It is my opinion that if an ‘ecumenical’ synod agrees in the officially few differences that separate the papal clergy from Orthodoxy and announces a union, Orthodoxy will receive a blow, and rather decisive : ideological glueing and lack of real unity with the western christianity, along with internal schisms.
The unity that exists in our common ‘european’ chaos, almost perfect already, will be sealed by the Orthodox clergy, leading to the greatest possible corruption.
This is what happens when a Church as such collapses, and faith is decided in laboratories. In the current conditions we need to help mutual contact in many ways, except for an official ideological union. While we need real unity, a unity that comes naturally, unsolicited, wherefrom doctrinal union springs, we prepare the exact opposite. Official ‘theological’ dialogs and the official union are prospects distant enough for us to not even think about them, even for many generations ahead.
Unity in faith is impossible when presuppositions more basic than even doctrines are missing. Artificial agreement leads to the slandering of any possible belief, undermining the ground of any past and future unity between thinking and deeds, damaging the power to create a cultural prospect. Do we need doctrinal unity in order to know each other? A doctrinal unity can not come first but only follow a life already inspired by common experience and understanding. This is what happened in the christening of Hellenism, when groups and communities, even being persecuted, were developing real unity, ending to the conversion of the persecuting empire, the birth of Byzantium.
Aquinas and Symeon belong to different worlds, we can’t compare them and we can’t know who is more significant. What we call ‘Christianity’, does not really exist, not only because western peoples are deeply immersed in atheism and nihilism. In the eyes of a Turk Thomas and Symeon belong to the same world, Christianity exists and is all a ‘West’. This is what we want, a unity that remains invisible unless we have Turkish eyes?
We are designing and programming the tradition, while we need to be born by tradition. In Wittgenstein’s words, “in the ground of a religious symbol there is no opinion, and a mistake fits only to opinion… Tradition is not something you can learn, it is not a road you can follow whenever you like, at least as far as you can’t choose your ancestors”.