... or is it just a wopping great advantage? Media reports of the meeting in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Moskow, almost without exception, carried on about how this was the "first" meeting between the Pope and the head of the Russian Church since the "Skism" between East and West "nearly a thousand years ago".
I wonder who told the fools this convoluted nonsense. I hope it wasn't the Secretariate for Unity and/or Metropolitan Hilarion's people; because that would rather suggest that, 1984-style, Metropolitan Isidore has been declared an unperson and is to be written out of history.
Isidore, Metropolitan of Kiev, Moskow, and All Rus was at the Council of Florence in 1439, when the Union between East and West was brought about. Isidore was a keen advocate of that Union (and was in fact imprisoned on this account on his return home). He was made a papal legate and a Cardinal. Can it really be true that he never met the pope?
My suspicion is that the guilt here does not in fact lie with Koch or Hilarion, but with an arrogant laziness which prevents journalists from bothering to brief themselves accurately with regard to any 'religious' matters.
I wonder what we, or anybody, could do to explode the idea that 1054 is the date of the breach between East and West. It was a date, certainly, of a nasty spat in Constantinople when a Papal Legate excommunicated a Patriarch and that Patriarch excommunicated that Legate. But there had been nasty spats before then; and there were unions (such as that of Florence) after then. And analysing relations between East and West has never been a simple matter of assuming that Constantinople is the whole East. There are two other autonomous (and more ancient) patriarchates out there, as well as Jerusalem and Moskow. Moskow certainly doesn't think that Constantinople is the whole East: and Moskow is quite right on this as on many other matters.
I am also much puzzled why are there so few banner headlines saying
POPE AND PATRIARCH SLAM ABORTION AND GAY MARRIAGE
Could it be that the text of the Declaration was just that bit too long for poor ill-educated journalists to be able to read all of it?
I have said before, I think, that I find the following a sobering thought:
When journalists rabbit on about things I do know just a little about, it is clear to me that they totally lack competence in that field. So should I therefore prudently assume per analogiam that, when they pontificate in fields in which I am ignorant, that's all a load of rubbish, too?