AMERICAJN BYZANTINE CATHOLIC RESEARCH CENTER 1334 RAMONA DRIVE, MOUNT SHASTA CA 96067 #363 CHURCH UNITY …. POSTULATORS’ OUTLOOK CHURCH UNITY … POSTULATORS’ OUTLOOK The present ten Postulators for the Pontifical Council for Church Unity are well schooled men and women who embark on a journey that will require a full understanding of every nuance that created the present separation of Christian Churches, especially Rome with the Orthodox Churches. The ABCRC articles will, in many cases, seem belittling in text but it is to be understood that ABCRC articles are written for consumption by the learning student in high schools who will one day rejoice in their true experience of Church Unity. In some cases, the outlook of the ten Postulators may be so engrained and fixed on the “good” of their Roman Catholic Church that humbleness in their approach will be non- existent. There is no way to explain why 960 years (1054-2014) of Church Unity meetings between the Orthodox and Roman Catholics has not reached full agreement to unite, once again. The ABCRC articles are to be corrective in establishing the Catholic outlook that may provide a breakthrough but it is understood that our intent is not to pass the task onto the next generation. Our objective is to have the first meeting of the Orthodox and Roman Catholics to be a successful meeting for both to achieve Unity within one year thereafter, if not earlier. As an Eastern Catholic, I am disappointed in the way the Roman Catholic hierarchy has captured an outlook that is not receptive to the Orthodox interpretations as Catholic. We Eastern Catholics live in a different world between the Roman Catholics and the Orthodox. Different in that we are not fully acceptable to either. The Roman accepts us as a small minority within their large majority and therein the Postulators’ outlook must be adjusted to the fact that eleven of the twelve Apostles founded our Apostolic Particular Eastern Churches, and, in fact, our twelfth Apostle from the East founded and nourished their Apostolic Particular Roman Church. In the ABCRC articles, the most aggressive (successful) of the ten Postulators will be the one who comes to understand that the Orthodox have full knowledge of the treatment of Eastern Catholics who have returned to unity with the Romans. It was during the first millennium that the Orthodox fulfilled the task of launching the Catholic Church not only through the first eight Ecumenical Councils but also through the full allegiance to our Apostle, Peter. The Orthodox will enter the first Synod of bishops meeting with the Romans with full confidence that they, the Orthodox, are the One Church. The Orthodox understood that the Great Schism resulted in the Romans departing from the One Church. It is not considered unique that we Eastern Catholics side with the Orthodox in their interpretations of the Apostolic Church. The Orthodox outlook toward the Synod of Bishops’ meetings will be most Catholic, simply because they have not changed from the Teachings of the Early Fathers. The Roman bishop members of the Synod of Bishops will have to have an outlook that Unity will be a union of equal brothers. This will be one of the major challenge to the Romans. The acceptance of Orthodox interpretations as Catholic on many key teachings will be the greatest challenge to the Romans. The only procedure to achieve Church Unity is for both sides to accept each others’ interpretations until peace after Church Unity. Nine hundred sixty years of non- agreement is long enough and there must be no more wars. To accept Peace is more challenging than continuing to fight. True, peace offerings have been made by each other but accepting peace is a humbling act for one party; accepting peace must be a humbling act for both parties. A major change in the outlook of the Romans is the same for the Orthodox, that is, each must become humble. Pride of believing in individual ownership is a disadvantage for each side. The task of being equal is near insurmountable. It was in the second Ecumenical Council, the First Council of Constantinople, that the presiding Patriarch of Antioch, led the East to proclaim the Patriarch of Rome as the first of all. There is no question of the Pope being responsible for the Unity of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. The Patriarchs of the East have always honored Peter as the Vicar of Christ. Unfortunately, Rome has not always honored all of the Patriarchs as brothers equal. The history of the first and second millennia must be fully understood. It begins with an improved outlook by the ten Postulators. It must be understood that in the first millennium, when the Ecumenical Councils were all held in the East, there was Church Unity between the East and West. It must be understood that in the second millennium all the Ecumenical Councils were held in the West, and there was no Church Unity between the Orthodox and Roman Catholics. Entering into the Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Church Unity will require the ten Postulators to provide a teaching document that will succeed in Church Unity. It is not the intent of ABCRC to inform the ten of what should be in the teaching document but we, through our persecution, inform the ten Postulators that your “outlook” cannot be the one that existed during the entirety of the second millennium. The individual and collective outlook of the ten Postulators will serve as “key” to opening a crack in the wall of distrust that was created during the second millennium. In my personal opinion, without full trust there will be no seed planted; with full trust of each other, there will be a full glass of hope. Nine hundred sixty years of failure may be attributed to the lack of trust and the outlook therein. The nine hundred sixty years were meetings between good men but the obstacles, the baggage, were not overcome, and the lack of Church Unity was the foundation for the lack of Peace, together. We pray for the ten Postulators and their ability to understand fully of the immensity of their task. We pray that you can end the nine hundred sixty years of failure with success. GOD IS WITH US GO WITH GOD Joseph P. Bonchonsky