Why then can't we, in your opinion, get together? It would be truly sad if Rome reconciled with Oriental Orthodox, and "Greek" Orthodox did not. That's not a good scenario at all. If the EP really wants to do something special he should be visiting and talking to the Orientals instead of Rome.
There has been a lot more favorable ecumenical relations between the Oriental Orthodox and the Chalcedonian Orthodox. See: http://www.uk-christian.net/boc/dialogue.shtml
Serge, with all due respect for your "patriarchal" status here, I think this is hair-splitting. The first part of the Mass, i.e., the Mass of the Catechumens or the "Liturgy of the Word," is, none the less, an indispensable part of the Eucharistic service of the Roman Catholic Church. And Patriarch Bartholomew *did* concelebrate this part of the Mass with John Paul II. While he did *not* participate actively in the second part of the Mass, i.e., the Mass of the Faithful or the "Liturgy of the Eucharist," he did actively prepare for it with the Pope by his concelebration of the Mass of the Catechumens.
I find myself in agreement with Hypo-Orthodox here (with no disrespect intended towards Patriarch Serge
. Where we pray together is where we agree together. Do we agree with the Roman Catholics right on up to and through the Creed? Not only has Patriarch Bartholomew concelebrated the Mass of the Catechumens with Pope John Paul II, but hasn't the Romanian Patriarch also recently done the same in his last visit to Rome?
I'm unsure what distinction you are making between "Oriental Orthodox" and monophysites? WHO exactly do you consider to be the monophysites?
I think the distinction being made here is on whether the Oriental Orthodox are actually monophysites. Father John Romanides wrote some articles on this topic, which were very interesting. Regardless of how one views the Oriental Orthodox, the Chalcedonian Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox have FAR
more in common and have higher prospects of working out their differences than between the Orthodox and the Roman Catholics IMO.
What authoritative, conciliar decision accepted by all Orthodox Churches regards the Catholic Church as heretical? The Pope (or any Catholic bishop) isn't commemorated by World Orthodoxy, but how do you assume that anyone that isn't is a heretic?
IIRC, there are some conciliar rulings to that effect.
1) The 8th Ecumenical Council (879 AD) anathematized adding to the N-C Creed.
2) A Council held under the presidency of Patriarch Gregory of Cyprus anathematized certain nuances of the filioque that were more compatible with Roman Catholic teaching rather than Orthodoxy. Remember this occurred around the time of Lyons.
3) During the St. Gregory Palamas versus Barlaam the Calabrian controversy, a series of Synods were held that definitively sided with Palamite theology and rejected Barlaamite teaching (which has been viewed as more akin to the-then contemporary Western teaching)
4) The Sigililion of 1586 AD, signed by 3 Patriarchs which anathematized the teachings about:
c) Papal Supremacy
d) Sprinkling instead of the 3 immersions in Baptism
e) The newly-promulgated Papal paschalion
f) The filioque doctrine
5) Saints in the Church have defined Roman Catholicism as heresy -- Saints such as Mark of Ephesus and Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain
6) The Patriarchal Encyclical of 1848 also placed certain Roman Catholic teachings in the category of heretical
Second of all, what is a heretic? Are Roman Catholics heretics? They wouldn't be according to St. Basil the Great because they don't deny the Trinity--St. Basil says a heretic is one who denies the Trinity, a schismatic is one who has separated from the Church and may be teaching a slight error, and an unlawful assembly is one that is operating without a Bishop or against its bishop.
I'm not sure what historical precedent that this has...
For example, Seventh-Day Adventists have a perfectly "orthodox" view of the Trinity in terms of its Western expression. Ditto for the Incarnation. Yet, their ecclesiology and sacramentology is riddled with false teaching. With your definition above, how would you deem Seventh-Day Adventists? Baptists? Presbyterians? All of these groups hold conventional Western views of the Trinity/Incarnation (as Roman Catholicism). Would these groups then not be considered "heretical" by these standards?
My Own Comments on Ecumenism:
IMO, it's not just concelebration of the Liturgy of the Catechumens with Pope John Paul II, or the flirtatious use of "sister churches" that concerns me (which is of concern). We can Pope John Paul II for the 2 Assisi World Religions "pow-wow." But weren't Orthodox hierarchs of just about every jurisdiction (with the exception of a few) represented at these events--joining in the ecumenical campfire? We can criticize Pope John Paul II for kissing the Muslim Qu'ran a few years ago--but what about the predecessor of the current Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria stating that Mohammed was an "apostle" and "prophet"? Is that any better? It seems like this type of feel-good/unite-all-religions-into-one-soup is a fervour that is spreading throughout the whole religious sphere--including Orthodox