July 23, 2014

Russian Orthodox launch the St. Gregory Nazianzus Foundation

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Robert Moynihan, editor of the Inside the Vatican newsletter, is in Moscow visiting with Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk and other church people. He reports that "the Russian Orthodox have now decided to engage with Catholics, and others, in a collaboration which can be compared to an actual alliance against the great social evils of our day, not only in Russia, but also throughout Europe and the world." Moynihan says that this effort will be directed by a new think tank, the St. Gregory Nazianzus Foundation, which has the blessing of Patriarch Kirill. Archbishop Hilarion, working with a team of young Orthodox clergy and laymen, decided to found the St. Gregory Nazianzus Foundation in order to work together with Catholics and others in the West, to support traditional spiritual values in Russia, but also throughout the world, St. Greory was a theologian in the 300s, well before the division of the Church into East and West, and so is venerated both by the Catholics and by the … [Read more...]

Archbishop Hilarion on Orthodox-Catholic relations

From the Moscow Patriarchate, Nov. 12, 2009: During his meeting with foreign media people on 11 November 2009, Archbishop Hilarion spoke on burning issues of inter-Christian relations. He said in particular that considerable improvements took shape in relations with the Roman Catholic Church in recent years. ‘There is a regular mechanism of mutual consultations and high-level visits… We can state that we are moving towards the moment when the preparation of a meeting between the Pope of Rome and the Patriarch of Moscow will become possible. I would like to underline that we have no concrete plans concerning the venue and date of this meetings but the both sides show a desire to prepare it’, he said. According to His Eminence Hilarion, this meeting should serve to find ‘a common platform’ for issues of bilateral relations, which are still disputable or divisive. ‘As soon as it is found and appropriate agreements are prepared to be signed by the two Churches, this meeting will … [Read more...]

Remarks by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Secretary of State Clinton

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHpfiMGtDBI[/youtube] Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew tells the Secretary of State that she holds within her "extensive world-view a remarkable comprehension of global political, economic and religious circumstances. In addition to understanding what is power and might, you know as well what is holy and right." ---- Address of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the Dinner Honoring Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Benjamin Franklin Room, The State Department, Washington, November 5, 2009: Good evening, and please be seated. I want to welcome all of you to the Ben Franklin Room here on the eighth floor of the State Department for such a special occasion. It is indeed an honor for me to welcome His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, whom I have had the great honor and personal pleasure of getting to know over the years. And I know we have a number of other very distinguished representatives, His Eminence Geron … [Read more...]

Orthodox-Catholic Consultation Responds to ‘Ravenna Document’

SCOBA has released the joint response of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation to the international dialogue's 2007 "Ravenna Document." This took place at the Consultation's 77th meeting, held at Saint Paul's College in Washington, from October 22-24, 2009. It was presided over by Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh and Roman Catholic Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops also released a statement on Ravenna. Catholic Culture said that North American statement was "a candid critique of the 2007 'Ravenna document,' a modest milestone in Catholic-Orthodox ecumenical relations." … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch on Charlie Rose

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Unfortunately we cannot post either the transcript or video here since both are copyrighted. View video here. View transcript here. Comments welcome. … [Read more...]

‘little steps forward in the right direction’

From the Zenit news service story, With Orthodox: "Little Steps, the Right Direction." The Vatican's official for promoting Christian unity has characterized the most recent session of dialogue with the Orthodox as "little steps forward in the right direction." This was the estimation given by Cardinal Walter Kasper to Vatican Radio today as he evaluated the 11th plenary session of the International Mixed Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. The weeklong session ended Oct. 23 in Paphos. Cardinal Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said the steps forward are "small and slow," precisely because the topic under discussion is "very complex -- a theme that has carried an emotional weight for many centuries." The commission was discussing "The Role of the Bishop of Rome in the Communion of the Church in the First Millennium." "What is important, nevertheless," the cardinal continued, … [Read more...]

