WARNING amateur exegesis ahead!!!
But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, `Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. John 16:5-7
This is from a passage in the same chapter as todays Gospel reading of John 16:16-20. I ponder this passage in relation to the famous Filioque dispute and find it interesting that Jesus says that he must go away (to the Father) before the Holy Spirit will be sent to the Church. I don’t think it is too large a step to infer that the Holy Spirit is sent by the Father and the Son. I don’t think this is any kind of biblical slam-dunk for this position, but I do find it interesting.
Reading through Catholic history I was surprised to find that reconciliation with the Orthodox churches actually occurred twice before in history, the last time being at the The Council of Florence. Unfortunately because of the encroaching Muslim takeovers in the Byzantine empire and the lack of response by the rest of Christendom to help them fight back the religion of peace conquests, reunification ultimately broke down. The invading Moslem’s did not want the Easter Orthodox churches to be reunited with Rome, but they would allow them to stay as they were before the reunification occurred.
That the Catholic and Orthodox church be reunited is probably one of the Holy Fathers greatest desires. That the “Church must breathe with her two lungs!” — Ut Unim Sint. It is probably more cultural than theological differences that maintain the split. The last reunification was much closer to the wounds of the Sack of Constantinople and the other tragedies that occurred than now, yet they were able to hammer out the theological differences and see that that both their interpretations and ours are consistent with each other.