At vigil Mass on Saturday, while we were praying the Nicene Creed, a thought flashed into my head at the second filioque – and the Son – wondering if it will be removed when the Orthodox and Catholic churches are reunited. Its insertion in the creed was one of the reasons given for the schism in 1054 – and one in which the Catholic side was almost assuredly in error. I certainly have no problems with dropping it…

What is more enlightening for me than the thought itself this weekend but that it coincided with Francis’s visit to Turkey. I hadn’t had the chance to keep up with news from the visit over the weekend but was catching up on some of the coverage through NCR today, reading about how Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew had both spoken very strongly in favor of unity in the immediate future. Talks between the two churches have been ongoing for decades and I share in the hope that this unity will come soon.

Francis made very clear that all the various churches that make up the Catholic and Orthodox communions would retain their own identities, that unity is only in profession of faith together. Bartholomew spoke poignantly about how unity among Christians is already evident in the lives of those being persecuted for being Christian, whatever their denomination.

So, I guess the Catholics would not have to drop the second filioque, but I think it would be a nice gesture.

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