Ravenna Document – RCC and Orthodox

I doubt that 950 years of separation will be healed this easy but it will be interesting to watch it unfold. It looks like if the current plans prevail, the Orthodox will come under the Pope but the Pope’s power will be diluted. Or in other words . . .

the POPE gets more SCOPE but less ROPE.

Would he cope? And do the Orthodox hope to elope?

The Ravenna Document, that formed the basis of last month’s unification talks between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, is available online here or a comment-open version here. Its full title is “Ecclesiological and Canonical Consequences of the Sacramental Nature of the Church. Ecclesial Communion, Conciliarity and Authority”, adopted by the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church in Ravenna on 14 October 2007. Here it is on the official Vatican site.

More info at Int, Herald and Times Online which claims that the original rift happened . . . ” largely because of three words: The Nicene Creed of the Roman Church says that the Holy Ghost “proceeds from the Father and the Son”; the Orthodox Church claims the Holy Ghost originates with the Father alone.”

What do you think? Should the Orthodox and the RCC unite?

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • Elias Graham Reeves says:

    This document means nothing new. It’s just a discovery that Roman Catholics have made, that the Orthodox believed that the Pope had primacy before 1054. However, according to the Orthodox view, it was because he held an Orthodox faith. He was first among equals of Orthodox hierarchs.
    The statement will not mean that the Orthodox will change their doctrines and submit to papal authority in matters of doctrine, liturgy or ecclesiology. The Orthodox have not changed their doctrines, but the Roman Catholics kept evolving. Of course, if the Patriarchate of Constantinople moves to join the Roman Catholic Church, the rest of the Church will not necessarily join him.

  • cheryl says:

    maybe this is something we don’t need to have an opinion about… maybe we can just wait for a while and listen and learn and respect…

  • My Weblog says:

    Tall Skinny Kiwi: Ravenna Document – RCC and Orthodox

    Link: Tall Skinny Kiwi: Ravenna Document – RCC and Orthodox. hi there

  • kendall says:

    I am not so sure it is a matter of “should.” Ultimately, it seems the question is: to what end does this serve?
    I can’t see the Orthodox recognizing Papal authority. And that being likely, other than formality, what purpose does this dialogue between the branches serve?

  • Marc says:

    Andrew, dear friend, what happened to your blog? Did you join the British knitting club for grannies on Wednesday afternoon, or did some mean conservative ultra-reformed un-emerging hacker take over and redesign your pages overnight? This is painful to the eyes! Or are you hiding from someone, because on first glance you never suspect an innovative spirit behind this blog.

  • andrew Jones says:

    thanks marc. you are right of course. i was trying out some templates
    back to my own designs now . . . appreciate the encouragement

  • eric Blauer says:

    That would be…well,…beastly.
    sorry…my reformed side took over for a moment.
    really, it makes me nervous…too much power.

  • Steve Cramb says:

    While the idea of the two largest branches of the church re-entering communion sounds like a great idea (Sorry Eric, I don’t think that it should be seen in terms of power, though of course there is the potential for abuse), my reading of this document shows the dialogue is now in its twenty-eighth year and both sides required a foot note to make it clear they, and they alone, were the one holy, catholic and apostolic church. I don’t see reunion coming anytime soon. Unless the Lord returns quickly, of course 😀

  • Nathan says:

    The issue is a matter of rank in importance, but they acknowledge that there is a discussion about prerogatives (i.e. control).
    This isn’t a reunion, just a restatement of conciliar decisions prior to 1054.
    The issue of power is part of what drove the split and it’s not been resolved here.
    All the worrying and handwringing in some circles reveals ignorance of Church History and maybe a bit of bigotry.
    I read the document twice:
    It’s not that big of a deal…

  • Agape says:

    I am a Roman catholic and Orthodox Christian. It must be reminded that Christ is the head of both churches. One church was founded by St. Peter -Roman Catholic & St. Andrew – Orthodox Church. St. Peter and St. Andrew were brothers. It is God’s will that we have communion by both churches as it was during St. Constantine’s rule. We are in a new era. Both the Patriach & the Pope denounced what happened in 1054. So what is the problem — we are all Christian brothers and sisters in Christ. Devine Lit. was celebrated by the Pope and Patriach in Turkey. So the examples should be follow in love. Separation is the devil in action. Unity in the Holy Spirit in Action. All priests should follow the Pope’s and the Patriach’s example. Let’s move on together and solve the world problems and bring Christ to everyone as the Lord commanded it.

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