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    Thursday, November 15, 2007

    Huge baby steps

    I saw some show somewhere sometime on PBS discussing how impassioned arguments within the same religious denominations can be over things an outsider would consider insignificant.

    A space traveler arriving on earth would have a tough time recognizing the differences between the Orthodox and Roman Catholics. They believe the same things, yet they stand apart from each other.

    Well, there is that little thing about Peter’s primacy still. Plus 1,000 years of isolated doctrinal development. Yet miracle of miracles, the developed doctrines and scriptural understandings do not clash, but enrich. We are all still Catholics.

    Now about that Peter thing, finally we are putting our talk on paper and agreeing on something! Admittedly, without the Russians at the table, but still, something good and forward moving.
    All it will take is time, of which we seem to have lots of. Jesus’ glorious return is still delayed for many excellent mysterious reasons only the Father knows. Perhaps uniting the Roman and Orthodox will remove one of those reasons.


    Rome, Nov. 14, 2007 ( - Talks between Catholic and Orthodox theologians held in Ravenna, Italy, in October produced a framework for agreement about the primacy of the Pope, according to a report in the Italian daily La Repubblica.

    The top Vatican representative at the Ravenna talks has cautioned that a 46-paragraph final document approved by the participants should not be seen as a dramatic step toward Orthodox acceptance of the Pope's authority, since it does not resolve questions about the nature of papal authority.

    "While the fact of primacy at the universal level is accepted by both East and West," the Ravenna statement continued, "there are differences of understanding with regard to the manner in which it is to be exercised, and also with regard to its scriptural and theological foundations."

    Cardinal Kasper told Vatican Radio that the Ravenna document will for the basis for further talks. In future meetings, he said, "we have have to go on to clarify the details."

    ... The Ravenna meeting was conducted under a cloud because the Russian Orthodox delegation-- representing by far the largest Orthodox Church in the world-- walked out of the meeting at the beginning of the discussions, in a dispute over the seating of a delegation from the Estonian Orthodox Church, which Moscow does not recognize.


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