Saturday, December 16, 2006

OCCIDENTALIS: Thoughts on Orthodox-Roman Relations (I)

Thoughts on Orthodox-Roman Relations (I)

By Anthony Bashir, Archbishop-Metropolitan, Syrian Archdiocese of North America

Orthodoxy* (10:4, Autumn 1964)

We all share the privilege of living in a most exciting, even exhilarating time for Christian believers. The age of mutual recrimination and proliferating schisms appears to be drawing to a close and all who profess loyalty to our Lord Jesus Christ now feel the challenge of His will that 'all may be one.' However Christians differ from each other in their understanding of their heritage, they seem to be laying hold upon the vision of a united Christendom. Orthodox and Catholics can turn from the frustration engendered by the observation of the bewildering variety of sectarian creeds and customs, and contemplate with satisfaction the truly vast area of agreement which they have in common. They can draw comfort further from the significant fact that while orthodoxy (with a small 'o') does not depend on the counting of noses, as St Athanasius well knew, the great general agreement that includes Orthodox and Catholics in an almost unanimous tradition places the onus on Christians outside of these two bodies to justify their minority witness.

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