His Broken Body by Laurent Cleenewerck

H/T In Communion:

His Broken Body: Understanding and Healing the Schism Between Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches

by Fr. Laurent Cleenewerck

Euclid University Consortium Press; 438 pages, $33.50. Kindle: $9.50.

Not often is a book published which has the potential to serve as a catalyst for history-making events. His Broken Body: Understanding and Healing the Schism between Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches may have that potential. Certainly it will make a book that will greatly help any Christian who is saddened by the disunity of those claiming ancient and apostolic Christian roots.

His Broken Body tells both sides of the story in a comprehensive manner. New light is shed on a multiplicity of concurrent, and competing, early church viewpoints and practices such as Eucharistic vs. universal ecclesiology and Petrine succession not only in the bishop of Rome, but in every bishop. There is also the fascinating concept of the Church as Hologram.

For many readers, seeing this material for the first time will be an epiphany. It was for me. I know of no other single source that addresses so much in one volume. I’ve had to dig for years through both Roman Catholic and Orthodox resources to gain even a small portion of what is made available in His Broken Body. Both uncritical ecumenists and unyielding traditionalists will likely be surprised to find controversial topics addressed in such a balanced, truthful and faithful way.

Fr. Laurent’s style is almost conversational, yet rigorous: outstanding both in its directness and charity, sticking to the point like a laser, irenic in its approach. It’s an example of  “speaking the truth in love.”

Fr. Laurent helps us understand the Church as it understood itself during the first millennium, with all its glory (and shame), in unity (and schism), replete with concurrent differences and agreements.

Not everyone will agree with Fr. Laurent’s conclusions and perspectives, but his analysis will be hard to fault and his obvious desire to move in a forward direction with concrete steps is worthy of admiration and emulation.

- Darrin Roush

Book website. More at Google Books. Fr. Cleenewerck is pastor of St. Innocent Orthodox Church in Eureka, California, and founder of Orthodox Answers. Purchase book or PDF file here.

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