What I would be interested to know is whether those discussions between the two Communions have now stalled? As an outsider beginning to experience Othodoxy, I am hesitant to say much for fear of giving offence, but it does seem to me that the dialogues of the past few decades have clarified in a helpful way, what differences still remain, and it would be good to see progress here.
Some might describe the discussions as being 'stalled' while others might describe it more as 'taking a breather'. I would second the point made by Athansius Abdullah that in all of the ecumenical talks, gatherings, committees, etc which have occurred in the past 30 years and more only that with the OO have shown any realistic hope of something that could result in actual ecclesiastical union. But after each round of talks there has always followed a period of time when things just had to sink in for awhile.
I think the interaction here at Monachos very clearly reflects the present level of unity achieved and what still remains. The present reveals that there is more potential between us than with any other churches. Part of this is based on the degree of theological agreement achieved over what mainly divided us- Chalcedon. But a lot is also a reflection of a common theological way of looking at things that is more in accord with that of the ancient Church. After all Rome is Chalcedonian, so are the Anglicans and so are many Protestants. But we are very far from any realistic prospect of unity with any of them. So obviously there is something besides Chalcedon which connects us and which we lack with others. Again I think this is a shared understanding about Tradition or at least something close enough to allow us to make real progress.
But on the other hand there still is not enough confidence on either side that we share a common enough theological vision. Also as we can see the past needs to be healed without ignoring it, without covering it up or implying that those who were its defenders on either side were ignorant and misinformed.
Here I'm not too sure how much good it does to point to the fact that the fathers of the Church were human and fallible in their understanding. This only leads us back to the untenable argument that the division between us occurred due to ignorance and misunderstanding. But if that is so how to account for the obvious fact of division between us for the past 1500 years or so? Has the division been the result of total delusion on both sides for all these centuries?
Probably this is why so many still resist unity in the way it has been presented so far. Unity must not be the fruit of totally disowning our past. For if we do this then what is our present except some sort of newly invented 'church' which has no connection with the saints, theological fathers and faithful who have gone before us?
Without this being some sort of intellectual sophistry unity must be the fruit of healing the past by an openess to what is most true among each of us. Obviously each of us needs to have been able to find where the truth lies on the other side and accept it- which as we can see is a very painstaking task that must be handled with great care. To have humility in how we see others while not compromising on what is esssential to the Faith is no easy task. But it absolutely is required for real unity to be achieved.
In Christ- Fr Raphael