Well Clay I wouldnt expect any kind of calm or reasoned approach from those two. The Orthodox did reunite at the council of Florence. You can google the recent discussions at Ravenna. Metropolitan Hilarion seemed to be open to ecumenical discussions. However certain sects of Orthodox reject him as a Heretic. His papers were cirulated at Catholic seminaries. At least open discussion. It was a great disappointment that the Russian contingent headed by Hilarion left the discussions at Ravenna due to a dispute within the Orthodox church. They all agreed, but then the document was reviewed in Russia and rejected. The largest share of the Orthodox are under the Russian umbrella.<quoted text>
All I know, is that history shows the Orthodox being united with The Bishop of Rome until the schism.
The Papacy is documented in every decade since Peter.
Pope Clement wrote authoritatively to the Churches and they listened to him. This was done while some of the Apostle were still alive.
I'm assuming the Church in the East would also have listened to Rome if any disputes erupted. Perhaps this is why the remarkable similarities between the two Churches exist today, 2,000 yrs later.
Plus, Herm, any group of people need one leader. Whether its a coach on a football team or a Bishop. Jesus Christ did the responsible thing by leaving someone in charge of the day to day operations of His Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I would have done the same thing. One Bishop; One Faith; One fold.
What is being discussed and reviewed with theologians is the role of the Papacy in the early church. Long before you or these 2 came here these things were put out in some detail. 2 lungs is a fairly comprehensive website dealing with points and counterpoints which are being discussed. Kallisto, Bartholemew and other Patriarchs have warmed quite a bit allowing talks to take place. Pope Benedict was greatly respected. He is a deep theologian and extremely intelligent. However perhaps not as Charismatic. Francis is very familiar with the Eastern Church and Charismatic. It is too early to tell what issues he may become mired with. Bendedict never wanted the Papacy but he went where he felt he was called. He wanted to continue his writings and work feverishly on a unification of the churches.
The issue being discussed right now is the issues you are bringing up. They are sharing documents and discussing the role of the papacy in the early church and the theology. It is interesting to see what they did agree upon.