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Catholic stuff

Post#1 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:25 pm

Rather than clog the politics too much, let's give it its own thread.

DeathScythe wrote:Seph, you get your own post.

Negative. Trads are always suspicious of priests and bishops who don't want to dress like priests and bishops. For Catholics, it's not just a job, it's a state of being, an "ontological" change. When priests don't want to dress the part, it usually means they are pushing the idea that there is not much difference between clergy and laity.

What if they don't dress the part, but also aren't pushing the idea of clergy and laity being the same? For instance, if the message is that the clothes don't make the faith, or the clergyman? I know; I have a protestant mindset.

One blog I follow is by a Catholic priest. He tells stories about how when he travels, he wears the uniform because in past times, he has been approached by those who've sought spiritual advice, confession, etc. The uniform isn't about, "Oh, look at me, I'm a priest!" but rather, "If you need help, I'm a priest."

Pushing deacons as subs for priests... Right now this year, there is a synod that is going to meet in South America where it is expected that married priests will be on the agenda, allowing men of good character (read married deacons, etc.) to join the priesthood.

I'm getting the impression that deacons are allowed to be married, but above that rank, you're not? (I really know nothing.) I'm also getting the impression that you would be similarly opposed to priests being married. This is because Jesus wasn't married? Anyway, if the receptive individuals you find in an indigenous population that you want to bring into the Catholic faith are almost exclusively married, what's the better strategy to pushing deacons?

I started working on this post from the bottom up, so scroll all the way down for my description of deacons. Men who become deacons have to be married already and if they are, they cannot progress up, they are stuck as Permanent Deacons. Single men cannot get married after becoming deacons. It is usual for them to progress on to being priests. That's correct, Jesus was not married. It's not that one doesn't want married deacons vs. unmarried deacons, it's that those who push married deacons hard usually have ulterior motives as I've noted, e.g. they object to unmarried priests, so they push married deacons until it becomes a fait accompli.

Nothing wrong with a Bible translation, if translated well. But it's not his job to be pushing /his/ version of the Faith. In the quote above, it talks about incorporating indigenous traditions. That is usually code for other less benevolent things.

This is a fundamental difference between us I wasn't expecting. Protestantism pushes a "personal relationship" with Jesus/God and you're supposed to...interpret. As far as incorporating indigenous traditions, you're probably thinking something like Santeria, while I'm thinking...Christmas falling on the Winter Solstice....Easter being named for the Saxon goddess Eostre....I'm avoiding some more controversial ones to not offend you.

Santeria, sure. Are you familiar with Santa Muerte? But I was actually thinking of things like "liturgical dance" and other things like that, half naked ladies dancing around the aisles. That is one of the stereotypes that trads immediately call to mind, having all too often seen such displays at papal masses when the pope has gone to visit somewhere where dancing may be a thing in native rituals.

Whatever he was doing, it didn't work, at least as far as spreading the Catholic Faith:
http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/diocese/dsncr.html Scroll down to the table with figures on the numbers of Catholics, priests, religious, etc. In 1958, the year before Bishop Ruiz was appointed, the percentage of Catholics was 97.4 percent. In 2000 when he retired, it was 76.9 percent. Given the years on either side give figures in the sixties, I'm assuming that was some kind of misreporting.
...
That's all well and good. The Church should work to alleviate the suffering of the poor. But a priest's first duty is the saving of souls, getting his flock into Heaven. Earning the plaudits of marxists while watching the percentage of Catholics in the diocese fall by twenty or thirty percent suggests to me that he failed fundamentally as a bishop.

That is a really interesting link; I love data. Supplemental reading about Chiapas tells me that there was a lot of immigration to the region from other indigenous groups (not Mestizos, the previously converted), and the poplulation change shown here would support that.

Are there sizeable populations of unconverted natives in Central America? That's interesting.

You must consider the drastic change in the total when looking at the percentage. At no point does the number of Catholics decrease during his tenure. It actually almost doubles, from 609k at the start in 1958, to 1.18M when he leaves the Chiapas Diocese in 2000. (Remember that the Vatican puts a stop to his programs in 2002). You do see a slight drop in "Diocesan Priests", with an explosion of deacons though, to your point. You also see a major gain in "Religious Priests".

