Earlier today I was skimming this article from the website Catholic Culture trying to make the case that the Orthodox Church’s inability to hold a Council points to the necessity of accepting the ” Petrine Claims”. While it’s certainly true that the a Pope as head of the Church and holding universal jurisdiction and the final authority over all matters could probably make a Council happen, it’s arguable that this is a good thing, especially in light of the last 100 or so years of papally sanctioned demolition of the Western Patrimony. Vatican II, if anything, was an unmitigated disaster of the highest order, pretty much opening a Pandora’s box that has yet to be closed.
There are no doubt many issues within Orthodoxy that are messy, but the lack of a Pope is not one of them. In fact, I’ve always been of the opinion that it’s partially because the Orthodox do not have a Pope that something like Vatican II could not possibly happen. The lack of a Pope helps protect the Orthodox from the top down promulgation of novelties the Roman Church suffered at the hands of the Papacy.
While I too pray that East and West might be united, it’s unlikely to ever happen on an institutional level. I imagine that it can happen mystically, and amongst friends and in small enclaves here and there, but not on some international, global level.