August 28, 2014

Russia brings music to Constantinople on “The Three Romes” tour

They also performed at Agia Irene (St. Irene) Church Museum. (From the Russian National Orchestra website.) ++++++++++ Orthodox and Catholic churches unite with music TV-Novosti Russian spiritual music was ringing out in Istanbul last night as part of a major international project aimed at uniting the main centers of Christian culture. The project is the brainchild of the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. The performance of the Moscow Synod Choir was the second stop of its “Three Romes” tour. It kicked of in Moscow on Thursday and will end with a concert in the Vatican in May, bringing together the leaders of the Orthodox and Catholic churches. The choir is performing The St Mathew Passion, a piece based on an evangelical text, which aims to celebrate common Christian heritage. … [Read more...]

Cardinal Levada: Union with the Catholic Church is the goal of ecumenism

St. Peter's Basilica

A summary of a recent speech from a Catholic Cardinal who argues that all ecumenical activity should lead to a reconciliation of all Churches with Rome. Read the full text of the speech. Orthodoxy is only mentioned in terms of the "Eastern Catholic" practices. +++++++++++++++++++++++ In a lengthy address delivered in Canada on March 6, Cardinal William Levada, prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, stated that the reception of communities of Anglicans into the Catholic Church is consistent with Anglican-Catholic ecumenical dialogue because “union with the Catholic Church is the goal of ecumenism.” Tracing the history of Anglican-Catholic dialogue since the Second Vatican Council, Cardinal Levada noted that Anglican decisions to ordain women and countenance homosexual activity were not consistent with earlier statements agreed to by Anglican and Catholic theologians. “No wonder, then, that the ordination of a bishop in a homosexual partnership in New … [Read more...]

Patriarch of Constantinople´s New Encyclical Defends Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue

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The Catholic take on +Bartholomew's Sunday of Orthodoxy encyclical. Caveat: I am a columnist for Catholic Online. ISTANBUL, Turkey, (CNA Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople´s newest encyclical encourages dialogue between the Orthodox Church and other Christian churches and laments those who are "unacceptably fanatical" in challenging such dialogue. He specifically condemned the false rumors spread about Catholic-Orthodox dialogue. Patriarch Bartholomew´s patriarchal and synodal encyclical was dated Feb. 21, Orthodoxy Sunday, when the Orthodox Church celebrates the defeat of the iconoclastic heresy. His letter began by noting the failure of those who tried to suppress, silence or falsify the Orthodox Church. He said that the Ecumenical Patriarchate cares about "protecting and establishing" the unity of the Orthodox Church in order that the Orthodox Christian faith may be confessed "with one voice and in one heart." Orthodoxy, he said, must be promoted with humility … [Read more...]

Patriarch Kirill & Pope Benedict: A Tale of Two Leaders for a new Missionary Age

Pat. Kyrill and Pope Benedict

I've been asked to become an Orthodox columnist on Catholic.org and accepted. Below is my first essay. Regular readers will notice ideas we discussed on the AOI Observer. +++++++++++++++++ Catholic Online (www.catholic.org) NAPLES, FL. (Catholic Online) - Over four decades ago Pope John Paul II said that the restoration of the Russian Orthodox Church was necessary for the cultural restoration of Western Europe. At the time his words seemed audacious. Russia was still under the Communist yoke, the winds in Poland were just starting to blow, and the Berlin wall loomed invincible. Culture watchers dismissed the statement as the wistful longing of a faithful man. Yet John Paul, with his gift of seeing through the clutter of immediate events into the deeper and far-reaching ways of God, knew better. He believed that the fall of Communism would unleash a transformation that could only come from those who suffered. His words are proving true. The Orthodox Church in Russia, … [Read more...]

Church has right to bring Gospel values to public debate, pope says

Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Catholic teaching and the truths of the Gospel have a right to be heard in public debate, especially in a country where so many people claim to be Christian, Pope Benedict XVI told the bishops of England and Wales. However, the church must recognize dissent within its own ranks and not accept it as being part of a balanced discussion, he said Feb. 1 in an address to bishops who were making their "ad limina" visits. The meeting with the bishops, who were at the Vatican to report on the status of their dioceses, took place as Pope Benedict prepares to visit Great Britain in September. Referring to the Equality Bill under debate in Britain's Parliament, the pope said some legislation designed to guarantee equal opportunity for all people actually would impose "unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to act in accordance with their beliefs." Catholic bishops have said the bill means churches could be sued by … [Read more...]

“The Pope Is the First Among the Patriarchs.” Just How Remains to Be Seen

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ROME, January 25, 2010 – This evening, with vespers in the basilica of Saint Paul's Outside the Walls, Benedict XVI is closing the week of prayer for Christian unity. There are some who say that ecumenism has entered a phase of retreat and chill. But as soon as one that looks to the East, the facts say the opposite. Relations with the Orthodox Churches have never been so promising as they have since Joseph Ratzinger has been pope. The dates speak for themselves. A period of chill in the theological dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches of Byzantine tradition began in 1990, when the two sides clashed over so-called "uniatism," meaning the ways in which Catholic communities of the Eastern rites duplicate in everything the parallel Orthodox communities, differing only by their obedience to the Church of Rome. In Balamond, in Lebanon, the dialogue came to a halt. It hit an even bigger obstacle on the Russian side, where the patriarchate of Moscow … [Read more...]

Der Speigel interviews Abp. Hilarion (Alfeyev)

Ed. The secularized west meets the Orthodox east. From the Russian Orthodox Church Department of External Church Relations website. +++++++++++++++++++ Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations, answered questions from Der Spiegel magazine. Below is the text of the talk His Eminence Hilarion had with the magazine’s correspondents. The interview is published in Der Spiegel’s issue No. 51, 2009. How would you explain the difference between the Orthodox, the Catholic and the Protestant Churches? The Orthodox and the Catholic Churches have only some differences in theology and models of church order. Thus, we do not recognize the supreme authority of the Pope of Rome over other Churches. However, the differences between Orthodoxy and Catholicism are not fundamental. We recognize the Sacraments of the Catholic Church. If a Catholic priest moves over to Orthodoxy we accept him as priest. As for … [Read more...]

WOF Survey Trends In US Religion — Who are the “Nones”?

Roman Catholic priest Fr. Robert Barron offers a sociological analysis on the emergence of the "Nones" -- the people who eschew atheism but avoid churches. HT: Frank Johnson … [Read more...]