Ecumenism: Cardinal Koch and the Eastern Orthodox

Kurt Koch


The movement of the Vatican towards unity with the Eastern Orthodox continues:

Vatican Orthodox: Card Koch: a united Church to meet the challenge of globalization

In an interview with AsiaNews…the new president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity emphasizes the “solid foundations of love and friendship that exist between Rome and Constantinople…

Friday, December 17, 2010   By Asia News…

How does the Catholic world view the Orthodox world today?

I think that when we meet with the Orthodox, we feel at home. This is because the Orthodox have maintained the structures, the mentality and vision of the ancient Church…Although the break with these ancient Orthodox Churches took place more than a millennium ago, I feel at home when I visit them.

With the Protestants, even though we are separated by just 400 years, it is another reality.

What response should be given to those minority Catholics and Orthodox, who are opposed to any initiative in favor of ecumenical dialogue?

Even among Catholics there are those minorities who do not want ecumenism. But I think the first challenge in an increasingly globalized world, is that the Church must breathe, as John Paul II said, on both lungs, that of the East and the West…It is important in today’s world, a world of globalization, that Christianity be a global reality. Consequently, even in ecumenism, being able to speak with one language is a specific need of our time, in order to address all the socio-political and ethical challenges. Because if the Church does not have a single language, she will not have anything to say to our society. This is why the very presence of churches in society depends on the ecumenical movement.

Cardinal Kurt Koch is one who claims he has a lot of understanding of the Protestants, and even stated that this is one reason he said he was chosen to be the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity by Pope Benedict XVI.  Yet, he is much more comfortable with the Orthodox than the Protestants.  He basically seems to feel that there needs to be one church voice–a concept that most Protestants would bristle at, especially since Cardinal Koch wishes the Vatican to primarily be that voice.  The Orthodox, while they also would have concerns, are less concerned about the Vatican having an often leading role (the Orthodox believe that Rome has a certain “primacy” amongst what they consider to be the 5 “apostolic sees”).

I have reported about Cardinal Koch several times this year (e.g. Kurt Koch Made a Cardinal: Might He Become the Antichrist? and Kurt Koch Spoke on Vatican II: More Compromise Coming?).  I believe that if he lives long enough, Cardinal Koch will either become the final Antichrist, support the final Antichrist, or be decide that he will have to oppose him.  To take this a step further, yes, this means that I believe that someone who calls himself “Catholic” and somehow may become pope will be the final Antichrist (Some Doctrines of Antichrist).  And I also will add that it is NOT “Catholic bashing” to consider that the final Antichrist will call himself “Catholic” as this is the position of certain Catholic mystics and currently living Catholic priests.  This ecumenical movement is a concern to many who consider themselves to be either Orthodox or Roman Catholics, especially in the USA.

Now, as I do not personally know Kurt Koch, I am not saying that he is necessarily anything other than a loyal Catholic bishop and cardinal.  But historically, those in ecumenical leaderships make statements that suggest compromise.

Yet, it is becoming increasingly obvious to Cardinal Koch and the Pope that the Eastern Orthodox are much closer to them doctrinally and ceremonially than the Protestants.  Most dedicated Protestants would NOT be comfortable with Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholic liturgy, nor would they be comfortable in the church buildings as they tend to contain many icons that most dedicated Protestants would consider to be idols (even the Roman and Orthodox positions on this changed over the centuries, as several of their “saints” opposed practices that they now seem to embrace, see What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons?).  Despite the distance from Protestantism, based upon biblical prophecy, I strongly suspect that many continental European Protestants will ultimately support the coming ecumenical church that will call itself “Catholic”.

In the Asia News interview, Cardinal Koch also mentioned that Rome and the Eastern Orthodox share some type of “apostolic tradition” that the Protestants, in his view did not share.  While the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant faiths tend to all believe that they have some type of “apostolic traditions”, I would suggest that it can be better demonstrated from both sacred scripture (first century A.D. and prior) and early church literature (first through third centuries) that the Church of God, best currently represented in my view by the Living Church of God, has a much stronger claim to both consistency of teachings and other valid apostolic traditions of any of the world’s churches.

An ecumenical unity for the world is coming (cf. Revelation 13:3-4) and it will not be faithful to the early and true apostolic traditions or sacred scripture.

More details can be found in the following:

Why Should American Catholics Should Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics The talks for unification involve compromise and the apparent rising up of a changed religion that no one should accept.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Living Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. 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 Living 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. Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja viva do deus? Tambien Español: Cuál es fiel: ¿La iglesia católica romana o La Iglesia del Dios Viviente? Auch: Deutsch: Welches zuverlässig ist: Die Römisch-katholische Kirche oder die lebende Kirche von Gott?
Hope of Salvation: How the Living Church of God differ from most Protestants How the Living Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 Do they matter? Most say they must, but act like they do not. This article contains some history about the Church of God (sometimes referred to as the continuation of Primitive Christianity) over the past 2000 years. It also discusses the concept of church eras.
What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church.
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Should Christians be Nazarenes today? What were the practices of the Nazarenes.
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
Apostolic Succession What really happened? Did structure and beliefs change? Are many of the widely-held current understandings of this even possible? Did you know that Catholic scholars really do not believe that several of the claimed “apostolic sees” of the Orthodox have apostolic succession–despite the fact that the current pontiff himself seems to wish to ignore this view?  Is there actually a true church that has ties to any of the apostles that is not part of the Catholic or Orthodox churches?  Read this article if you truly are interested in the truth on this matter!
Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries? Did you know that many in the second and third centuries felt that there were two major, and separate, professing Christian groups in the second century, but that those in the majority churches tend to now blend the groups together and claim “saints” from both? “Saints” that condemn some of their current beliefs. Who are the two groups?

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