67th Meeting of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation
- 2004.11.02 SCOBA:
The Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas
8 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10021
For Immediate Release
November 2, 2004
The 67th Meeting of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological
The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation continued its
reflection on primacies and conciliarity in our churches when it met at St.
Paul's College in Washington, DC, from October 21 to 23, 2004. The
meeting, the 67th since the Consultation was founded in 1965, was
co-chaired by Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk of Cincinnati and Metropolitan
Maximos of Pittsburgh.
The session began with an update on the Consultation's Agreed Statement,
"The Filioque: A Church-Dividing Issue?" that was released one year ago.
A Spanish translation has just been finished and posted on the USCCB and
SCOBA websites. In addition, the members decided to introduce a
modification in the middle of the tenth paragraph of the document regarding
the reference to the work of Hilary of Poitiers. The sentence will now
read: "Hilary of Poitiers, in the mid-fourth century, in the same work
speaks of the Spirit as 'coming forth from the Father' and being 'sent by
the Son' (12:55); as being 'from the Father through the Son' (12:56); and
as 'having the Father and the Son as his source' (2.29)." This
modification was accepted as a friendly amendment that does not change the
meaning of the text but increases the clarity and accuracy of the reference
to Hilary's position.
The Consultation heard a number of presentations in view of its study of
conciliarity and primacies in the Church. Fr. Brian Daley, SJ, offered an
analysis of the contents of Pope John Paul II's 1995 encyclical "Ut Unum
Sint". Metropolitan Maximos read his paper examining the theology of John
Zizioulas, now the Metropolitan of Pergamon, entitled "The Unity of the
Church: An Orthodox Perspective." Fr. Alexander Golitzin offered his own
reflections on Zizioulas' ecclesiology, and Fr. Ronald Roberson, CSP,
presented a brief paper on a Romanian Orthodox theologian entitled,
"Dumitru Staniloae on Primacy and Conciliarity." Fr. John Long, SJ, gave an
overview of the recent book by John L. Allen, Jr., "All the Pope's Men: The
Inside Story of How the Vatican Really Thinks."
The Consultation also devoted one session to major events in the lives of
the two churches and recent developments in Orthodox-Catholic relations.
Topics included the resolution of the dispute between the Church of Greece
and the Ecumenical Patriarchate; the "Christian Churches Together in the
USA" initiative; Foundation for Faith and Order; Developments in SCOBA; the
prospect of a Ukrainian Greek Catholic Patriarchate; the 2004 Clergy-Laity
Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese; the visit of the Ecumenical
Patriarch to Rome in June 2004; the establishment of the "St. Irenaeus
Joint Orthodox-Catholic Working Group at the Johann-Adam Muhler Institute
in Paderborn, Germany; the return of the Icon of the Mother of God of Kazan
to Moscow; the death of Patriarch Petros VII of Alexandria and All Africa
and the election of Patriarch Theodoros II; and the very recent decision of
the Orthodox Church of Greece to restore the order of deaconesses.
Archbishop Pilarczyk welcomed a new Catholic member of the Consultation,
Fr. Joseph Komonchak of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the
Catholic University of America in Washington. Fr. Komonchak has extensive
background in 19th and 20th century Roman Catholic ecclesiology which
should be particularly useful in the next phase of the dialogue.
The members of the Consultation were grateful for the hospitality of the
Paulist community at St. Paul's College, and attended a Mass in the
community chapel on the morning of October 22 presided over by Archbishop
The 68th meeting of the Consultation is scheduled to take place on June
6-8, 2005, at St. Vladimir's Orthodox School of Theology in Crestwood, New
The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation is sponsored
jointly by the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the
Americas (SCOBA), the Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious
Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and
the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Since its establishment in
1965, the Consultation has now issued 22 agreed statements on various
topics. All these texts are now available on the website of the USCCB at:
http://www.usccb.org/seia/dialogues.htm and on the SCOBA website at:
In addition to the two co-chairmen, the Orthodox members of the
Consultation include Father Thomas FitzGerald (Secretary), Archbishop Peter
of New York, Father Nicholas Apostola, Prof. Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Father
James Dutko, Prof. Paul Meyendorff, Father Alexander Golitzin, Father
Emmanuel Gratsias, Dr. Robert Haddad, Father Paul Schnierla, Father Robert
Stephanopoulos, and Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos, General Secretary of SCOBA
(staff). The additional Catholic members are Father Brian Daley, SJ
(secretary), Msgr. Frederick McManus, Prof. Thomas Bird, Father Peter
Galadza, Msgr. John D. Faris, Father John Galvin, Sister Jean Goulet, CSC,
Father Sidney Griffith, ST, Father Joseph Komonchak, Father John Long, SJ,
Father David Petras, and Father Ronald Roberson, CSP (staff).
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
Version: 6.0.786 / Virus Database: 532 - Release Date: 10/29/2004
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]