Can anyone think of a magic key that would solve the Orthodox-Catholic split?


Orthodox Inquirer
As a recovering Catholic, please forgive my ignorance here:

Can someone explain the significance of the "Filioque" as relevant to this discussion?

Genuinely interested. Thanks.

This is a very deep topic, but to me a way of seeing it is to think in terms of sacred geometry, and the addition of the filioque means a turning of the triangle - instead of the upward point and the lower two coming from it (Father on top, unmanifested, and Son and Holy Spirit manifested), you have the base up top (Father and Son), from which a single point proceeds (Holy Spirit).


Sitting Bull

Trad Catholic
It changed the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed which wasn't allowed.

If "Filioque (And the Son)" is an intolerably new combination of words, who gave you "Orthodox" permission to invent "Theotokos" which isn't in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed either ?

It all started with translation issues from the Greek to the Latin. In Greek, the word is more like “originates from” but when translated to Latin it is translated to something like “is sent by,” which is actually biblically accurate. Both positions are correct if you look at its meaning. So it started off as a misunderstanding.

That's your way of admitting that it is the "Orthodox" who are picking up a fight here.
Greek-speaking Orthodox accuse "Latins" (or "Roman Catholics") as a whole of heresy, refusing to understand the translation issues you just alluded to.
Notice the arrogance of people judging other ethnics from afar.

It's not something they enforce, as Eastern Rite Catholics don't use the Filioque.
That's because, "Orthodox" slander notwithstanding, Western or Latin Catholics do not impose their culture on others. They have a concept of "uniate" which is foreign to Orthodoxy. They fully distinguish between culture and religion.


If "Filioque (And the Son)" is an intolerably new combination of words, who gave you "Orthodox" permission to invent "Theotokos" which isn't in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed either ?
The Council of Ephesus, 431 AD, (The 3rd Ecumenical Council) accepted by the entire Church, East and West. Also wholly irrelevant to the matter at hand.

You're not Roman Catholic, as you don't recognize the Pope, neither are you Orthodox, so I'm just going to ignore your attempts at derailing this conversation between Roman Catholics and Orthodox.
Last edited:

Sitting Bull

Trad Catholic
This is a very deep topic
On those deep subjects (indeed) I always try to minimize my own contribution and maximize the "traditional" part, i.e. what has already been said by people in the past who obviously were better Christians than me, the earlier and closest to Revelation the better.

Thus, when I read something like this :

Father on top, unmanifested, and Son and Holy Spirit manifested

(which makes sense per se), I ask you if, as far as you know, you are the first Christian who thought of that, or if you are aware of any earlier sources ?

Sitting Bull

Trad Catholic
The magic key to solve the split is humility.

That's true in a sense, but it doesn't really help here, does it, since each side accuses the other of lacking humility and being in schism.
Something more radical is needed (unfortunately), something more in the vein of Solomon threatening to cut the baby in half ...


Orthodox Inquirer
On those deep subjects (indeed) I always try to minimize my own contribution and maximize the "traditional" part, i.e. what has already been said by people in the past who obviously were better Christians than me, the earlier and closest to Revelation the better.

Thus, when I read something like this :

(which makes sense per se), I ask you if, as far as you know, you are the first Christian who thought of that, or if you are aware of any earlier sources ?

I agree.

I can't point toward a specific Father who put in this way, and in any case, I was offering not an explanation (which I am not qualified to offer), but simply a way of seeing it, a visual representation which seemed to me in accord with the Christian understanding, since the triangle is the simplest and 'purest' form of representation of reality, the heavenly unity up top coming down to the multiplicity of earth - the mountain being the same pattern in more detail, for example, which is also what the Garden of Eden was.

But you do make a good point, or hint at it, which I think it's important: to the extent that any idea is original, it is certainly devoid of any Truth, for that is eternal and unchangeable. I do think the representation I posited is in line with the Traditional way of seeing things, as I said, but I may be wrong and if you do have a clue in this direction, please do share.

