Pope Aims to Heal Rift Between Catholic and Orthodox Churches

June 11, 2005

Source: Houston Chronicle


On June 11, 2005 the Houston Chronicle reported, "It's a goal that has eluded Christianity for nearly 1,000 years: mending the rifts between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches. Pope Benedict XVI has already declared a 'fundamental commitment' to heal the divide and last week began an indirect round of talks with the Russian Orthodox. In spiritual terms, it's an epic invitation to repair the broken foundation of the faith — at a time when the European Union is erasing the last Cold War separations and some Christian leaders appeal for greater cooperation to challenge the rise of militant Islam. But then comes a reality check. Even the smallest steps toward reconciliation can kick up disputes that require the finesse of a diplomat and the perspective of a historian to overcome. And, in the end, any serious bids at rapprochement will force the Vatican to confront some core differences, such as honoring Orthodoxy's traditions of autonomous leadership and married clergy."