Saturday, July 09, 2005

Ecumenism on the ground


Mrs. Athanasius and I and little Macrina and Mary of Egypt (not their real names) went to St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church's Greek Festival tonight. We had meals that were much too large, listened to some music, and then browsed through their collection of icons and books. I struck up a conversation with several of the people working behind the tables. There was no animosity at all in the discovery that I was Catholic, and not even when I told them I was a Byzantine Catholic. One man told was explaining to me that the Orthodox believe "the same things" as Catholics, the same liturgy, the same Eucharist, but (with a shrug) "we're separated." I expressed a wish that I live long enough to see the mutual separation ended, and the book lady agreed. "We'll have to live a long time. Maybe in our children's time."

I don't want to wait that long. Who's with me? I think Pope Benedict is.

1 comment:

Bernard Brandt said...

Alas, I fear it will take a long time. On the one hand, Orthodox are quite dubious (and I believe, quite properly so) of the various RC heterodoxies. On the other hand, there is still that tendency on the part of Orthodox for obscurantism and reluctance to face facts (which tendency Fr. Ephrem Lash has lampooned as "the two headed Byzantine Ostrich")

Nonetheless, I agree with the hope of reunion. May that day come within our lifetimes.