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Fwd: Orthodox-Catholic Statement on Ecumenical Witness

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  • David Constantine Wright
    Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever! ... Notice... ... The Orthodox must point out to the members of this consultation that unity doesn t need to be
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 19, 2000
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      Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever!

      >GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AMERICA
      >NEWS RELEASE
      >
      >June 9, 2000
      >
      >ORTHODOX-CATHOLIC CONSULTATION ISSUES COMMON STATEMENT ON VALUE OF
      >ECUMENICAL WITNESS
      >
      >BROOKLINE, MA - The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological
      >Consultation issued a common statement on the value of ecumenical
      >witness on June 1st, the final day of its meeting at the Hellenic
      >College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline.
      >This was the 58th meeting of the Consultation, which has been in
      >progress since 1965.
      >
      >Entitled “Sharing the Ministry of Reconciliation: A Statement on the
      >Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue and the Ecumenical Movement,” the common
      >statement is a reflection on the experience of dialogue between
      >Catholics and Orthodox in North America. It places the work of the
      >Consultation within the broader framework of the international
      >Orthodox-Catholic dialogue, and the growth in positive relations
      >between the two communions in recent decades. The members of the
      >Consultation took the occasion of the 35th anniversary of its
      >existence to reaffirm the importance of the ecumenical witness of the
      >two churches, and to call for an intensification of the dialogue. The
      >text cites a certain apathy and even opposition to the ecumenical
      >enterprise within some groups in both communions, and responds to
      >their concerns. Aware of new tensions in Orthodox-Catholic relations
      >that have followed the reestablishment of religious freedom in
      >Eastern Europe, the Consultation expressed the conviction that the
      >restoration of unity is God’s will, that past divisions have wounded
      >the lives of both our churches, that our disunity diminishes our
      >ability to act as agents of reconciliation in our world today, and
      >that solid theological reflection rooted in scripture and nurtured by
      >prayer is essential if full reconciliation is to be achieved. The
      >document also honors those Orthodox and Catholics of the past who
      >struggled to preserve the unity of the churches. It places the
      >Catholic-Orthodox dialogue within the context of the ecumenical
      >movement at large, and recognizes that the work of other bilateral
      >dialogues among the churches have benefited the work of the North
      >American Consultation. The common statement concludes with a
      >reaffirmation of the reestablishment of full communion as the
      >ultimate goal of the Orthodox-Catholic dialogue that is taking place
      >at many levels. It recognizes that this will be a gradual process
      >which must end not in the victory of one side over the other, but
      >with “the victory of Christ over our divisions, for the sake of the
      >salvation of all.”
      >
      >The Consultation also continued its study of the filioque, the
      >addition of the phrase “and the Son” to the Latin version of the
      >Nicean-Constantinopolitan Creed’s article on the procession of the
      >Holy Spirit. Professor Alkiviadis Calivas reviewed the scriptural
      >evidence on this question as presented in Boris Bobrinskoy’s book,
      >The Mystery of the Trinity: Trinitarian Experience and Vision in the
      >Biblical and Patristic Tradition. Professor Brian Daley, SJ,
      >presented a paper entitled, Revisiting the “Filioque” (II): Anselm
      >and Thomas Aquinas. The Consultation is still in the early stages of
      >a major study of this matter, which for many centuries has been one
      >of the points of disagreement between Catholics and Orthodox that has
      >prevented the reestablishment of full communion.
      >
      >While meeting at Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of
      >Theology, the members of the Consultation were given a tour of the
      >new Archbishop Iakovos Library and Learning Center, a major new
      >addition to the campus. At the end of the proceedings the members
      >were honored with a greeting from Archbishop Demetrios of America,
      >who joined them for lunch.
      >
      >The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation meets
      >under the auspices of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox
      >Bishops of America, the Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and
      >Interreligious Affairs of the National Conference of Catholic
      >Bishops, and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. The 59th
      >meeting of the Consultation is scheduled to take place in Washington,
      >DC, from October 26th to 28th, 2000.
      >
      >The Co-Chairmen of the Consultation are Metropolitan Maximos of
      >Pittsburgh and Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee. The other
      >members of the Consultation are, from the Catholic Church: Rev. Brian
      >E. Daley, SJ; Rev. Msgr. Frederick McManus, Rev. George C. Berthold,
      >Prof. Thomas E. Bird, Rev. Peter Galadza, Rev. John P. Galvin, Sister
      >Donna Geernaert, SC, Rev. Sidney H. Griffith, ST, Rev. John F. Long,
      >SJ, Rev. David M. Petras, Prof. Robin Darling Young, and Rev. Ronald
      >G. Roberson, CSP (staff); from the Orthodox Church: Rev. Thomas E.
      >FitzGerald, Archbishop Peter of New York and New Jersey, Rev.Nicholas
      >Apostola, Prof. Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Rev. Alkiviadis Calivas, Rev.
      >James Dutko, Prof. John H. Erickson, Rev. Alexander Golitzin, Rev.
      >Emmanuel Gratsias, Dr. Robert Haddad, Prof. Lewis Patsavos, Rev. Paul
      >W. S. Schneirla, Rev. Robert Stephanopoulos, and Bishop Dimitrios of
      >Xanthos (staff).
      -------End Forwarded Messaeg

      Notice...

      >the Consultation expressed the conviction that the
      >restoration of unity is God’s will, that past divisions have wounded
      >the lives of both our churches, that our disunity diminishes our
      >ability to act as agents of reconciliation in our world today, and
      >that solid theological reflection rooted in scripture and nurtured by
      >prayer is essential if full reconciliation is to be achieved.

      The Orthodox must point out to the members of this consultation that unity
      doesn't need to be *restored" ... we already have it, fully, in the Orthodox
      Church. The Orthodox must point out that heretics and heretical bodies
      falling away from the Church do indeed harm themselves, a harm which we
      abhor and which we should try to heal through endeavoring to lead them back
      into the Church, but do not harm or diminish the Church in any way.

      >this will be a gradual process which must end not in the victory of
      >one side over the other, but with “the victory of Christ over our
      > >divisions, for the sake of the salvation of all.

      Well, I certainly pray for the victory of the Orthodox Church and Faith, as
      do we all: "Grant victories to Orthodox Christians over their adversaries."
      Heresies which rip people from the Body of Christ are enemies, which we must
      fight and which we have the assurance from God that the Church *will*
      overcome.

      >The document also honors those Orthodox and Catholics of the past who
      >struggled to preserve the unity of the churches.

      The Church honors those who have defended the True Faith against the Roman
      heresies. Holy St. Photios, holy St. Mark of Ephesus continue to pray for
      us!

      With Christ's love,
      Rd. Constantine

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