Sunday, December 17, 2006

OCCIDENTALIS: Thoughts on Orthodox-Roman Relations (III)

There is another point at which I differ from some Orthodox in seeing positive ground for hope where they see only added obstacles for understanding. That is in your Uniates. I do not deceive myself about the Uniates, the so-called Greek Catholics. They were organized as a result of some of the worst deceptive proselytizing ever engaged in by Christians. Commercial privilege and civil and military pressure brought them into being, and in many instances simple laymen were deliberately deceived. This is why there has been no Orthodox protest when, in the Ukraine and Rumania, they have been recently reunited to the Church, sometimes by forceful removal of their hierarchs. Even now Uniate propagandists willingly exploit local Orthodox difficulties to pervert our people. There are not enough Latin clergy to hold traditionally Roman Catholic Latin America, but there are enough to staff the missions working among the Orthodox in the Middle East. All of this I deplore, but I do understand and respect the ideal of your Unia – your belief that Rome is the one true Church of Christ to which all must belong and in which all may worship according to their particular ancient rites. While I cannot respect the "Rice Christians", I admire any faith that acts consistently with its conviction that it is the unique Christian Church.

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