According to an interview with the Roman Catholic magazine, “Vatican Insider”, the Greek academic and titular Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) may be thinking of becoming Roman Catholic. From his words it is difficult to know if he thinks that a majority of other bishops of the Patriarchate of Constantinople will follow him or if this only concerns himself and a few others. In any case he believes that ‘communion with Catholics will soon be restored’. His very marginal ideas are sure to be controversial since the mass of faithful of that Patriarchate will certainly not follow him or other like-minded bishops.
The Metropolitan remarked that he foresaw swift progress in achieving what he called ‘full Christian unity’ (it is not clear if these words refer to our unity with God or with heretics). He foresaw unity between his Patriarchate and the Vatican because of the ‘inspiration’ of Pope Francis. In particular he noted the declaration of Pope Francis during his recent visit to the Phanar (shortly after that of the US Vice-President) that the Vatican would ‘not impose conditions apart from those concerning the general confession of the Faith’ as the price of submission to it. The Metropolitan did, however, add that he would have to find out what the term ‘the general confession of the Faith’ meant.
We can add for our part that since the doctrines of the Vatican have in no way changed and there has been no repentance or return to Orthodoxy on its part through renunciation of the filioque heresy, the heresy of the papal claims or any other of its errors, it is clear that any Orthodox who enters into communion with the Vatican will obviously have to become Roman Catholic, just like any other Uniat. Presumably the Metropolitan, who is a well-known academic and author of obscure but erudite books (unread by and incomprehensible to ordinary Orthodox), realizes this. But perhaps his remarks are merely political, not like so many others made by Phanariots over the last few centuries.