It would be nice to know what kind of religious priests those were. For instance, Jesuits are notorious SJWs. As for the almost doubling of the Catholic population while the number of diocesan priests falls, that's not so good either. That's like watching class sizes explode and making no effort to hire more teachers to bring the ratio back down. Diocesan priests are the ones who are in the trenches making sure the people have access to the sacraments, teaching people the Faith, etc.

I should probably find out what these things actually mean, and what a deacon is, for instance. We'll save that for my next post. This is long.

In the Church today, there are three levels of the clergy: deacons, priests, and bishops. Cardinals and the Pope are merely bishops who hold higher, more elevated offices. Without getting into it too deeply, deacons are there to assist priests during the Mass. They baptize and officiate at wedding I think. They can't hear confessions or perform the Last Rites when someone is dying. Men who are already married can become deacons, but single men who become deacons must remain unmarried. Deacons have for many centuries formed one step in the formation of priests. Married men were allowed to become deacons after Vatican II.
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Re: Catholic stuff

Post#2 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:04 am

One blog I follow is by a Catholic priest. He tells stories about how when he travels, he wears the uniform because in past times, he has been approached by those who've sought spiritual advice, confession, etc. The uniform isn't about, "Oh, look at me, I'm a priest!" but rather, "If you need help, I'm a priest."


Makes sense.

I started working on this post from the bottom up, so scroll all the way down for my description of deacons. Men who become deacons have to be married already and if they are, they cannot progress up, they are stuck as Permanent Deacons. Single men cannot get married after becoming deacons. It is usual for them to progress on to being priests. That's correct, Jesus was not married. It's not that one doesn't want married deacons vs. unmarried deacons, it's that those who push married deacons hard usually have ulterior motives as I've noted, e.g. they object to unmarried priests, so they push married deacons until it becomes a fait accompli.


How many have these ulterior motives? Is that popular in the main stream?

Why is it important to Catholics that the clergy emulate the celebate aspect of Jesus' life? Isn't that a non-scriptual assumption anyway?

Santeria, sure. Are you familiar with Santa Muerte? But I was actually thinking of things like "liturgical dance" and other things like that, half naked ladies dancing around the aisles. That is one of the stereotypes that trads immediately call to mind, having all too often seen such displays at papal masses when the pope has gone to visit somewhere where dancing may be a thing in native rituals.


Recently learned of it from a documentary. That must be less offensive than something like Santeria? I see it as more akin to Christians celebrating Halloween.

There is an episode of Lore about lingering Pagan beliefs in Catholic Ireland in the past that I thought was interesting.

Its doing what's necessary to evangelize I suppose. My Methodist church had a Christian Rock band that did country music. The South American equivalent would probably be dancing.

In the Church today, there are three levels of the clergy: deacons, priests, and bishops. Cardinals and the Pope are merely bishops who hold higher, more elevated offices. Without getting into it too deeply, deacons are there to assist priests during the Mass. They baptize and officiate at wedding I think. They can't hear confessions or perform the Last Rites when someone is dying. Men who are already married can become deacons, but single men who become deacons must remain unmarried. Deacons have for many centuries formed one step in the formation of priests. Married men were allowed to become deacons after Vatican II.


Are Religious Priests able to perform all these same duties? I'll see if I can find more info on what the 300 some deacons were doing if not helping with mass. What is a normal ratio?

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Re: Catholic stuff

Post#3 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:32 pm

I don't want to delve too deeply into liturgical dancing, etc. It involves a lot of different things coming together including priests and bishops who don't really care about being Catholic, or if they do, they think they need to modernize it all to make it relevant. It's not just any one or two things. I feel like that's a cop out on my part, but I don't want to do a disservice to a topic that is fundamental to what all is wrong with the Catholic Church and organized religion in general today.

Are Religious Priests able to perform all these same duties? I'll see if I can find more info on what the 300 some deacons were doing if not helping with mass. What is a normal ratio?

And...

How many have these ulterior motives? Is that popular in the main stream?

Why is it important to Catholics that the clergy emulate the celebate aspect of Jesus' life? Isn't that a non-scriptual assumption anyway?

