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READ BY THE AUTHOR...In an unprecedented act of humility, the Bishop of Rome, 266th Successor of St. Peter, receives a Blessing from the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, 270th Successor of St. Andrew. Together, they are the Spiritual Leaders of East & West...chosen by God to guide the right & left lungs of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew know the disastrous scandal of division and lack of Eucharistic communion which exists is a shameful scourge that both popes and patriarchs will answer for when they stand before the Great judgment Seat of Christ! After nearly a thousand years of schism, there is no doubt that it is not only the greatest but also the most superfluous evil in all of Christendom! For East & West not to admit they are equally responsible for keeping the Body of Christ separated is criminal. Sadly, exact reasons for division remain obscure to a majority of the Faithful; even members of the clergy remain comfortable in their faith rather than question, even the possibility, of laying aside wrongful assumptions and supporting historical truth! Our book examines centuries of seemingly insurmountable legalisms and innovations promulgated in the West and exposes suspicions and hatred that is shamefully harbored by many in the East. All of which, disastrously, keeps the Body of Christ separated! From the sin of same sex marriage and the selling of baby body parts...to the sanctity of marriage and respect for life, the Church that Jesus Christ founded, that Apostles and Martyrs gave their lives for, cannot allow Herself to remain divided if She is to be that beacon of hope to a world gone mad! Christ's One, Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Church must witness and be that ONE undivided Body of Christ! East & West must stand together on Truths that existed for over a thousand years...on the same Truths that martyrs and apostles gave their lives for... to turn things around to make a better world for all God's children. It is time for His Holiness Pope Francis and His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to stand firm on the True Faith and on their convictions...to do what is right and mend the seamless garment of Christ and restore the Body of Christ! It is now up to them to fulfill the mandate of our Blessed Lord that, "all may be one." There is no doubt that Jesus Christ founded a Church; He made that clear in Sacred Scriptures and into the First Century the name "Catholic" was given to it. But, it is imperative to understand that when we say "Catholic" it does not exclusively mean the Roman Catholic Church. The Church that Christ founded, which was born in the East, was firmly established for over 1000 years before the formal name of Roman Catholic even existed. Our book examines the Deposit of Faith that was given by Jesus Christ to his Apostles and passed on to the Church He founded... this Deposit of Faith is very clear in what we as Catholics are to believe and to follow. Just realize this: the True Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ resides in the Tabernacles on the Holy Altars of every Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church in the world...and...Sacred Scripture makes it very clear that Christ never turned anyone away! Jesus Christ ate with sinners and forgave their sins...and the Apostles questioned Him. Now, the Pope of Rome wants to return the papacy to that which Christ wanted it to be and they question him as well! Pope Francis has caused great stress amidst the Curia and with the Faithful, likewise, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople has caused similar stress amidst the various Orthodox Patriarchs because he desires "unity in truth" and the laying aside of suspicions from the past!
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Fr. Michael has been an Orthodox Priest for over 30 years. He studied for the Catholic Diocese of Orlando and received his theological training at St John Vianney Minor Seminary in Miami, Florida and at St Mary's Seminary & University in Baltimore, Maryland. He was ordained to Minor Orders in 1974 for the former Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Toledo, Ohio & Dependencies by Metropolitan Michael Shaheen. He participated in the 1975 "Holy Year" in Rome in 1975 with Pope Paul VI, travelled throughout Europe and visited with the late Archbishop Marcel LeFebvre. In 1982 he was ordained to the Diaconate and Priesthood for the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (under the 1924 Tome of Ecumenical Patriarch Gregorius VII of Constantinople) following his marriage in 1981. For his service to the Church, in 1986 he was elevated to the dignity of Mitred Archpriest. He and his Presbytera have four sons and have served the Antiochian Orthodox and Ukrainian Orthodox Churches in Central Florida and in Central Ohio since 1987. In 1997 Archpriest Michael was invited to meet Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I when he was visiting the United States; and, also served for many years in "grassroots" ecumenism with the Eastern Rite Melkites and Ruthenians in Columbus, Ohio...with ecclesiastical approbation.Review:
...We must look Truth in the eye...the Bishop of Rome must ensure communion of all the Churches... --Pope St. John Paul II
...Speak the Truth in Love... --His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I
...that there may be a great spirit of fraternity...Building the Church, the Bride of Christ, on the Cornerstone that is the Lord Himself...to make the exercise of my ministry more faithful to the meaning which Jesus Christ wished to give it and to the present needs of evangelization... --His Holiness, Pope Francis
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