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By Diogenes (articles ) | Oct 14, 2007

Six Orthodox ecclesiastics with a collective mass of 500kg traveling eastward at 90 mph encounter a midwestern auxiliary bishop who is stationary and weightless. Assuming a frictionless plane, calculate the displacement caused by their ecumenical collision.

Hint #1:

A young Orthodox priest member of that team explained his own birth in a Baptist missionary family, and his investigation of Catholicism before finding a suitable place in an Orthodox community with a strong vibrant commitment to the missionary character of every parish community. I must say that I was truly excited by his personal witness and his enthusiasm for sharing the faith he had embraced so enthusiastically.

Hint #2:

From our Catholic side of the dialogue, a Paulist Father gave a fine presentation on the history of Catholic evangelization. One thing I noticed, however, as I tried to listen through the ears of my Orthodox colleagues sitting at the same table, was the absence of emphasis on the power of the Eucharist in drawing people together and sending them forth. I made that note for myself as we initiate a powerful new effort of evangelisation of our own here in southeastern Wisconsin.

OK, just from that description: You've got the keen ex-Baptist who considered Catholicism but ultimately popped for Orthodoxy, and the Paulist who manages to do his evangelisation number without mention of the Eucharist. Which one is more likely to convert a functional pagan in Kazakhstan -- or, for that matter, southeastern Wisconsin?

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  • Posted by: - Oct. 15, 2007 11:04 AM ET USA

    Thanks to Bp. Sklba for writing about this; an ecumenical encounter can even have a good effect on one of the bishops participating!

  • Posted by: - Oct. 14, 2007 11:44 AM ET USA

    Which one of them has any interest in converting a functional pagan? Or thinks there is such a thing as a functional pagan? Or isn't a functional pagan himself? Should I stop now, or start down the "which one of them believes the Eucharist is worth mentioning" trail?

  • Posted by: - Oct. 14, 2007 10:12 AM ET USA

    The one who sings from the St Louis Jesuits' hymnbook. Wait. Is this a best two out of three?

  • Posted by: - Oct. 14, 2007 9:39 AM ET USA

    Just a moment of episcopal daydreaming on the Lord's Day....... what if one day Milwaukee Auxiliary Bishop Sklba in this story woke up and found himself Auxiliary in St. Louis under Abp Raymond Burke.............ahhhh now that would be fun to watch.