1. Religious priests can perform all those things, yes. But that doesn't mean it's their main focus. They may be running schools or working in hospitals or assisting the poor in some way. It is the diocesan priests who are guys who are in the trenches, living with the locals, teaching the basics of the Catholic Faith. Religious priests are specialists and diocesan priests are the general practitioners.

2. I wouldn't say there is a "normal" ratio. It's more about mindset and emphasis. Bishop A is really into his faith. He goes out of his way and encourages young men in his diocese to explore a calling to the priesthood. Many hear the call and go on to become priests. Excellent! And many married men later in their lives feel the call to serve and become deacons. Great. Everyone understands his role. Bishop B on the other hand doesn't do anything to encourage young men to become priests. For whatever reason, he thinks they don't want to hear it or he thinks "God will provide." The number of priests falls and the bishop thinks he'll recruit older men who have remained in the Church as deacons so that the few priests who remain are not overburdened with the little things. People in our world today aren't taught well on what roles and distinctions; they see these married deacons and wonder why priests can't be married too. "If only priests could be married, more young men would think about it."

3. I can't give you a number on how many ultra progressives there are out there. They push it because they have ulterior motives, but a lot of bishops like my example Bishop B above are the mainstream guys, they are men who are wishy washy, they don't want to rock the boat and tell people who are caught up in their worldly lives what they don't want to hear. So they make compromises and slowly water things down. And all this is made worse by the fact that due to the changes of Vatican II, the Catholic Faith just isn't taught anymore. What my grandparents learned from their parents and elders is NOT what I picked up from my Boomer dad. When it comes to the ins and outs of being Catholic, the nitty gritty, I am largely self taught.

4. It's not universal within the Catholic world. In the Latin west, celibate priests are the norm because that's how it shook out with the early traditions along with dealing with priests who had wives and families and used the wealth of the Church for their own ends in olden days. In the Greek east (lots of easterners who are loyal to Rome), married men can be priests. (It's the bishops alone who must be celibate.) Catholics don't rely on just the Bible alone. They have tradition handed from the Apostles on down, the ecumenical councils, and so on.
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Re: Catholic stuff

Post#4 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:17 pm

Really sorry this went un-replied to for so long.

Tangentially, I was in a car accident last week, and am currently using a rental car where I have Sirius XM (I would never pay for this). I've taken a liking to The Catholic Channel's talk shows. They're jovial, and sometimes talk about things like: how to handle Protestant perceptions of Catholics being insane. This is entertaining to me for some reason. I'm a weird one.

Anyway, I notice English Catholic media is mostly white Catholics, and I wonder why? I feel that must be the minority, and there's probably way more English only-speaking Latino Catholics. I wonder why it's not dominated by Latino culture? Maybe it's just segregated? Perhaps I'm off-base with the demographics for Catholics, or it's a weird Texas-specific perception.

Just to avoid quoting your entire post, regarding points #1 and #2 that you make: Since the number of Religious Priests rose under Bishop Samuel Ruiz García, and to an even greater extent deacons, while the diocesan priest number stayed about the same.... what would really determine the effectiveness of his tenure would be the intentions of said priests and deacons, and the actions they took. I'm not sure those are knowable to us, but we do know that the overall number of Catholics almost doubled despite the demographics of the immigrants to the region being mostly indigenous.

So I'm wondering what jades you so much regarding him. Is it the idea of incorporating native traditions?

I got at it a little bit elsewhere, but you're aware of the steps taken by the early Christian church to convert European pagans? For instance, December 25th, and other days the pagans already celebrated. To my knowledge, some of these things are undeniable from a historical perspective. We could delve into the topic, but I think you're aware. Why is it okay for the earliest Christians to accommodate certain trivial aspects of the faith for the purpose of conversion, but it wouldn't be okay in a contemporary application to convert indigenous populations? Isn't the message what is really important?

