The Trinitarian Life

Why is the issue of the Holy Trinity such a crucial concept in Christianity – so much so that it is a central component to Orthodox doctrine and practice, playing a prominent role in Orthodox theology and providing the basis for Orthodox worship?  And why do a few words to the Creed – the filioque – matter so much?  This article provides some clear insight into why a proper understanding of the Trinity matters in the Christian walk.

“The Original Christian Gospel”

Questions of “Primacy” Continue Today

The question of how, precisely, one is to understand the concept of “primacy” in the Church continues into the present age.  As the Catholic and Orthodox Church continue to dialogue, this issue, which has been a central factor in the division between the two, will continue to be a point of discussion.  Most catechumens can probably end this post here, with the awareness that the issues behind the Great Schism (A.D. 1054) continue to be wrestled with today.

For those who prefer to delve into the contemporary issues in more depth, I have three links below.  Thank you to Randy, a catechumen, for pointing out the third link from the Ecumenical Patriarch’s website.  There is a considerable amount of “theological” language in these texts and the arguments are, in places, fairly nuanced.

First, in 2007, representatives from the Orthodox and Catholic Church met for “theological dialogue” between the two.  In October of 2007, in Ravenna, the commission unanimously approved the following document, translated into English and available on the Vatican website.  While the entire document is interesting, for the purpose of “universal primacy,” see, especially, points 35ff.

JOINT INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION FOR THE THEOLOGICAL DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE ORTHODOX CHURCH

ECCLESIOLOGICAL AND CANONICAL CONSEQUENCES OF THE SACRAMENTAL NATURE OF THE CHURCH

ECCLESIAL COMMUNION, CONCILIARITY AND AUTHORITY

Ravenna, 13 October 2007

Secondly, the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church was not present at the meetings and, after reviewing the Ravenna document, took issue with some of the points.  They published a response to the document:

POSITION OF THE MOSCOW PATRIARCHATE ON THE PROBLEM OF PRIMACY IN THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH

Thirdly, the Ecumenical Patriarchate published a response to the Moscow Patriarchate on their concerns with the Ravenna document.

FIRST WITHOUT EQUALS

 A Response to the Text on Primacy of the Moscow Patriarchate