Orthodox archbishop slams pope's "medieval fables"

In a strongly worded response to Pope Benedict's recent re-assertion of the primacy of the Catholic Church, Australian Greek Orthodox leader Archbishop Stylianos has accused the pontiff of becoming an "ardent herald of the medieval fables of the papacy".

In a statement to Neos Kosmos, Archbishop Stylianos called the Pope's statement "unexpected and highly offensive."

"I could never have imagined that my humble estimations of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and his overall work prior to his elevation as Pope would prove so soon to be justified and indicative," Archbishop Stylianos said.

"After his elevation we saw his sudden transformation into the most ardent herald of Medieval fables of the papacy," Archbishiop Stylianos added.

He said that with the supposed resumption of the Official Theological Dialogue, he intends to return to the topic of these "undermining rapid developments".

"In an enormous hypocrisy, these statements tragically contradict the most promising endeavours of the Second Vatican Council in Ecclesiology and Ecumenism," Archbishop Stylianos said.

Having made a concerted effort to bridge the divide between the two churches, the Pope's comments came as a surprise to many, according to Neos Kosmos.

In November last year the Pope visited Istanbul to meet with the leader of Orthodox faithful Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew where the two Church leaders renewed their commitment to work towards the restoration of Full Communion between the two Churches.

They called on the faithful of both Churches to strengthen their prayers and endeavours towards the unity of the Churches.

They also expressed their joy and satisfaction for the recommencement of the official Theological Dialogue between the two Churches.

In December, the Orthodox Church in Greece Archbishop Christodoulos visited the Vatican where he met with the Pope in what was seen as an important step in overcoming the division between Orthodox and Catholics.

Archbishop hits back at Pope (Neos Kosmos, 23/7/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in Australia (Wikipedia)
Greek Orthodox Church in Australia
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Wikipedia)

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Failure to recognise primacy "wounds" Protestants, CDF reiterates (CathNews, 11/7/07)
Opportunity for Benedict to move out of Dominus Iesus shadow (27/5/05)
Cardinal Cassidy says 'Dominus Iesus' had 'negative impact' on ecumenism (CathNews, 21/11/00)
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24 Jul 2007