Catholic-Orthodox meeting on Cyprus wraps up

See you next year in Vienna: According to a statement released by the dialogue commission Oct. 23, the commission's Orthodox members discussed "the negative reactions to the dialogue by certain Orthodox circles and unanimously considered them as totally unfounded and unacceptable, providing false and misleading information." The Orthodox delegates "reaffirmed that the dialogue continues with the decision of all the Orthodox churches and is pursued with faithfulness to the truth and the tradition of the church," said the statement released in Cyprus and at the Vatican. At the Catholic Mass Oct. 17, Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and head of the Catholic delegation, "stressed that the spirit of humility and love should prevail in the work" of the commission. Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Cyprus, host of the meeting, presided over the Orthodox Divine Liturgy Oct. 18. He said all the Orthodox churches are committed … [Read more...]

A Changeless Faith for a Changing World

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Reunion with Orthodox next?

Clebrating inclusivity

To answer the question in the title, probably not. Still, the article, written from the Roman point of view, is worth a read. Father Rutler discusses Vatican's Anglican provision Fr. George Rutler, a convert from Anglicanism, was asked by the Catholic News Agency on October 20 what his reaction is to the Vatican's new Anglican provision. Fr. Rutler's reply follows. It is a dramatic slap-down of liberal Anglicanism and a total repudiation of the ordination of women, homosexual marriage and the general neglect of doctrine in Anglicanism. Indeed, it is a final rejection of Anglicanism. It basically interprets Anglicanism as a spiritual patrimony based on ethnic tradition rather than substantial doctrine and makes clear that it is not a historic "church" but rather an "ecclesial community” that strayed and now is invited to return to communion with the Pope as Successor of Peter. The Vatican was careful to schedule simultaneously with the Vatican announcement, a press … [Read more...]

Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue off to rocky start on Cyprus

Orthodox or Catholic ecclesiology?

.From the Sunday Mail (Cyprus): Members of Orthodox Christian unions along with clerics and monks yesterday disrupted a Paphos conference between Orthodox and Catholic Christians. The unions, monks from Stavrovouni monastery and Larnaca clerics were protesting against the conference and demanding that Archbichop Chrysostomos II cancel it. It was day one of the conference of the Joint Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. The protesters claimed the dialogue between the two churches aimed in the submission of the Orthodox Church to the Pope. AsiaNews, picking up on an interview Metropolitan John of Pergamon held with a Cypriot journalist, said the metropolitan wanted to send a message to "certain areas" of the Orthodox Church that are suffering from "a traditionalist narcissism bordering on infallibility." ... Zizoulas immediately clarifies that "the decision to participate in dialogue with the Catholic … [Read more...]

The Primacy Problem (Catholic and Orthodox)

In an interview with the National Catholic Register's Edward Pentin, Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk talks about his first official visit to Rome in September as chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Affairs. He offers a caution about any Catholic-Orthodox union, something that media reports and at least one Catholic bishop said was imminent. In pointing out that the Roman Catholic understanding of the primacy of the bishop of Rome was a chief sticking point, Archbishop Hilarion also observed that the Orthodox have primacy issues, too. At least from the Russian perspective. NCR: Archbishop Paolo Pezzi of Moscow was recently very optimistic about Catholic-Orthodox unity, saying it could possibly happen in a matter of months. What is your reaction to Archbishop Pezzi’s words, and what is your analysis of the current progress towards reunification? Archbishop Hilarion: I would be more cautious with regard to progress towards unity between … [Read more...]

Thoughts From Nashotah House

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The recent Anglican/Orthodox Conference at Nashotah House was, for me as an Orthodox observer, an extraordinary experience and one that fills me with hope (albeit, a guarded hope). Over the 3 or so days of the conference I was consistently impressed with the seriousness of all the speakers and the substance of their presentations. Archbishop Robert Duncan of the Anglican Communion of North America I think spoke for many of his fellow Anglicans when he said that "we (the Anglican Communion) come to you (the Orthodox Church) in our brokenness and our need for what it is you have." This is, in my opinion, an extraordinary statement from a Christian leader. At the same time neither Archbishop Duncan or the other Anglican speakers were unaware that there remain real, substantive differences between our two traditions. Of these the most serious were seen (from the Anglican side) as the  "filioque" clause, which was added to the Nicene Creed by the Western Church, the ordination of … [Read more...]