Catholic and Orthodox Topics
The Roman Catholic Church that we attended for 18 years was sold to the American Orthodox Church and we had to find a new parish. We invited an Orthodox priest, who was a professor of early church history, to do regular spots about the early Church on our Catholic radio show.
The Orthodox Church is closer to the Catholic faith than any other denomination. However, there are many dividing issues. Some are a result of things that children of the Catholic Church have done wrong over the centuries and vice versa. Some issues are just misunderstandings.
Long before Christ was born, Greece and Rome were clashing so it's not surprising that the east and west had troubles even after Christ came to unify. History gives us many examples of closely related countries and/or cultures that have clashed. England and France, Germany and Russia, Hindus and Muslims, Iran and Iraq, Japan and China, North and South Korea. It has been human nature ever since Cain and Abel. The challenge we have in front of us is to rise above realm of the natural to the supernatural, in the blood of Christ. Our challenge together is to descern God's will for the structure of the Church. We believe we can learn that through the Bible, the Early Church Fathers, the Ecumenical Councils, and our own personal prayer.
Christ calls us to unity (Jn 17:21). As we reflect on the rich history of our churches, I pray "that they may all be one, as you Father, are in me and I am in you." (Jn 17:21) I hope we will love one another as He has loved us. (Jn 13:34). "Let us not give up meeting together... but let us encourage one another." (Heb 10:25)
I imagine a future where the Orthodox Church is very distinctly Eastern in its liturgy and spirituality, with it's Bishops having rightful jurisdiction over their rites in their dioceses, and yet in unity with the western Church. I pray that once again the two lungs of the Church will be the envy of the world as we enter this critical time of history.