Dr. PRAVIN THEVATHASAN
Many Catholics are in the process of converting to Eastern Orthodoxy. This is hardly surprising: Their liturgies are sublime, their Icons are beautiful and within their communities are to be found men and women of sanctity.
As Catholics, we have much in common with Eastern Orthodox Christians. We share a devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, to Our Lady and the Saints, we pray for the dead and we respect the teachings of the Church Fathers.
James Likoudis is a convert to Catholicism from Eastern Orthodoxy and is thus very well placed to further the dialogue between Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians. He has written three important works on the subject His first book, Ending the Byzantine Greek Schism, was an excellent study of how the schism came about from a historical perspective and how the Primacy of Peter was rejected by Eastern Orthodox Christians. His third work, Eastern Orthodoxy and the See of Peter, has just been published.
The Divine Primacy is his second work and is an essential work of apologetics. In 52 brief chapters, he covers a whole range of subjects relevant to the dialogue between Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians. In the first section, the cause of the schism is discussed. In the second section, the doctrine that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son is seen to be entirely acceptable in the light of Tradition. The third section is the most detailed and is a discussion of Papal Primacy.
It is troubling to learn that some Eastern Orthodox Christians think that the Catholic Sacraments are invalid and that contraception and divorce are acceptable in certain circumstances.
This work is essential reading to Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians committed to the Catholic-Orthodox dialogue. It is a defense of Catholic teaching and, like all good Ecumenical works, is written in charity.
Dr. Pravin Thevathasan
The above review originally appeared in the Book Reviews Section of the "Theotokos Catholic Books" website - www.theotokos.org.uk