Your response to this is to accuse me of twisting your words.
Par for the course, my friend. After Romanum Imperium posted his quote from the bi-lateral dialogues going on in the U.S., I asked a simple question: How does this generic statement, with which most of us (if not all of us) participating in this discussion agree, even speak to your (Romanum Imperium's) conclusion that an Orthodox Christian should confess that the RCC absolutely and unequivocally has grace in its sacraments? (Much less prove that such a confession is widespread, required or advisable.)
His response to this question was (a) Orthodox can't agree on many
things; and (b) somehow this allegedly putative lack of agreement on a "great many things" validates or at least leaves room for his very strong opinion on this particular matter.
Personally, I can't see how the above statement makes any sense simply as a matter of clear thinking, but that's another matter.
The issue at hand, however, is that after this very simple question and response, Anastasios labeled as "Latin" RI's paticular response (i.e. Orthodox can't agree on a great many things) -- a label which he did not
apply, mind you, to the SCOBA-sponsored statement. Anastasios' criticism was directed at RI's justification by appeal to a putative lack of agreement on "many things," not the Bishops' statement itself, about which no one has written a single negative word.
And yet, somehow, RI contends:
afterall this statment comes from the "Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in America" and your picking it to pieces...
That ain't even twisting; it's merely fabrication. I'm sure, however, that it is not intentionally malicious, but simply the unfortunate fruit of careless reading. In fact, it seems to me that most of the misunderstanding on this thread has resulted from a lack of clarity and precision. For example, RI wrote:
still doesn't explain why the Bishops seem to have more tolerance and desire to workÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š problems out with the RC's...and why they seem to think Catholics may have grace.
This is obviously true. Many Bishops do indeed want to dialogue with the RCC, including the EP. Other do indeed seem to think that "Catholics may
have grace." Both of these statements, however, do not necessarily justify RI's claim that (a) he shall NEVER call into question the validity of the Roman Church (why wouldn't one ask a question?); (b) an Orthodox Christian cannot call these things into question because "that's just not the case"; (c) all those Orthodox who do so are extremists and appalling Churchmen (not Christians).
Those are quite amazing claims and therefore require amazing proof (historical, Synodal, canonical, spiritual, sacramental and theological). "Maybe" is a long way from absolutely. And that's to say nothing about claim (c), i.e. the various blanket innuendos about extremism, being appalling Christians, etc. -- all of which are completely unwarranted attacks, all of which have yet to be retracted.
Should we desire to continue this discussion along substantive lines, I imagine RI will have to rephrase his original thesis. This recent bit about "maybe" is quite hopeful and much more supportable.
RI: FYI, should you desire to look into it, The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation has issued more than 20 statements in the last several decades, several of which are much more applicable to your thesis than the one you quoted. I suggest you read those, post the sections you find appropriate, and we can discuss their applicability and authority.
Even more than these, you might want to read the statements of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, which at least includes clergy and theologians from many countries.
Otherwise, a number of articles on related topics have been written by Fr. Emmanuel Clapsis, one of the most vocal Greek ecumenists in the last decade. You may have read some of his stuff already. If not, check out: The Boundaries of the Church: An Orthodox Debate