As for humility, the reason I think it's difficult here (though still helpful) is more related to the medium itself, rather than the question at hand. This level of vitriol seems to be infused in most places on the internet, not just here. To a hammer everything looks like a nail, as they say, and to the internet, it seems, everything looks like an opportunity for narcissism and nastiness. Therefore we should be attentive at all times to this danger - and we can only do that with humility.


Can you direct me to the biblical verses for why you believe this?
I would suggest John 17:11: „… Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.“
From this, I understand that Jesus does not want seperation among his disciples. Thus, leaving the existing church in order to found something new would be against His will, even if the original church has its obvious shortcomings.

Blade Runner

The magic key to solve the split is humility.
Yes, humility is understanding when you are in error, and changing. If you aren't in error, it means something different.

And I say for the third time, it won't matter because the name of the denomination, eventually, becomes apostate. It's just that the last to apostasize, for obvious reasons, are the Orthodox - look around. That's telling. It is the ultimate proof of who currently isn't able to humble themselves when objectively in error.

Orthodoxy IS the truth, but the way the truth and the life will be revealed when we are all suffering because we are just sojourners in this world. And there will be human persons from all walks of life that will hear His voice - we won't have the luxury to debate and fight about technicalities like we once did, even though previously they did matter.


Gold Member
I've been reading through 'His Broken Body' by Laurent Cleenewerck, and his framing of the split as stemming from a difference of ecclesiology, the universal ecclesiology of Roman Catholics vs the eucharistic ecclesiology of Eastern Orthodoxy, is pretty convincing.

Every major difference seems to me to have stemmed from there. I don't know which is correct though, both sides seem to have pretty convincing arguments.


The pre-1962 Catholic Church had a Votive Mass for the Healing of Schism. Is there an Orthodox mirror image of this?

NB page 5 is out of order and should be page 3 (the continuation of the Epistle)


  • Screen Shot 2021-03-23 at 10.32.11 PM (
    Screen Shot 2021-03-23 at 10.32.11 PM (
    320.8 KB · Views: 3
  • Screen Shot 2021-03-23 at 10.45.47 PM (
    Screen Shot 2021-03-23 at 10.45.47 PM (
    474.2 KB · Views: 3
  • Screen Shot 2021-03-23 at 10.52.10 PM (
    Screen Shot 2021-03-23 at 10.52.10 PM (
    448.2 KB · Views: 3
  • Screen Shot 2021-03-23 at 10.56.15 PM (
    Screen Shot 2021-03-23 at 10.56.15 PM (
    507.3 KB · Views: 2
  • Screen Shot 2021-03-23 at 11.00.01 PM (
    Screen Shot 2021-03-23 at 11.00.01 PM (
    503.6 KB · Views: 1
  • Screen Shot 2021-03-23 at 11.02.13 PM (
    Screen Shot 2021-03-23 at 11.02.13 PM (
    402.4 KB · Views: 2
Last edited:


Matthew 16:18 (Christ to found a Church - Option A: Church not yet established / Option B: Church was built and still is)
John 20:21-23 (Christ grants apostolic authority to forgive and retain sins)
1Tm 3:1-16 (Literal ecclesiastical structure of Church, not invisible body of believers)
1Tm 3:15 (The Church, not Scripture is the pillar and ground of Truth)
Matthew 28:19-20 (Baptize, not translate Scripture)
Acts 2:37-41, 47 (Option B confirmed. Church was established and therefore still is)
Eph 2:19-22 (Household of God built upon an apostolic foundation. No Scripture based foundation found. Also note Theosis not exegesis)
2Tm 1:13, 2:2 (Oral tradition, not purely Scripture)
Col 1:18 (Christ is the body and head of Church. Orthodox understand the Church to be a theanthropic institution)
Eph 4 (One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one body. Also note the mystical understanding of baptism and its relation to theosis.)
Eph 5:22-33 (Again note the theanthropic nature of the Church)
Heb 12:22-25, 8:1-3, 6, 10:11
Gen 14:18 (Refer back to Heb 6:20)
Ex 25:40 (Earthly tabernacle is a type of the eternal heavenly tabernacle. Also see Rev 8 and note the alter of God and what the saints in heaven are doing in relation to that alter.)
Mal 1:10-11 (Incense offered to the Lord? Is this prophecy fulfilled in your church?)

