Eastern Orthodox: Pope #1; But Russian Orthodox Unclear

Benedict XVI 


The following about the Roman and Orthodox was of interest:

Reuters – Nov 24, 2007

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Benedict and his cardinals discussed Catholic relations with other Christians on Friday, highlighting efforts to work closely with the Orthodox and to meet the challenge of fast-growing Protestant churches.

The closed-door meeting, held on the eve of a ceremony to install 23 new cardinals, took place amid progress with the Orthodox — who broke from Rome in 1054 — but growing fragmentation in the Protestant and Anglican world…

“We made good progress with the Orthodox in Ravenna,” said Cardinal Walter Kasper, head of the department for Christian unity, referring to a Catholic-Orthodox meeting last month that agreed the Pope was the leading prelate of Christianity.The Russian Orthodox Church, with more than half the world’s 220 million Orthodox, quit that meeting in protest against the presence of an Estonian Orthodox Church aligned to the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, today’s Istanbul.Kasper said talks with the Orthodox could not restore the hierarchy of the ancient church, which gave second place to Constantinople, but that the Orthodox agreed last month for the first time that the Pope still held first place. http://in.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idINL2331851520071123Comments by COGwriter:

It is interesting that the Eastern Orthodox are accepting Roman primacy (which they have done in the past), but that not all of the Orthodox are yet of the same mind. 

Although many Eastern Orthodox condemn the millennial view, a few days ago, the news reported that millennial beliefs are found withiin Russian Orthodoxy:

Marat Shterin, an expert in Russian religion at Kings College London, said, says: “The Russian Orthodox Church tends to be quite anti-sectarian, but on this occasion there seems to be a degree of understanding that while this manifestation of millenarian beliefs – belief that we live in ‘the end time’ – is extreme, some the group’s views are shared by many within the Church.”

He says that millenarian beliefs are fairly widespread in Russian Orthodoxy, both within the formal structures of the Church and outside it (Waiting for Armageddon. BBC – Nov 21, 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7101727.stm).

It is of interest to note that the millennial reign of Christ on the earth is the only doctrine that the current “Catechism of the Catholic Church” (which was approved by Cardinal Ratzinger prior to him becoming Pope Benedict) mentions in association with Antichrist, even though early leaders that the Catholics and Orthodox consider to be saints taught it. 

The Russian Orthodox also seemed to accept the possibility of the seventh day Sabbath centuries after the Eastern Orthodox distanced themselves from it completely.

Several articles of possbly related interest may include:

The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad Was the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath observed by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church?
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Churches of God Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism and a 6000 Year Plan? Was a 6,000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth (often called the millennium) taught by the early Christians? Is this time near?

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