Orthodox Canon of Scripture

Is the presence of third and fourth Maccabees in Orthodox Bibles (as well as Ps.151) acceptable from a catholic standpoint? If a reuniting of some or all of the Eastern churches with the Catholic church were to take place, would these books have to go?

In dealing with Eastern Orthodox Christians, it is Vatican policy to place as few obstacles as possible in the path to reunion. Currently, the Catholic Church is seeking reunification with the Orthodox based on the model of the first millennium Church. Pope John Paul II, writing about an eventual Orthodox/Catholic reunion, says the following:

“In its historical survey the Council Decree Unitatis Redintegratio has in mind the unity which, in spite of everything, was experienced in the first millennium and in a certain sense now serves as a kind of model… If today at the end of the second millennium we are seeking to restore full communion, it is to that unity, thus structured, which we must look.” (Ut Unum Sint, no. 55)

In the first millenium the disagreement on the Old Testament Canon was not an obstacle to full communion. For that reason the Vatican does not consider it an obstacle today. There are much bigger fish to fry.

But I’ve also heard that there are different variations used among the Orthodox Churches themselves! If the Orthodox were the true church founded by Christ they would all use the same Bible and they don’t.

This is not a fair criteria. Yes, there are certain (minor) variations among the Orthodox Churches concerning the Old Testament canon. However, these same variations existed when they were in full communion with Rome, and were part of the Catholic Church! Does that mean that for the first thousand years the Catholic Church was not the true Church founded by Christ?

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