Opinion on Ecumenical Papal Conclaves

In 2015 Pope Francis I visited the United States in what many viewed as an important and conciliatory gesture toward Americans, and Protestants as a whole— He was the second pope to do so. In the preceding weeks and days that followed their was much talk about the munificence of the Pope, and his desire for their to be world peace, and the coming together of the ecumenical christian community as one church, once again, and once for all. With all the preceding, and intervening commotion of just what it would take for the Church to truly be under one roof, and upon great reflection of the matter, I’ve decided to share my personal opinion of the first, roots of the conflict, and secondly, proposed solutions to the impasse. In the 16th century with the debasing of the Papacy by the Borgias for personal gain; it is said that Rodrigo Borgias, the Pope at the time, engaged in orgies while at the Vatican, and the unmitigated disaster which Charles VII of France’s conquest of Italy meant for the Church, and its Chancellery, it became obvious to most of Christendom that the Pope was not indeed, God incarnate. After the Lateran Council, subsequent to the Wars of the League of Cambria, the Pope’s influence on christendom was much diminished, in large parts of the West. This is in no small part due to the rebel preacher Martin Luther and his treatise on the Church. In the 17th Century the declining influence of the Church took its toll on a much larger part of Europe as Wars of Religion, and civil strife broke out. It is said that over 20,000 Huguenots were slaughtered in one French City alone simply for worshipping God in a different way than the King. These Wars, or rather their exigencies, coupled with the hope and promise of America is what principally bonded the early settler communities of what is now considered the United States of America. Ironically today we find ourselves in a World where a Country which under the leadership of conservative Christian Men, has promoted and sought the expansion of Christianity, proselytizing at levels not seen since the fall of Rome, being labeled the “Second Coming” of that villainous epoch. As we as American Christians are regarded as too wrapped up in materialistic things, wrecking havoc on the world, and its faithful communities, and not adhering to strict doxology as pertains to the christian faith. I’m not here to re-litigate the accusations of the past, but rather discuss a way in which we can somehow come to terms with each other, and through an Ecumenical Council, repair the breach which has been for so long broken in the Church. I would first propose that the Pope do two things the first is to announce that he would like to hold a Papal Council which will be to discuss breaches in the Faith which led to the Protestant divisions. He should not reach out to anyone in particular but should instead leave it up to the Protestant Hierarchies to mend the fissures which exist between them, and present a united front which the Pope can then speak to. This part of the process is expected to take some time. The next part will be to set a date for a Papal Protestant Council which will be held in Rome. This council will seek to iron out the differences in dogma between the individual churches and can be seen as one of many steps which would need to be taken before the church can be whole once more. The next thing that I would like for the Pope to do is to call an Ecumenical Council before the Church of Rome. This Council would include all of the Protestant Churches which met with the pope during the first council, and would also include the Eastern, Russian, and Greek orthodox Churches; including the Coptic Christians. This Council should seek to further cement the gains which the Pope has made with Metropolitan Kirill, as well as any gains which the Americans have made with the Russian President Vladimir Putin on these matters. The Ecumenical Council should not be about rehashing old grievances, but rather solidifying the gains and agreement made between the parties in the intervening years since the visit by Pope Francis I to America in 2015, and the Celebration of the 1000th year Millenial by the Russian Orthodox Church. Which saw Metropolitan Kirll in attendance, as well as President Vladimir Putin. The second council should focus only on that which has already been established to be talked about, and that which has been agreed upon before hand, in a bi-cameral forum. That is to say the Pope should meet with the Orthodox Churches one day, and the Rest of the Protestants should meet with the Pope on another day, with the culmination being a day where everybody meets, and the agreements, and communique are read to one another. What the Protocol for such a conclave would look like I do not know.

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