RCC finds “almost no discrepancies” between Catholics and Orthodox

09 July 2020 14:16
Pope Francis blesses the RCC believers. Photo: vimaorthodoxias.gr Pope Francis blesses the RCC believers. Photo: vimaorthodoxias.gr

The Vatican representative believes that today there are almost no divisions between Catholics and Orthodox left, except for the issue of the primacy of the pope.

Catholic priest Yaromir Zadrapa, an official of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, said that over 60 years of dialogue between Catholics and the Orthodox, huge obstacles and almost all disagreements have been removed, according to Vima Orthodoxia.

He said that “over the past 60 years we have come a long way: a lot of work has been done. Since the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), this work has been carried out in two directions: the former – toward the West, turning to our reformist brothers, while the latter – toward the East, through dialogue with our Orthodox brothers.”

The priest of the RCC reiterated that “very little remains to be done”, and “the only problem is that some ideas on how to achieve unity diverge greatly and do not coincide.”

He noted that “today we are discussing the primacy of the pope. In what form will this happen when we are together? These discussions, which are of an ecclesiological nature, have been in the focus of our exchange of views in recent years.”

“Another remaining problem is that not all Orthodox Churches were present in the theological commissions formed within the Pontifical Council. The Russian Orthodox Church and the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, for example, are not their members. It is difficult to draw any conclusions without taking into account their voice ... Therefore, this discussion is not always easy, but in the light of history it is coming along rapidly. It is important to further maintain this dialogue,” the priest emphasized.

At the same time, he noted that some dogmatic issues are not problematic. For example, “Catholics attach great importance to the dogma of the immaculate conception, while the eyes of the Orthodox are riveted to the mystery of the Assumption.

The former look at the beginning of the history of Christianity, while the latter look at the end, at the future. However, these two visions do not contradict each other, but vice versa.”

He is confident that “these discrepancies may allow for growth. We need each other. The main thing is to create friendship. It is necessary to clear our memory and continue the dialogue. We think that a lot separates us, but in reality today there are almost no divisions left, except for the issue of the primacy of the pope, which is an important point."

At the same time, answering the question that Catholics cannot receive the Holy Communion at the Orthodox Liturgy, Yaromir Zadrapa said that he considers this fact “an obstacle and a very sad and sensitive issue”: “We are still considering this moment. However, this question will undoubtedly be the culmination of the full communion of the two Churches. I hope so. We must take our time and move forward together,” he said.

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that Pope Francis said that he felt "in his heart" the closeness of Patriarch Bartholomew .

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