Some Suggestions for the Upcoming Pan-Orthodox Council, Part 2

[The first part of this post can be read here.]Having cautiously committed itself to further dialogue with Rome, the Pan-Orthodox Council should then make clear that the behavior of certain Popes of recent memory is as much a cause of disunity as what divides the Churches doctrinally. Indeed, full communion is simply impossible until the Eastern Churches clearly see that the Bishop of Rome can be trusted to govern the portion of the Lord’s flock entrusted to his care with diligence, justice, and prudence. To provide the Pope with an opportunity to earn and nourish this trust and to elicit from him the kinds of compromises that full communion will necessarily require, the Pan-Orthodox Council should make the following demands:

1. The Western Church should conform to the Eastern date for the celebration of Easter.
2. Rome must respect that right of her Eastern Rites to ordain married men to the priesthood in every place.
3. Rome must desist from any kind of inter-religious dialogue with non-Christians, including Jews and Muslims, that suggests that the Church does not seek the conversion of non-Christians to explicit faith in Jesus Christ, true God, true man, the prophesied Jewish Messiah, and God the Father’s definitive answer to mankind’s problems.
4. Most importantly, the Pope must realize that the liturgy as celebrated in accordance with most of the reforms authorized after the Second Vatican Council is as much a stumbling block to unity as the doctrines that divide us. The Pan-Orthodox Council thus demands that Rome return to the historic liturgical practices that once prevailed in the universal and undivided Church which Rome either centuries ago or more recently has abandoned, namely:
A) The West should rediscover the practice of fasting and abstinence at various times in the liturgical year; that, as in England, the whole Western Church should return to the laudable custom of meatless Fridays; that all those who have the wherewithal to do so should be encouraged to abstain from all animal products every day of Lent and Advent; and that a more intense period of fasting before the reception of Holy Communion be assiduously observed by all.
B) The West should seriously consider admitting married men to the priesthood.
C) The West must restore the Eastward facing (ad orientem) position of the clergy at all liturgical functions.
D) Only one Mass should be celebrated publicly per day in any given church, that the divine office be celebrated publicly and become once again a daily part of the Church’s life.
E) Only ordained ministers should touch the Consecrated Species except under the rarest of circumstances.
F) The Pan-Orthodox Council affirms the newly found Western practice of permitting Communion under both kinds for the laity and of permitting liturgies celebrated in the vernacular.
5. Finally, Rome should seek to maintain unity with those communities who feel they cannot at present accept the “reformed” liturgy and encourage the public celebration of her unreformed rites.
The careful and informed observer of these suggestions will note the following: 1. Nothing in this list constitutes a change in doctrine. Therefore, no one in Rome can refuse out of hand to consider these demands seriously. 2. If Rome were to concede any of these demands, life in the Roman Church would most probably improve; and, 3. Eastern Orthodox bishops opposed to full communion with Rome should be encouraged to vote for such a resolution, because they could reasonably conclude that if such a resolution passed, Rome would never accede to such demands and thus the path to full communion would be rendered impossible. In this way, the Council could achieve the necessary votes to pass such a resolution.
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