CONSTANTINOPLE (OCL) – Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is attempting to inaugurate a new path and new dynamics of rapprochement and reconciliation with the Roman Catholic Church in conjunction with the Theological Dialogue working towards the Eucharistic Union of the Churches...
The patriarch revealed that “our Holy Orthodox Church finds itself in the delightful position of announcing that the preparation of its Holy and Great Synod has almost been completed, that it is in its final stages and will be convoked in the near future. It will pronounce upon the issue, among others, of the dialogues of Orthodoxy with the other Churches and it will take the fitting decisions in unity and authenticity so that we may progress toward the ‘unity of faith’ in the communion of the Holy Spirit in the surety that ‘To lovers of the truth nothing can be put before God and hope in Him’ (Basil the Great, To Eustathius the Physician, Letter 151, PG 32.608B; NPNF2-8:604).”
From my seat way, way in the furthest spot of the furthest pew in the very back row of Orthodoxy, this seems terribly naive and premature. First, Rome does not need ecumenicism. Rome has declared her universal jurisdiction and acts like it, with her Eastern Rites and established, august dioceses across the globe. Rome need not cede an inch on a single point of doctrine, so why would she. Second, Orthodox ecclesiology is a train wreck, with its multiple jurisdictions and seeming inability to grapple with the reality of the modern secular state.
Tend to our own flock first. Is the Orthodox Church in America autocephalous or not? If so, what is ROCOR, and why? What is Antioch, the Greeks, plus a few others I'm surely forgetting and why? Are we missions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate or still the Churches in diaspora? (Ask that question on Rorate Caeli and let me know what they say. I'll save you the time and tell you it won't be either of the foregoing.)
Maybe these questions are on the Great Synod's agenda but surely they have to be answered first. Then we can start thinking about ecumenicism.
God's will be done, and these are just a sinner's rantings.