a. Can you cite a reference for that? My understanding is there isn't necessarily a hierarchy of dignity amongst the various Churches, one or more having more or less than any of the others. But, I could be wrong.
Orientalium Ecclesiarum basically reversed centuries old teaching that the Roman Church is above all Churches. But the two lung theory suggest that the West (ie. Church in Rome) is one lung, and the East (EO, OO and ACotE) is the other lung. So I don't know why, even within the Catholic Communion where the East is composed of 22 sui juris Churches and the West is just one sui juris, one would think that the two lung theory espouses equal dignity when it clearly states that half of the fullness of Church is in Rome itself, and the other half is found in all other non-Roman Churches. So the Russian Church is just a percentage of the half together with the Greeks, Antioch, Alexandria, Malankara, etc.
Orientale Lumen states that the full catholicity of the Church is expressed not by one tradition or one Church, but by all traditions and all Churches together. Which again begs the above question, why is the West one lung by itself, and the East which is composed of many Churches just one lung all together?
Okay, now I'm getting out of my depth
. I'll have to (one day when I have time and am not able to sleep
) go back and re-read O.E. and O.L.--and hope I understand them. And no, I'm not kidding
But, here's my feeble understanding so far: The two lung theory or expression or whatever was an analogy to try to illustrate that the Catholic and Orthodox Churches are both parts of the Body of Christ. You and xariskai are both Orthodox. You are both also individuals. As such, you are both parts of the Body of Christ. Papist and I are both Catholic. We are both also individuals. As such, we are both parts of the Body of Christ. I hope I'm making sense
One lung of the Church is all
those Churches comprising the "Catholic Communion". The other lung of the Church is all
those Churches comprising the "Orthodox Communion". The two lungs are not functioning in harmony with one another and therefor the whole Body is unwell. That's the schism between us. Am I oversimplifying this, or, more likely, just talking nonsense? Anyway, that is my understanding.
b. I think you're possibly misunderstanding the analogy (but then, maybe I am!). A body (the Church, east and west) cannot live without lungs. It can, however, live with only one lung (the Catholic Church or the Orthodox Church), or even a part of one lung. Not necessarily as fully or with as much vibrance, but still a full life. Does that make sense?
Sure, but again that model is not Eucharistic. Even if you would say that each Church is an equal part of a whole, it goes against the Eucharistic model of the Church where each Church is the fullness of the Kingdom of God in itself, and each Church in communion with one another form the One Church. The same way that the Body of Christ is not any less the body of Christ if one or two people are not part of it. The Body of Christ is full and complete whether there is one believer in it or 10 billion. Communion is a mystery where the fullness is present regardless of the number of physical members. It cannot be divided and the multitude come together as one.
All analogies, I think, break down and fail at some point, especially if picked apart ad infinitum to the most minute of their minutiae. But, I could be wrong, there, too .
I think the Eucharistic model makes the most sense and doesn't break down at all. The Eucharist itself is central to our faith and the understanding of communion applies to all aspects of our faith. From the Trinity to the Church to our Salvation, all is by Communion. How can be 3 persons be one God? Communion. How can a multitude be one body? Communion. How can several Churches scattered geographically around the world each headed by its own bishop be one Church? Communion.
I believe you just described my understanding of what the Catholic Church (all those Churches in communion with Rome) is and believes itself to be.
I know the Orthodox don't hold this view (except some, sometimes
), but the Catholic Church believes itself to be in communion with the Orthodox Church--in *imperfect*
communion (please don't ask me to elaborate on that
!). That would account for the 2 lungs not working together properly; that is our schism.
One last comment before I blow myself and everyone else away with my bloviating--we are talking of analogies and models, etc. Well, just as a map is not the territory, so too is a model not that which it tries to represent.
Phew! Now I need a drink and a nap
Now, if none of what I just wrote is acceptable or understandable, then just refer to my post in reply #31 above and we can just leave it at that. Now
for that drink and a nap