Just a few days ago -- February 12, 2010 to be exact -- Pope Benedict XVI told a group of bishops that the Catholic and Orthodox Churches must unite, in order to defend Europe's Christian roots and to enhance the moral and civil growth of society.
The Christian Church has been divided since 1054 -- the year that the Great Schism tore it apart into Catholic and Orthodox divisions. The Christian Church became further divided in 1517 when Protestantism began, thus dividing the Church into three major divisions.
The highest spiritual hierarchs of Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Protestantism -- including the Pope, the Patriarch of Constantinople, and the Archbishop of Canterbury -- now need to conduct weekly meetings until they agree to a united Christian Church. To argue that these hierarchs are too busy to attend weekly meetings to attain this goal cannot be accepted. The fact is that achieving Christian unity must be the number one priority of all three Christian divisions.
Dialogue at these weekly meetings must focus on what must be done to establish a united Church. Moreover, the hierarchs of these divisions must be willing to sacrifice some of their unique idiosyncrasies, if that is necessary to establish one Christian Church. In short, the goal of Christian unity must transcend the continuation of traditional church practices that can be modified or eliminated for a harmonious unity.
Flexibility, then, is an important criterion that the Church hierarchs must possess for Christian unity to occur. You may recall the flexibility that Pope Benedict XVI exercised in October, 2009, when he said that Anglicans -- thousands of whom had been shocked by their Church's recent liberal policies -- could convert to Catholicism without having to go through the usual "red tape" of converts.
Now is the ideal time for the hierarchs of the three major Christian divisions -- Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant -- to be flexible and eliminate the "red tape" that has divided Christianity for centuries. This flexibility will most likely lead to a thriving Holy Catholic Apostolic Church -- one Christian Church as Christ wanted His Church to be!