Archbishop Kurt Koch, head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said in a news conference last week the two churches “will be able to enrich each other,” adding that the “basic principle of ecumenism is the exchange of gifts.”
“The first step is to tell each other individually how we imagine unity would look like. For the Catholic Church, of course, unity without the Bishop of Rome is unimaginable,” he underscored. “That’s because the issue of the Bishop of Rome is not just an organizational question, but also a theological one. The dialogue about just how this unity should be shaped must be continued intensively. Unity means that we see each other fully as sister churches.”
Archbishop Koch added that he thinks Pope Benedict is “thinking in this direction.”
“He’s said to the Anglicans who want to come back that they would be able to keep their tradition and celebrate their liturgy. So he’s said himself that there should be diversity. That will be the second step. It’s far too early ask each other how we can do this together.”
“There are no clouds of mistrust between our two churches,” Orthodox Metropolitan John Zizioulas of Pergamon stressed. “If we continue like that, God will find a way to overcome all the difficulties that remain.”
Talk of reunification between the three great Christian bodies, catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican, has been moving forward in recent days. A meeting to further this possibility took place on September 27, 2010, and real progress is being made. However, the fact is that the deep differences between the three bodies are much more significant than just our views on the position of the Pope.
Even if all could arrive at an acceptable view of the Papal office, there are still very distinct paradigms in the three groups that if pressed to limit actually present a different God. Overcoming these distinctions will require a great deal of humility by all. At the same time, each group must be ready to rethink their theology. My hope is that each group is willing to return to our common faith, to that which was believed by the whole church, everywhere, & at all times. I t is undeniable that the faith of each group has evolved since the great schism, it will be imperative that each be willing to hold their faith up to the light of the undivided church. Only then can we ever hope to arrive at true unity.