3. I can't give you a number on how many ultra progressives there are out there. They push it because they have ulterior motives, but a lot of bishops like my example Bishop B above are the mainstream guys, they are men who are wishy washy, they don't want to rock the boat and tell people who are caught up in their worldly lives what they don't want to hear. So they make compromises and slowly water things down. And all this is made worse by the fact that due to the changes of Vatican II, the Catholic Faith just isn't taught anymore. What my grandparents learned from their parents and elders is NOT what I picked up from my Boomer dad. When it comes to the ins and outs of being Catholic, the nitty gritty, I am largely self taught.


We should establish what specifically you don't like about Vatican II. What isn't taught anymore? I'm guessing this is about more than Latin which is primarily what I know it to be about.

4. It's not universal within the Catholic world. In the Latin west, celibate priests are the norm because that's how it shook out with the early traditions along with dealing with priests who had wives and families and used the wealth of the Church for their own ends in olden days. In the Greek east (lots of easterners who are loyal to Rome), married men can be priests. (It's the bishops alone who must be celibate.) Catholics don't rely on just the Bible alone. They have tradition handed from the Apostles on down, the ecumenical councils, and so on.


So an exemption on the married rule is already being made for Greek Catholics? Or by Greek east you mean the Orthodox?

What are the chances you guys and the Orthodox have one more council where you finally work it all out?

Regarding the extra-biblical traditions, this is of course the main criticism of Protestants of the Catholic faith. But I do get the value of it, similar to Judaism's extra-Torah books.

If you assume even the core texts are still subject to the bias of man like I do, it's easy to start including things. ;)
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Re: Catholic stuff

Post#5 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:32 am

Accident? Hope you're okay!

DeathScythe wrote:We should establish what specifically you don't like about Vatican II. What isn't taught anymore? I'm guessing this is about more than Latin which is primarily what I know it to be about.

Later i'll get to the rest of your post, but the above should be tackled first and foremost.

John XXIII was elected to be a placeholder, but he decided there should be a council, to "open the windows" and let fresh air into the Church. Not necessarily to change anything, but to orient the Church to deal with modern times.

There is a lot of scholarship on what happened leading into and during the council, but the TL,DR version is that the progressives based in Europe were organized and managed to get their men into key positions to dictate the agenda.

Because of this, many things at the council were, while not overtly changing Catholic belief, creating ambiguity. At the same time, there was a lot of PR involved in presenting what was happening even though the actual happenings were not what was presented. For instance: the law of the Church had been and continued to be that women should cover their heads when in church. But along the way, it was reported that the council was considering rolling this requirement back. Boom, women stopped wearing hats and veils even though nothing had actually changed.

Meanwhile, John XXIII died while the council was underway and Paul VI was elected. Paul was a much different man. John came from the peasantry and Paul was an urbane sophisticate who had long served in the administration. In the aftermath of the council, Paul proceeded with carrying out the mandates of the council in ways that weren't really in line with the letter of the texts. For instance, as you point out, Latin was addressed at the council. The actual document on the use of Latin in Mass reiterated its importance as the language of the Roman Church and its rites. Local languages could be used for things like readings and hymns, but Latin /the/ language for the prayers. However, afterward, when the new Mass was designed and put into use, Latin was put aside.

There are a whole host of things like that. Externals that were familiar to even non Catholics were put aside. Latin, eating fish on Fridays, processions in the streets with statues and all, and so on.

The founder of the SSPX group wrote in the 1970s an Open Letter to Confused Catholics covering a lot of ground on all this that is worth reading.

The TL,DR version of this post(!): Vatican II was a major break, where enterprising progressives used the opportunity within and after the council to push their agenda to dumb down the Church's traditions.
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Re: Catholic stuff

Post#6 » Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:16 am

For instance: the law of the Church had been and continued to be that women should cover their heads when in church. But along the way, it was reported that the council was considering rolling this requirement back. Boom, women stopped wearing hats and veils even though nothing had actually changed.
...
In the aftermath of the council, Paul proceeded with carrying out the mandates of the council in ways that weren't really in line with the letter of the texts. For instance, as you point out, Latin was addressed at the council. The actual document on the use of Latin in Mass reiterated its importance as the language of the Roman Church and its rites. Local languages could be used for things like readings and hymns, but Latin /the/ language for the prayers. However, afterward, when the new Mass was designed and put into use, Latin was put aside.


Would you say you like the letter of Vatican II then, and just not the implementation? If everything was followed according to the letter of the texts, is there still a traditional Catholic movement?

