The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Monday, September 27, 2010

On the Path to Catholic-Orthdox Unity

On several occasions I've addressed the growing commitment among Catholic and Orthodox theologians to achieve unity after more than 1,000 years of separation. This ongoing effort seems to be picking up steam and I really believe we'll see some form of unity between our two churches in our lifetime.

The most recent step toward this unity was the latest session of the Joint Theological Commission for Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Churches. Held in Vienna last week the session reported substantial progress. In the words of one Orthodox metropolitan, "There are no clouds of mistrust between our two churches...If we continue like that, God will find a way to overcome all the difficulties that remain." The participants also emphasized that the two churches could well be on the way to becoming "sister churches" with each accepting the pope as its titular head. This is a remarkable step forward and it's especially heartening to hear such words coming from the representatives of both churches.
Catholic & Orthodox Participants at this Year's (the 12th) Session

This movement toward unity has also been strongly supported by Russian Orthodox Patriarch Krill and Pope Benedict XVI. The two are both focused on returning Europe to its Christian roots, something that would certainly be aided by Orthodox-Catholic unity. They are not alone in their support for this effort for many other Orthodox and Catholic bishops are equally supportive. For example, Orthodox Metropolitan John Zizioulis of Pergamon and Archbishop Kurt Koch held a joint news conference after the session at which they addressed the positive aspects of the recent session in Vienna. Click here to read some of their key comments. You might also want to read the commentary on the session by Deacon Keith Fournier.

Pray daily for the unity that Christ desires for His Church.

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