I will pray that the new Pope Francis has a holy and successful tenure, and that he will correct the doctrinal and other faults of the Western Roman Church and thereby lead it to rejoin the Holy and Apostolic Eastern Orthodox Church. There are 1.2 billion Catholics in the world. But there are also about 300 million people who follow my religion, Eastern Orthodoxy, which is the Christian Church unchanged since Christ. . When Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew took his holy office in 1991, did you hear anything about it in the media? You might want to ask yourself why not. It would seem that such an ancient and unchanged Church would deserve at least 25% of the coverage that the selection of the new Bishop of Rome is receiving, simply based on the relative sizes of the two churches, if nothing else.
The seat of the Orthodox Patriarch is in Constantinople, now called Istanbul, in Turkey where it is daily persecuted by the Muslim Turkish authorities and has been since the Turks sacked and seized the city in 1453. Our current Ecumenical Patriarch is Bartholomew. Patriarch Bartholomew discussed this persecution in his recent "60 Minutes" interview, which can be found at http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6754652n A brief description of the Patriarchate follows here:
"The Ecumenical Patriarchate is the highest see and holiest center of the Orthodox Christian Church throughout the world. It is an institution with a history spanning seventeen centuries, during which it retained its see in Constantinople (present-day Istanbul). [It was also the center and heart of the great Greek Byzantine Empire, which rescued the ideas of the classical Greeks and preserved them for the West.] It constitutes the center of all the local Orthodox Churches, heading these not by administration but by virtue of its primacy in the ministry of pan-Orthodox unity and the coordination of the activity of the whole of Orthodoxy." http://www.patriarchate.org/patriarchate/history
Most importantly, the Eastern Orthodox Church is unchanged, having resisted some of the so-called modernizations of the various Bishops of Rome, commonly called Popes. The Church was finally split in two in 1054 AD, East and West, and the reasons for this split are summarized here:
"There were many reasons for the schism of the Western Church, but the most important were four innovations, one theological, two liturgical and one politico-ecclesiological, which the Church of Rome introduced into the life of the Church and which were rejected by the Eastern Patriarchates. The first of these was the introduction of the word Filioque, meaning 'and from the Son', into the Nicene Creed, so that the article on the Holy Spirit read: 'And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son'. Although the legates of Pope John VIII rejected this innovation at the Council of Constantinople in 879-880, he failed to extirpate it from the whole of the West. In 903 Pope Christopher reintroduced it, which produced a temporary schism with the West. And in 1006 Pope Sergius IV again reintroduced it, which led the Great Church of Constantinople to remove his name from the diptychs. However, the Filioque was not the centre of attention at the moment of the schism in the mid-eleventh century. That position was occupied by the innovations in the Divine Liturgy: the replacement of leavened bread (artos) by unleavened bread (azymes), and the removal (during the papacy of Leo IX) of the epiclesis, the invocation of the Holy Spirit, during the consecration. Although these innovations would at first sight appear to be of less than fundamental importance, their symbolical importance was very great and in fact signified the loss of grace in the Western Church. For since the leaven represented the soul of Christ, its removal by the Papists signified the replacement of the living Christ by a soulless corpse. And in removing the invocation of the Holy Spirit, Who according to the Orthodox accomplishes the change of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, the Popes invalidated their own sacrament. It was as if they were witnessing of themselves: 'The Holy Spirit no longer descends upon our offerings, since we have presumed to speak in His name, and the Christ that lies on our altars is no longer the living Christ, since we have presumed to usurp his authority.' This brings us to the fourth, politico-ecclesiological innovation, which must be considered to the most fundamental. At in the Council of Constantinople in 879-880, the theory that the Pope has jurisdiction over all the Churches in the world was rejected by the delegates, including those of Pope John VIII. However, the nearly two hundred years that followed that Council had not only not seen a quenching of the ambitions of the Popes, but rather an increase in those ambitions to the point of megalomania, to the point that they asserted the theory that the Pope is to the Church and Christian society what the head is to the body – the unimpeachable and infallible Sovereign." . http://www.orthodoxchristianbooks.com/articles/242/-schism-1054-a-short-...
These seroius theological and doctrinal issues must be addressed by the new Bishop of Rome and the Western Church if there is to be any hope of the reunification of the Church.