I could continue, as this is quite literally only scratching the surface, but I feel I have presented sufficient evidence to make you question your protestant traditions - using only Scripture. This argument is only strengthened when one begins to read the early Church fathers, specifically in regards to their understanding of the Eucharist and the Holy Sacraments. My intent here is not to get into a polemic with you, and I am fully aware your own protestant tradition will dictate the lens in which you perceive these verses. I merely hope to plant a seed which will in time, bring you to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. I will leave you with one final argument, straight from the lips of our Lord Himself:

John 5:39-40 - This rebuke can be leveled at the protestants as well. The Church, which as shown above, is Christ, gave birth to Scripture. Not the other way around. Scripture points us to the living God, in whom we cultivate a living relationship with, in His Church. Scripture cannot be understood outside the context of this life and outside the context of a man or woman living that life in pursuit of Theosis. Scripture points us to a living faith with God, in His Church, which is Christ. Just as He is the Holy Sacraments - we put on Christ in baptism and receive Christ in Holy Communion. Satan could burn every last Scripture on the planet, and His Church would survive. In fact, we could re-create it. Not like the Book of Eli "psych I memorized it all word for word" Denzel Washington movie, but in that we have continued the tradition and right worship that cultivates the Holy Spirit in our own lives, and as such, creates saints and prophets who can then speak with the authority of Christ, whether by word or text. It is this authority that Scripture was birthed from and it is this authority that Scripture calls us to strive towards. We are not the Church of the book. Scripture is the book of the Church.

God bless, brother.
I would suggest John 17:11: „… Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.“
From this, I understand that Jesus does not want seperation among his disciples. Thus, leaving the existing church in order to found something new would be against His will, even if the original church has its obvious shortcomings.

Not very convincing. I'm sticking with what I originally said: there is one Church and anyone who accepts Jesus Christ is part of it.


The Deity of Jesus Christ is essential as much as his Life Death and Resurrection.

Not only is his Deity most evident in the Book of John but also in the letter to the Hebrews and the Book of Revelations.

I don't disagree but you should go take a look at what "Lord" means in the Bible and the context in which I'm using it.


Being civil and charitable to one another is one thing, but prolonged contact with non-Catholics in religious matters is very dangerous; this is why the Popes before Vatican II restricted inter-religious doctrinal discussions to qualified theologians.


An Instruction of the Holy Office

Addressed to the ordinaries of places, given December 20, 1949.


“...However, some of the initiatives that have hitherto been taken by various individuals or groups, with the aim of reconciling dissident Christians to the Catholic Church, although inspired by the best of intentions, are not always based on right principles, or if they are, yet they are not free from special dangers, as experience too has already shown. Hence this Supreme Sacred Congregation, which has the responsibility of conserving in its entirety and protecting the deposit of the faith, has seen fit to recall to mind and to prescribe the following:
“I—Since the above-mentioned "union" is a matter which pertains primarily to the authority and office of the Church, it should be attended to with special care by the Bishops, whom "the Holy Ghost hath placed to rule the Church of God."[2] They should, therefore, not only diligently and effectively watch over this entire activity, but also prudently promote and direct it, for the purpose of both helping those who seek the truth and the true Church, and protecting the faithful against the dangers which may easily flow from the activity of this "Movement."
“Hence they must in the first place be fully aware of everything that has been and is being done through this "Movement" in their dioceses. For this purpose they shall designate well-qualified priests who, according to the doctrine and norms prescribed by the Holy See, for example by the Encyclicals
"Satis cognitum,"[3] "Mortalium animos,"[4] and "Mystici Corporis Christi,"[5] shall pay close attention to everything which concerns the "Movement" and report thereon to the Bishops in the manner and at the time which they shall prescribe....

“II—As regards the manner and method of proceeding in this work, the Bishops themselves will make regulations as to what is to be done and what is to be avoided, and shall see that these are observed by all. They shall also be on guard lest, on the false pretext that more attention should be paid to the points on which we agree than to those on which we differ, a dangerous indifferentism be encouraged, especially among persons whose training in theology is not deep and whose practice of their faith is not very strong. For care must be taken lest, in the so-called "irenic" spirit of today, through comparative study and the vain desire for a progressively closer mutual approach among the various professions of faith, Catholic doctrine-either in its; dogmas or in the truths which are connected with them-be so conformed or in a way adapted to the doctrines of dissident sects, that the purity of Catholic doctrine be impaired, or its genuine and certain meaning be obscured.

