I just read an Associated Press article about a council to be held in Crete of fourteen independent Orthodox Catholic churches, representing some 300 million Orthodox Catholics around the world. This would be the very first meeting of its kind since 787 AD - over twelve centuries. The planning for this meeting - just the PLANNING - has taken 55 years. It's scheduled for next Friday.
Well, it's falling apart. Apparently, the Russians and three others have backed out, and others are squabbling. What's the big sore point?
The seating arrangements.
Some wanted a long table, but the Russians and the Bulgarians wanted a round table. So, they're not coming. But they do send their thoughts and prayers to everybody else.
There are other gripes, like how documents will be handled, or if the unspoken intent is to really get too cozy with the Roman Catholics. Meanwhile on the sidelines, the Antioch church and the Jerusalem church are squabbling with each other right now, and they demand that fight be settled first. And the unspoken sentiment is probably that Istanbul's Bartholomew I, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople who organized this thing in the first place, is being regarded as the guy in charge of the meeting, because he's been referred to as "the first among equals." So, you know, egos.
Now, of course I fully realize this is a completely different situation, and there are loads of other reasons why it's not really a perfect comparison between the catholics and us Masons, but I have a sneaking suspicion that a meeting called of all of the grand masters in the U.S. with the express mission of creating one united grand lodge for the whole country after more than two centuries of independence would yield a similar result.
And never mind agreeing on a world takeover plan...