Catholic and Orthodox Schism?

In a lengthy excerpt, Are Catholics and Orthodox in schism?, the Pontificator quotes Fr. Louis Bouyer on the question:

Today, the first remedy to this situation, now that sufficient historical awareness of these errors (which are above all, moral faults) has been assumed or is in process of being assumed on both sides, is escape from religious nationalism and the unilateralism it crystallized. Finally, it would be necessary to deny the obvious negation of “catholicity,” or “sobornost” (to use a term the modern Orthodox have developed, often fortuitously). Beginning with this rediscovery and re-establishment of full unity would become possible on both sides, or rather in common.

Recuperation of doctrinal harmony in the apostolic ministry, between its function of pastoral authority and its liturgical function, would come about in common renewal of its magisterium. However, renewal of the two inseparable units of the Church, finally coming together, could happen only in symphony with a common rebirth of living witness to the truth of love by the entire (now fraternal) life of all Christians, Orthodox and Catholic. Then, the unity of the Church, Catholic and Orthodox—which we believe has never ceased, though many clouds have obscured it—would reappear. Reappearing, she would immediately flourish and fructify in the special manifestation of charity and holiness that the modern world expects from the Church of Christ, which she will never bring it so long as this basic reunion is not effected.

Good ol’ Pontie is also posting responses to Fr. Louis and the question on Roman and Orthodox schism.

The first is Tighe on Bouyer, where Byzantine (Ukrainian) Catholic and historian Dr. William J. Tighe responds to Fr. Louis and answers the question.

Next is Freeman on Bouyer, where Orthodox priest Fr. Stephen Freeman also responds and addresses the issue.

And finally is Likoudis on Bouyer, where James Likoudis gives the third response to the issue.

Each post has thoughtful comments and responses to this whole subject.

The Bible and Holy Tradition: A Parable

From Protopriest, Fr. David Moser, The Bible and Holy Tradition:

I often use metaphor and parable when preaching, and I’d like to share a brief version of one with you that addresses just this issue. Picture a beautiful jeweled pendant. The centerpiece is a brilliant flawless diamond and it is set in pure radiant gold, intricately worked and designed to set off the diamond in its greatest beauty. Surrounding the diamond are carefully chosen stones, lesser gems, but no less flawless and beautiful, rubies, emeralds, saphires, pearls, etc. These are chosen and arranged to compliment and augment the brilliance of the diamond and in no way detract from the diamond’s beauty, but rather everything together presents a beautiful whole.

The pendant is the whole of Holy Tradition, which is the expression of the revelation of Christ in the Church. The central diamond is the Holy Scripture and the surrounding gems and gold are the lives of the saints, the writings of the fathers, the services and traditions of the Church. Now if someone were to see this pendant who did not like pearls, he might think to himself, “if only we took off the pearls, this would be much better” and if he did so we would still have a beautiful pendant but somehow lessened. Then perhaps portions of the pendant are allowed to become tarnished so that they no longer reveal their beauty and instead of cleaning off the tarnish and restoring the gems, those portions are removed – perhaps even replaced by rhinestones. Then along comes someone else who doesn’t like emeralds and removes all the emeralds. And again along comes someone else who removes the remaining saphires etc. Finally someone views this once beautiful pendant and not having seen its former beauty thinks that it is an ugly thing but the diamond is beautiful and so removes the diamond and trashes the rest. The diamond is still beautiful, brilliant and valuable. It is set apart and displayed by itself – a truly beautiful thing, rescued from an ugly setting. But only those who never saw the original setting could say that for the diamond, when removed from the pendant is somehow lessened and there is no longer the goldwork and the other gems to set it off and make it a part of a greater whole. This is what has happened to the Holy Scriptures in the protestant Church. Slowly, gradually all of Holy Tradition has been stripped away either because someone didn’t like this or that piece or perhaps the true beauty of a portion was tarnished and it was tossed away without knowing its true value or perhaps a cheap substitute attempting to replace that which was lost was done away with etc. until all that remains of the Tradition of the Church is the Bible. And so they have it – a beautiful gem of the Church but out of context, out of place and its true beauty, revealed by the setting, is lost and in fact the horror stories of the distorted condition of that setting have led to the opinion that this gem is better off without and any attempts to place it back in context are resisted, in some cases violently.

I hope this little story helps to provide some understanding of how the Holy Scripture is a part (a beautiful, brilliant, central part) of Holy Tradition and to remove it from the context of Tradition is to lessen it and hide its true beauty.