You guys are in a rough situation too, even with another council. Many of these changes seem impossible to reverse now. How do you convince a person who has been praying in their native tongue that it now needs to be in a foreign language? Or a modern Catholic woman that she needs to wear a head covering, despite not wearing a head cover for mass for quite possibly her whole life?

What if a modern Catholic church did something like: multiple masses at different hours of Sunday morning, with one being traditional for people like yourself, and a separate service that was contemporary? Would that be a compromise that could satisfy everyone?
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Re: Catholic stuff

Post#7 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:30 pm

DeathScythe wrote:Would you say you like the letter of Vatican II then, and just not the implementation? If everything was followed according to the letter of the texts, is there still a traditional Catholic movement?

Some of VII would be tolerable. The document on the Mass for instance. But other things in their ambiguity are just plain not needed and didn't need to be written in the first place.

For instance, your question on dancing. VII discusses and breaks down the Catholic position on other religions, using terminology like "other traditions have some truth to them, but the Catholic Church has the total Truth," or something along that line. Stuff like this has been twisted to the point where pagan dances have been allowed in churches with no intention of using such things to bring in non Catholics, but rather as ecumenical prayer events where everyone gets together and has a say because everyone has something to say. In the case of dancing in Mass, it's another instance of that where it's not just borrowing what the pagans do, it's actually incorporating it because it has efficacy on its own. Do you see what I mean? That kind of thing is just one instance where Trads have issues that wouldn't be reconciled by simply ending the abuses. Councils are there to clarify the Faith, not add ambiguity.

You guys are in a rough situation too, even with another council. Many of these changes seem impossible to reverse now. How do you convince a person who has been praying in their native tongue that it now needs to be in a foreign language? Or a modern Catholic woman that she needs to wear a head covering, despite not wearing a head cover for mass for quite possibly her whole life?

There is a strong movement of young people who are learning about their Catholic heritage and doing what they can to revive the old ways. Younger priests who don't have an agenda stemming from the sixties tend to report that they find their priesthood deepened by participating in the pre-Vatican II Mass. The people who are truly hostile and not willing to at least tolerate this revival are old people or people who've been strongly influenced into seeing the old ways as "turning back the clock" to medievalism and the oppression of women and the poor, etc. I read a blog post the other day that discussed a report where some old lady spat on a young priest who dared to wear a cassock on church grounds.

Trads aren't all without sin either. The ones who've been holding on since the sixties have had to put up with a lot over the years and they tend to be a cynical lot who view any compromise with how things are now as defeat (some of the more hardline factions I mentioned awhilie ago).

What if a modern Catholic church did something like: multiple masses at different hours of Sunday morning, with one being traditional for people like yourself, and a separate service that was contemporary? Would that be a compromise that could satisfy everyone?

Some places already do that. It works for many in the factions that are willing to work with Rome and where the local bishops allow it (i.e. stand up to the shrill old ladies of the world). The more hardline factions see it merely as window dressing. They say that having the old Mass and all is nice, but it doesn't make much difference if the priest giving the sermon is still peddling Vatican II era ambiguity. Those who are willing to work within the system note well the ancient saying that "what we pray is what we believe" and emphasize a strategy of building, brick by brick.
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Re: Catholic stuff

Post#8 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:18 am

Some of VII would be tolerable. The document on the Mass for instance. But other things in their ambiguity are just plain not needed and didn't need to be written in the first place.


I was wondering how all of this affected your view of papal infallibility, considering a pope was involved for all of this.

For instance, your question on dancing. VII discusses and breaks down the Catholic position on other religions, using terminology like "other traditions have some truth to them, but the Catholic Church has the total Truth," or something along that line. Stuff like this has been twisted to the point where pagan dances have been allowed in churches with no intention of using such things to bring in non Catholics, but rather as ecumenical prayer events where everyone gets together and has a say because everyone has something to say. In the case of dancing in Mass, it's another instance of that where it's not just borrowing what the pagans do, it's actually incorporating it because it has efficacy on its own. Do you see what I mean? That kind of thing is just one instance where Trads have issues that wouldn't be reconciled by simply ending the abuses. Councils are there to clarify the Faith, not add ambiguity.


