Back on 29 June 2005, we wrote to the newly inaugurated Pope Benedict XVI outlining what he needs to do to restore the cultural dignity of the Latin Church and effect reconciliation with the Orthodox. Here is that message.

Concerning Relations With Orthodox Christians
29 June 2005

Most Reverend Bishop of Rome and Pope
With all due respect to the man who represents a venerable two-thousand year institution that millions of humans long to sincerely love … I realise that this is a shot in the dark, sending an email message to such a generic address and that the chances of someone actually reading are virtually nil.
Anyway, please keep the following considerations in mind when you discuss unity with the Orthodox.

We are disappointed in you!

First, the Church is supposed to be, among other things, the safeguard of traditions, and yet you’ve thrown away some of your greatest ones, like the Latin mass.
You threw away your language … your language … for God’s sake! And you introduce non-sense like guitars into the mass. And with what result? Are the churches, especially in Europe, more full since 1964? Latin is so beautiful. Please, bring back the old ways!

You must address the issue, with respect to the Orthodox, of equality among bishops. Think of how much more you will be revered if you display sincere humility!
In short, administrative independence is a must, and any attempt to discuss unity that does not put administrative independence at the top of the agenda is a non-starter.

You must address the issue of the filioque. How can we have the creed with two different wordings? It may be possible, but why not convene a synod among your bishops to discuss the issue, and eventually an ecumenical council?

Priestly celibacy is another issue. I don’t see any problems with the Latin Church maintaining its traditions in this sense, but please do consider that the Orthodox have not been unsuccessful with at least a portion of the clergy married.
And finally, again brother in Christ, keep the traditions! Do not deviate from the path! It is no trouble for me to repeat this, and it is a safeguard for you.
Remember that some of us are Orthodox for the very reason that we are not Roman Catholics, because we feel that you failed to keep some of the most venerable traditions.
Scrap Vatican II or at least bring back the Latin mass en masse.
Give ample space to equality among bishops when discussing relations with the Orthodox.
Call a synod and possibly an ecumenical council to discuss the filioque and any other outstanding theological issues.
Safeguard all worthwhile traditions, do not deviate from the path just because of some trendy social pressures from today’s world, which is coming to nothing. In this endeavour you have our deepest respect.

Keep the faith!

Peace to you, most holy father Benedict XVI, from our Lord Jesus Christ,

Stephanos of Epiros

Now, on 11 October 2006, a news report has been released
(http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061011/
ap_on_re_eu/latin_mass_1)

“Pope Set To Ease Latin Mass Restrictions”

We rejoice in this progress. In fact, we have written another message congratulating and encouraging His Holiness.

11 October 2006
The Latin Mass Is Back!

Most Reverend Bishop Of Rome, Pope, and honored Holy Father,

When you first came to office I wrote to you
saying that one of the things you need to do is to restore the Latin mass, or at least not prevent those who appreciate its cultural significance and spiritual beauty from performing it, and you would be loved and honored if you did so.
Now, according to press reports, you are about to do this very thing. If so, God bless you!

We, as Orthodox Christians, also encourage you in your efforts at mutual understanding, reconciliation in all humility, and, who knows, maybe one day even re-unification.

Peace to you in Jesus Christ!

Stephanos of Epiros

” … Domine, dominus noster, quam admirabile est nomen tuum in universa terra. Quoniam elevata est magnificentia tua super caelos … ”

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