- A host of disputes – ranging from theological to political – have divided Orthodoxy from Catholicism for nearly 1,000 years. But while some leaders on both sides have tried to resolve them, fewer than four-in-ten Orthodox Christians in the vast majority of countries surveyed say they favor their church reconciling with the Roman Catholic Church.

At the same time, Orthodox majorities in most countries say their religion and Catholicism have a lot in common, and Orthodox majorities across most of Central and Eastern Europe say Pope Francis has helped improve Orthodox-Catholic relations. Regarding Pope Francis in general, however, Orthodox opinion is mixed; half or fewer of Orthodox respondents in most countries surveyed say they view him favorably, including just 32% in Russia.

On two of the issues where Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic teachings diverge – whether to allow married clergy and whether to permit divorce – most Orthodox Christians favor their official church stances permitting divorce and allowing married men to be ordained as priests. Orthodox Christians also tend to support their church’s stances barring same-sex marriage and prohibiting the ordination of women as priests, issues on which their church aligns with Catholic positions. On balance, Orthodox women are as likely as men to oppose the ordination of women to the priesthood.

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Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"Hear, O sons, a father's instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching." (Proverbs 4:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Do not pray that things may be according to your desires, for your desires are not always in keeping with the will of God. It is better to pray as you were taught, saying: "Thy will be done" (Matthew 6:10). Pray in this way about all things, for He always desires what is good and profitable for your soul, whereas you do not always seek it.

Saint Nilus of Mount Sinai: "153 Texts on Prayer"