In the last post, Adam DeVille suggested that Orthodox and Roman Catholics serve Forgiveness Vespers together. Would that we would! It is a suggestion that makes sense on so many levels. So, why won’t it happen? Well, it’s simple, and again, brings me back to my point that it is largely the Orthodox who are at fault in sinking ecumenical ships. I think in many places our Catholic neighbors WOULD be so inclined and interested were we willing simply to propose such an idea.
We won’t see bishops (on our side) with the guts to do this anytime soon because we fear the canon against “praying with heretics” as though that canon were intended to be applied in such a fearful, anti-ecumenical way in the twenty-first century. Here, one sees just how relevant Inga Leonova’s last post was as well. Likewise, I doubt we have many, if any, priests with the guts to do this because of the fear that the bishop would come down on them, based on this canon (all the while bishops will sometimes ignore other canons). Really, it’s that simple. Of course, said bishops have all sorts of Orthodox priests and laity who would support such an application of the canon. That’s part of the problem, too, but really, hierarchy (bishops and priests both) should be brave enough to stand up against such fundamentalism. We don’t. We lack courage. Frankly, I think we lack courage because we might lack love.