Common enemy draws Catholic and Orthodox ecumenists together
A high-level meeting between Catholic and Orthodox leaders has produced an optimistic joint statement after blaming 'manipulative' Communist regimes for driving the denominations apart.
The Tablet reports that the participants, all members of the North American Joint Committee of Orthodox and Catholic Bishops, met for two days earlier this month at the Orthodox Academy, on the island of Crete. The gathering followed a notably downbeat encounter between theologians from the two traditions at Emmitsburg, Maryland, during which clashes over the status of Eastern rite Catholics in Europe featured prominently.
This time, however, delegates united in laying prime responsibility for inter-Church strife in former Communist countries at the door of "manipulative" Communist regimes there.
The persistence of theological differences (which centre on the papal office and trinitarian doctrine) gave added importance to Jesus' call for mutual love among Christians, the bishops concluded. Their committee had already issued ground-breaking statements on such subjects as ordination and mixed marriages in the past.