Well, one thing you haven't answered yet which I think relates to this, is the steps taken by early Christians to convert the European pagans? If it worked then, why not now?

There is a strong movement of young people who are learning about their Catholic heritage and doing what they can to revive the old ways. Younger priests who don't have an agenda stemming from the sixties tend to report that they find their priesthood deepened by participating in the pre-Vatican II Mass. The people who are truly hostile and not willing to at least tolerate this revival are old people or people who've been strongly influenced into seeing the old ways as "turning back the clock" to medievalism and the oppression of women and the poor, etc. I read a blog post the other day that discussed a report where some old lady spat on a young priest who dared to wear a cassock on church grounds.
...
Some places already do that. It works for many in the factions that are willing to work with Rome and where the local bishops allow it (i.e. stand up to the shrill old ladies of the world). The more hardline factions see it merely as window dressing. They say that having the old Mass and all is nice, but it doesn't make much difference if the priest giving the sermon is still peddling Vatican II era ambiguity. Those who are willing to work within the system note well the ancient saying that "what we pray is what we believe" and emphasize a strategy of building, brick by brick.


I find that very interesting. It is a protestant approach: my Methodist church had communion service, where communion was given every week, traditional service with orchestra and choir (communion once a month), and contemporary which had a Christian rock band.

I went to traditional, and would have hated contemporary, but, I never attended it.

And what you describe with contemporary priests finding personal value in traditional mass, seems to indicate that maybe that could really be the way to the future...perhaps the only future with unity? What is your view of the best case scenario for traditional Catholics?

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Re: Catholic stuff

Post#9 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:13 pm

DeathScythe wrote:I was wondering how all of this affected your view of papal infallibility, considering a pope was involved for all of this.

It's something I have to believe, but there is an argument to be made that if it hadn't been defined back at Vatican One, the whole problem with turning the popes into rock star oracles might not have happened. That's a whole 'nother can of worms related to and exacerbating the Vatican Two problem.

Well, one thing you haven't answered yet which I think relates to this, is the steps taken by early Christians to convert the European pagans? If it worked then, why not now?

I don't have a real answer to give you. It's something that I know has been debated for a long time. Not back in apostolic times, but later when trying to convert the Chinese. How far does the Church go to accommodate the converts' lifestyles? My gut feeling though regarding that bishop and Latin America though is that it's not using dance as a tool of conversion, but as I talked about bringing foreign things and retaining their non-Catholic elements. (Cop out, sorry. :P)

And what you describe with contemporary priests finding personal value in traditional mass, seems to indicate that maybe that could really be the way to the future...perhaps the only future with unity? What is your view of the best case scenario for traditional Catholics?

It's really hard to say. The progressives have an iron grip on the levers of power. I tend to side with the pessimists who think that things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.

Going back to your post before I sent off on the Vatican Two tangent...

Anyway, I notice English Catholic media is mostly white Catholics, and I wonder why? I feel that must be the minority, and there's probably way more English only-speaking Latino Catholics. I wonder why it's not dominated by Latino culture? Maybe it's just segregated? Perhaps I'm off-base with the demographics for Catholics, or it's a weird Texas-specific perception.

What media are you referring to? In my experience where I am, the Latino population keeps pretty much to itself, with its own Spanish language Masses. If there are a lot of Latinos who speak only English, they aren't showing up at the English Masses I go to.

So an exemption on the married rule is already being made for Greek Catholics? Or by Greek east you mean the Orthodox?

I wouldn't call it an exemption. It's a completely different collection of traditions/rites with separate histories from the Roman, Latin speaking West. Greek Catholics have their own code of law and hierarchies, even in places like the US, with jurisdiction over the descendants of the immigrants from the Old Country back in Europe.

What are the chances you guys and the Orthodox have one more council where you finally work it all out?

Zero. There is so much historical baggage. The Orthodox hate our guts for sacking Constantinople, even though the pope back then condemned it. The Orthodox are divided among themselves and are only getting more so as some of them start to compromise on this or that issue. Rome's never going to give up infallibility and the Orthodox are never going to accept Roman domination.
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