Benedict XVI asks prayers for Catholic-Orthodox talks

From CNA:

.- The Pope called the faithful to a greater commitment to Christian unity during Wednesday's audience. The "peace and harmony" of Christians, he said, shows the world an "authentic" witness to the Gospel message.

At the end of Wednesday morning's audience in St. Peter's Square, Pope Benedict drew attention to the concurrent plenary meeting of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church.

The meeting is taking place in Vienna, Austria this week, with participants examining "the role of the Bishop of Rome in the communion of the Universal Church," particularly in the first millennium of Christianity.

Of this, the Holy Father said, "obedience to the will of the Lord Jesus and consideration for the great challenges facing Christianity today, oblige us to commit ourselves seriously to the cause of re-establishing full communion among the Churches.

"I exhort everyone to intense prayer for the work of the commission and for the ongoing development and consolidation of peace and harmony among the baptized, that we may show the world an increasingly authentic evangelical witness."

Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.

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  1. Father G says:

    Which reminds me….
    This Saturday is the feast day of Saint Sergius of Radonezh, who was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1422, and is regarded as the most well loved of Russian saints.
    What many Catholics-both clery and laity – may not be aware of is that Saint Sergius as well as a few other Russian Orthodox saints are officially included in the Martyrologium Romanun. Pope Pius XII accepted the canonizations by the Russian Church and listed them in the Roman Martyrology.
    According to Butler's Lives of the Saints, this was done in 1940 when the Holy See published an official liturgical calendar for Russian Byzantine Catholics.
    Since there is no feast or obligatory memorial on the general calendar for Sept 25 , a Roman Catholic priest may celebrate Mass in honor of Saint Sergius in accord with GIRM 355,c.

  2. Oleksander says:

    it's not going to happen on an institutional level in eastern europe anytime soon – maybe with the ecumenical patriarchate, he's the most open of them all to catholicism 

  3. HighMass says:

    Remember “Prayer Changes Things” Dear Father in Heaven, Please hear the Prayers of Pope Benedict and all of us who pray for re-union SUBITO

  4. tobyguise says:

    Ah – he obviously saw my sign! ;-)
    No seriously, good for him, this is the rhetoric we want to hear, we should all get behind it with our prayers.

  5. Norah says:

    The Greek Orthodox approval of contraception, abortion and divorce seems to me to be an insummountable hurdle. Granted that Latin Rite Catholics also CAand D the Magisterium doesn’t turn a blind eye to these things even if parish priests and some bishops do.

  6. “The Greek Orthodox approval of contraception, abortion and divorce seems to me to be an insummountable hurdle. ”

    Could someone provide a link please which discusses this in more detail?

  7. tianzhujiao says:

    Agios o Theos, Agios ischyros, Agios athanatos, eleison imas
    Sanctus Deus, Sanctus Fortis, Sanctus Immortalis, miserere nobis
    Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us

  8. Oleksander says:

    eastern orthodox can be divorced and remarry 3 times (not sure if the original marriage is included in those 3,) they do NOT support abortion, but have no comment on contraception (several Greek Orthodox bishops in USA have written in favor of those laymen engaging in “reasonable” contraception when confronted with questions on the matter)

  9. Thanks for this Oleksander. It is sad to read, at least our faiths hold an abortion prohibition in common.

    P.s. Father, I like the new blog format!

  10. frgregoryuk says:

    The maximum number of times a person may be remarried in church is twice … so 3 in total. A bishop’s blessing is required for subsequent marriages. In such a marriage there is a more sober feel to the rite through an act of penance at the beginning for the first failed relationship. Some other differences between east and west include the following:-

    In Orthodoxy the sacrament of Holy Matrimony is conferred by the Church not the couple. Also there is the difference that remarriage after the death of one’s spouse is only possible with the blessing of the bishop … the reason being that in the Christian east the emphasis never was on the the legal and contractual element but rather on the mystical joining, so here there is a somewhat more “conservative” approach.

    Abortion is a definite negative but I gather that there MAY be some economia if and when the mother’s death is imminent but even then that is unlikely and I have never heard of a dispensation being given in practice. There is no canonical provision for it.

    Our stance on ARTIFICIAL contraception has softened somewhat although there is no uniformity of practice. Some bishops adhere to the Catholic position … others are prepared to admit artificial contraception (but NOT the “morning after pill” and other abortifacients). Nonetheless, any form of contraception is disallowed if it is used to frustrate the desire of either or both parties to have any children or subsequent children. In this case, if a single “uncooperative” party was to persist and if that led to the break up of the relationship, this would be grounds for a church divorce and remarriage.

  11. Ben Yanke says:

    Just so you know, the contact form dosen’t work. Thought I’d let you know.

  12. servusmariaen says:

    I pray every morning for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I pray for the reunion of the Russian and Roman Churches every morning. I think there is a real fear of offending the Russian Patriarch with such a consecration but why not ask him (along with all the Russian Orthodox bishops and all the Catholic bishops of the world) to pray in union for Russia to be consecrated in a special way to her Immaculate Heart? What can it hurt?

  13. This is about your post about your blog update.  The comments were off.   Is there any way that you can do a "share" thing like some other blogs have where a person can click and share with facebook (and other places) items that you post?  I share many posts from "Creative Minority Report" and others, but your posts are the ones that I would REALLY like to share with friends and family.

  14. TomB says:

    Suz:  Face book has a share program which I have added to my tool bar.  You simply click on "facebook share" and it shares your current web page.  I actually prefer that to the link on other pages.  Look around on facebook for it — I'm sure that's where I found it.

  15. tttr83 says:

    My understanding of Orthodox divorce seems similar to annulments. They are supposed to be only granted for infidelity or absence of a spouse. However, as with other church practices it has been abused, most notably by various Emperors.  Why three? Probably symbolic of the trinity. But one would think if your spouse dies thrice under some extreme hypothetical you should be able to marry again. Oh well. The idea of ecclesial divorce is born out of compassion for the individual and not an out right denial of Christ's teaching.

  16. Thanks, Tom, even though when I mess with my toolbar, it sometimes makes things run either more slowly or just quirky!  But, I think it's time to jump in and try it.

  17. frgregoryuk says:

    Dear Ben
    Russia and Rome will definitely not reunite without the other Orthodox churches.  We are not separate "denominations."
    Dear tttr83
    Historical accident.  The Ecumenical Patriarch once granted a Byzantine Emperor a double dispensation to remarry but like (and unlike) Henry VIII eventually declared: "Enough is enough!"  It is one of the least satisfactory elements of our canon law.  A bit embarrassing really.

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