“Also they must restrain that dangerous manner of speaking which generates false opinions and fallacious hopes incapable of realization; for example, to the effect that the teachings of the Encyclicals of the Roman Pontiffs on the return of dissidents to the Church, on the constitution of the Church, on the Mystical Body of Christ, should not be given too much importance seeing that they are not all matters of faith, or, what is worse, that in matters of dogma even the Catholic Church has not yet attained the fullness of Christ, but can still be perfected from outside. They shall take particular care and shall firmly insist that, in going over the history of the Reformation and the Reformers the defects of Catholics be not so exaggerated and the faults of the Reformers be so dissimulated, or that things which are rather accidental be not so emphasized, that what is most essential, namely the defection from the Catholic faith, be scarcely any longer seen or felt. Finally, they shall take precautions lest, through an excessive and false external activity, or through imprudence and an excited manner of proceeding, the end in view be rather harmed than served.

“Therefore the whole and entire Catholic doctrine is to be presented and explained: by no means is it permitted to pass over in silence or to veil in ambiguous terms the Catholic truth regarding the nature and way of justification, the constitution of the Church, the primacy of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, and the only true union by the return of the dissidents to the one true Church of Christ. It should be made clear to them that, in returning to the Church, they will lose nothing of that good which by the grace of God has hitherto been implanted in them, but that it will rather be supplemented and completed by their return. However, one should not speak of this in such a way that they will imagine that in returning to the Church they are bringing to it something substantial which it has hitherto lacked. It will be necessary to say these things clearly and openly, first because it is the truth that they themselves are seeking, and moreover because outside the truth no true union can ever be attained.

“III—With regard especially to mixed assemblies and conferences of Catholics with non-Catholics, which in recent times have begun to be held in many places to promote "union" in the faith, there is need of quite peculiar vigilance and control on the part of Ordinaries. For if on the one hand these meetings afford the desired opportunity to spread among non-Catholics the knowledge of Catholic doctrine, which is generally not sufficiently known to them, yet on the other hand they easily involve no slight danger of indifferentism for Catholics. In cases where there seems to be some hope of good results, the Ordinary shall see that the thing is properly managed, designating for these meetings priests who are as well qualified as possible to explain and defend Catholic doctrine properly and appropriately. The faithful, however, should not attend these meetings unless they have obtained special permission from Ecclesiastical Authority, and this shall be given only to those who are known to be well instructed and strong in their faith. Where there is no apparent hope of good results, or where the affair involves special dangers on other grounds, the faithful are to be prudently kept away from the meetings, and the meetings themselves are soon to be ended or gradually suppressed. As experience teaches that larger meetings of this sort usually bear little fruit and involve greater danger, these should be permitted only after very careful consideration.

“To colloquies between Catholic and non-Catholic theologians, none should be sent but priests who have shown themselves truly fit for such work by their knowledge of theology and their firm adherence to the principles and norms which the Church has laid down in this matter.....”

I'll add that even cooperation with non-Catholics in such worthy causes as the pro-life movement are not free from danger, as there is usually a strong pressure for Catholics to pray together with non-Catholics, and there is even attempts to convert Catholic to the non-Catholic sects.


The magic key to solve the split is humility.
Agree, for example, if one or both became so downtrodden and persecuted, that their call for help would force a reconcilliation. The question is 1) Will this ever happen? and 2) Who would be first? Geopolitics and demographics would come into play in this scenario. Catholics have the numbers, and geographic diversity (meaning more significant poplations in more countries throughout the world); and Russia, home to many Orthos, is high on the list of targets of the left - so my guess is the orthos are more likely to be persecuted severely in the next 100 years than Catholics, but I think, unfortunately we will all suffer, to some extent. We already are. Kind of morbid, but this thread made me think of this scenario, as a Catholic.