Throughout the last several decades. The Catholic Church has made huge strides towards healing old wounds with our Orthodox brethren. These include theological clarifications as well as political reunions.
These moves are commendable, as they decreased the divide between the Orthodox and the Catholics. The residue of these moves though, are quite interesting. As they put the Eastern Catholic churches in a very unique position.
A few centuries before dialogue with the Orthodox, factions of these same Orthodox churches came into communion with Rome. They are today called the Eastern Catholic Churches. Many of these Eastern Catholic Churches joined and accepted Catholic theological terminology (although did not use them).
One of the biggest claims that these Eastern Catholic Churches made was that they are no longer in existence with the scandal of being not in union with Rome.
Today, this sentiment is still valid. That is, the Eastern Catholic Churches are in existence without the scandal of being separated from Rome. Previously however, many Orthodox Churches were divided from Rome because of theological differences, namely, the terminology used to describe our Lord's humanity and divinity.
Today, due to healthy Ecumenical dialogue. The Catholic and the Orthodox churches have solved many theological differences. However a large difference remains, that is, the Pope's infallibility.
But what would happen if Pope Francis reverses past doctrine in the recent Synod of the Family? The natural thinking would be:
1. Pope Francis has declared something heretical
2. Therefore the Pope is not infallible
3. The Catholic Church now teaches something heretical
4. The Scandal of being in communion with a Church that teaches heresy is far greater than not being in communion with Rome
5. Eastern Catholics become Orthodox
This would be the natural progression of though of many faithful Eastern Catholics.
As Catholic we believe the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church. But they are coming close.
Through the Birth-Giver of God Maryam, and Mor Ephrem. God Bless you all.