their doctrine. And then logistically, let's say the Orthodox church merges with the Catholic. Would all Orthodox members agree? Would all Orthodox members automatically be Catholic? And you know for sure there would more schisms because of the changes. Lastly, the Orthodox church is poor. I can't see the wealthy Catholic church taking on such a liability.

My opinions are mostly one-sided. I lived in Romania for two years. They are predominantly Romanian Orthodox. And I only know one Catholic.

1 comment:

Big D said...

You know, I doubt that the Catholic church and the Orthodox church will ever reunite. The reasons behind their split originated in iconoclasty, the holding of icons or idols as being religiously symbolic. As you've no doubt noticed, the Catholics were iconoclasts all the way, while the Orthodox side of the original church were iconoblasts. In any event, a major point of problems now is Catholics holding that Mary, the mother of Christ as he was on earth, is holy. The Catholic and Orthodox churches beginning to reconcile and perhaps forming some alliance doesn't surprise me, as protestant religions are growing quickly, as are religions such as Islam. (Islam is in fact the fastest growing religion last I checked.) Fighting a losing battle with bad publicity and priests who like to touch young people, mostly of their same gender means that recruitment is down. The insistence of the Catholic clergy that birth control is an abomination also has catholics using birth control without mentioning it, and reproductive numbers within the church are down. All this equals a large case of losing footing for the once one true church. Will befriending the Greek church help this? I doubt it. But it couldn't hoit, as they say.

Big D