THE Archbishop of Canterbury's decision to leave out the filioque clause from the Creed at his enthronement pas besn praised in glowing termsby-an Orthodox leader as a great step towards unity.
Unity between East and West has come into focus with preparations for talks between Orthodox and Catholics later this month at Patmos.
Metropolitan Meliton of Chalcedon visited Dr.Runcie last week and said beforehand: "The
Eastern churches salute this gesture as a manifestation of the new Archbishop's will for a reunion of Eastern and Western Christianity on the common ground of the one and indivisible Church."
The cause of the metropolitan's hopefulness was the dropping of a large bone of contention between East and West. The Orthodox complain thin the West has introduced the formula "The Holy Spirit ... proceeds from the Tather and the Son," without consulting them. The words "and the Son" (filioque) were not included in the creed of the Council of Constantinople in 381.
Unity between Orthodox and Anglicans will have thornier barriers to penetrate, such as the question of women priests.
But Catholic-Orthodox talks at Patmos run the risk of getting bogged down in discussion of the Pope's authority to impose doctrines, of which the filioque clause is the prime example.