I have heard that Pope Francis said the Catholic Church would not impose any preconditions for the unity of the Catholic and Orthodox Church. Is that true? And if so what does it mean for the Church?

  • Interesting question. – guest37 Nov 20 '17 at 21:59
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    Can you provide a source? – bradimus Nov 20 '17 at 23:50

Indeed, those words were spoken, and the complete text of Pope Francis' speech is supposedly included in a news bulletin on 2014-11-30 from Vatican Radio. He mentions doctrinal agreement as necessary, so interpretation of his statement may not be clear without further discussion of which doctrines must be agreed to. Among other things, he stated

All of this precedes and always accompanies that other essential aspect of this journey, namely, theological dialogue.

I want to assure each one of you here that, to reach the desired goal of full unity, the Catholic Church does not intend to impose any conditions except that of the shared profession of faith.

The one thing that the Catholic Church desires, and that I seek as Bishop of Rome, “the Church which presides in charity”, is communion with the Orthodox Churches. Such communion will always be the fruit of that love which “has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (cf. Rom 5:5), a fraternal love which expresses the spiritual and transcendent bond which unites us as disciples of the Lord.

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  • As an outsider, I'm not sure what to think of this. If the Pope can be (only?) a "first among equals" while somehow preserving Papal infallibility, then perhaps the two branches can be in full communion again. – Bit Chaser Nov 21 '17 at 3:15
  • "Shared profession of faith" implies a "same faith". This would have to entail the Roman Catholic profession of faith of papal supremacy. If not, then their faith would have changed. – SLM Nov 21 '17 at 16:08
  • @slm it sure sounds that way. They've had 3 years to discuss this now, so maybe they have dared to post something about how to reconcile the irreconcilable. – Bit Chaser Nov 21 '17 at 17:33
  • Pope Francis did make this statement. It is mentioned on the web site: forums.catholic.com/t/ephesians-2-8-10-help/204812 Thise is a discussion on our salvation by grace and not by works, which is Biblical and throughout the Bible. I am an Augustinian and we believe that salvation is by grace (and grace alone) and good works is the natural result of our salvation. – Stephen M Riley Nov 22 '17 at 18:45
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    There are enormous gulfs in doctrine. The Roman Catholic Church doesn't even agree with Eastern Orthodoxy on what grace actually is. – guest37 Nov 22 '17 at 23:09

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