The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will be the first Orthodox Patriarch in just under a thousand years to attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass inaugurating the Pontificate of the Bishop of Rome. This is a gesture which recognizes the ecumenical interests of His Holiness, the Supreme Pontiff, gloriously reigning, Pope Francis. This is a great sign of hope. The Patriarch has suffered much criticism for this gesture. He is to be commended and thanked profusely.
There has been a suggestion made, in fact, for the celebration of an Ecumenical Council in which the Orthodox are very heavily represented, an Orthodox-Catholic Ecumenical Council, as it were.
This suggestion comes from someone who is intimately aware of all the circumstances, past and present, under which relations between the Orthodox and Catholics labor, someone who was delegated by the Holy See to be available to facilitate the unity of East and West, to ready himself for this dialogue between the Orthodox and the Catholic Church, someone who was suggested for this role by those leading and analyzing discussions on behalf of the Holy See. His concluding sentence to the proposal is this:
If Pope Francis has, indeed, a mandate from Christ: “Rebuild my Church”, there can be no thought of excluding the traditional means of sewing the torn seamless garment of the Church of Christ, i.e., a Council between East and West to remove scandal among Christians and reaffirm the age-old faith according to formulas for which both Eastern and Western Fathers would gladly shed their blood.
I am preparing a post on this, the article written by this great scholar, my good friend, Father Christiaan Kappes for http://holysoulshermitage.com We share many mutual friends. His article, I must say, is spectacular. I’m just now adding some formatting and illustrations. Stay tuned… HERE