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Certain quotations are
highlighted within P

Musings 2008/225

There are differences between Catholic and Orthodox but I think that some of these are exaggerated e.g. the concept of original sin which the Orthodox claim as different but which the Catholic claim as compatible.
However, it seems to me that there is major difference in the two doctrines on The Holy Spirit - Orthodox claim The Spirit issues from The Eternal-father,
only, and Catholic claim The Spirit issues from both Father and Son.
The Catholic Doctrine has common sense on its side because it conceives The Father as Source and Goodness and The Son, Who issues from The Father, as Truth (The Father-knowing-himself). It sees The Spirit as the Love between Father and Son and therefore issuing from Both.
(The Catholic Church perceives the Three Persons of The Holy Trinity as actually being what Their Virtues indicate - that is The Father as Existence, The Son as Truth and The Spirit as Love.)
There seem to be many minor differences between Catholic and Orthodox which can be reconciled (because on two previous occasions they have been!).

Nevertheless, the one and ONLY
difference that needs to be
totally clarified and agreed upon
is that of the authority
of the Pope.

Once that is agreed upon, then all other differences immediately become - not differences, anymore - but problems that the Pope with the input from his Bishops, including the Patriarchs of the Orthodox, decides upon.
And when it all boils down, there can be only one result with regard to the Bishop of Rome and that is the agreement that he is
Peter, the rock, upon which Christ has built His Church - and continues to build His Church - and the holder of the keys of The Kingdom of Heaven.
P  47  16  18  And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
47  16  19  And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. 
The Orthodox are vehement in their belief that their Bishops have received their authority down through the ages from the Apostles and that they are Apostles of these times - and so they are. They claim they have apostolic succession, and so they have.
It must be rather difficult for them, I have to think, to then deny the Bishop of Rome the same rights: that is that he has apostolic succession, and that from the chief of the Apostles, Peter himself.
The Orthodox do seem to acknowledge that the Pope has apostolic succession, even that he succeeds Peter, but they refuse to give him the same authority as Peter, claiming that was meant for Peter alone. They are prepared to admit that the Pope is first amongst equals, obviously under certain conditions. If there were no conditions they would admit this immediately and act accordingly.
They must feel embarrassed on this assertion as they continue to claim the same rights of the Apostles for themselves and tell the Pope he is in exactly the same position as they are - that is, he is just another Bishop!! - even though he succeeds Peter.
The Orthodox claim, as well, that in the early centuries the Fathers of The Church did not acknowledge the Pope as having the authority of Peter and of course,
this is quite wrong. Refer the opening article of this newsletter and the sermon of Benedict XVI in issue 2008/222, page 37.
The following sermon was about Pope St. Leo the Great who became the Pontiff in 440.
Benedict XVI states that Leo the Great was:-

P  a supporter and an untiring promoter
of the Roman primacy,
offering himself as the authentic heir
of Peter the Apostle:
the numerous bishops
attending the Council of Chalcedon -
mostly oriental - were fully aware of this.
Taking place in the year 451,
with 350 bishops, this council

was the most important assembly
ever to be celebrated
in the history of the Church
Benedict XVI noted that the following was
recorded in the acts of the Council:-

P  "Peter has spoken through
the mouth of Leo,"
the fathers of the council
exclaimed together.   P

How can the Orthodox, with their true apostolic succession, with true Priesthood and true Sacraments, talk themselves into denuding the Pope of the authority and responsibility of Peter?
I suppose the Orthodox must be just as wayward in this matter as the innumerable other break-aways from Catholicism, but I am surprised by it, for I have the highest regard for the Orthodox and almost everything about them.
And, unlike Catholicism, they have retained the majesty and pomp in The Sacrifice, which in many parts of The Church

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