Wow, a couple of months away from the fray and what fun I've missed! I always wanted to be a judge and, since judgmentalism is apparently in vogue, I can finally be one
(I know, I know, being angelic doesn't really extend to the level I want to achieve, but we don't have an appropriately judgely emoticon, so it will have to do).
While E/ecumenism has always been a topic sure to evoke opinion hereabouts, I have to say that this thread may go down in the annals as particularly classic, not least for some of the incredibly well-thought out observations by those who are fully cognizant of the risks to one's immortal soul that arise from dialoguing in any way, shape, or manner with them there heretics - whomever they be
My own opinions, clearly wrong-headed (and no surprise that is, me being an EC - likely more heretical than even a Latin), are much akin to those expressed by Mor Ephrem among others. No surprise, since my long-time affection for Phil as a friend and brother, itself evidence of heresy, undoubtedly colored my opinion. What was I thinking - agreeing with the words and opinions of a Miaphysite
I'll pray to get past that.
Oh wait, podkarpatska, another one - from that other camp of heretics - whom I've called friend and brother and with whom I've dialogued! I thought his words mirrored much of my own thoughts also - silly me! Thank goodness, I've yet, perhaps, time to repent.
I hope they themselves, heretics though they are to me, can yet repent for consorting with me and be saved - well, maybe not saved, because they are what they are - oh well
I'm so grateful that William and JamesR were kind enough to show me the error of engaging with those of other Apostolic Churches. I realize their intent was to save their own peoples from the wayward paths they've pursued, but even a Catholic can benefit from realizing the risks inherent in ecumenism.
And, thanks, too, to Peter - now I know that it's pretentious to think that only God can see the truth - here I was thinking that He might be better placed to do that than we mortals - now, I know better. We Catholics can see that just as well as He can, apparently - and not a complete surprise either, seeing as we're the Chosen Ones
It's not my wont to post snarky commentary but I have to admit that reading this thread (partially, I had to give up after 3 screens) was mentally debilitating. That there continue to be those in any of our communities who believe that ecumenism in the sense of dialoguing with our separated brethren (and we are each separated in many ways, just as we are joined in many ways) as a step toward understanding one another and, hopefully, prayerfully, eventually, achieving union in faith is off-putting to God, amazes me.
What do people think God meant when He exhorted the Apostles to go forth and teach all nations? Why do you think that we pray for the unity of the faith? How do you reconcile your ability to achieve those ends with an insularity that brooks no effort to understand and know those whom you wish to bring into unity? Ultimately, as has been said before, true communion and true unity comes only with unity of faith and belief - but, you cannot hope to accomplish or achieve or attain that if you hold, at arm's length, those whom you would bring into spiritual embrace. Anathemas and didactics are poor tools for convincing humans, whom God has endowed with free will and the ability to think critically, to understand what man can never fully understand - you must engage his mind, his heart, and his soul - and that is best done by demonstrating the rightness of what you preach, dialoguing with him to achieve it, and understanding that while Christ established His Church, men have administered it, and holy though they might have been, they are human and perfection is a goal that will always have eluded them.