Skip to content

Statement of Catholic-Orthodox Commission in Belgrade, Serbia

"Dialogue Has no Alternative"

BELGRADE, Serbia, OCT. 2, 2006 (Zenit) - Here is the final communiqué of the Catholic-Orthodox Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue, following its ninth meeting held in Belgrade, Serbia, from Sept. 18-25.

* * *

The ninth meeting of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church met in Belgrade, Serbia, from Sept. 18-25, 2006, continuing the work begun in 1980 to seek the restoration of full communion.

The Orthodox Church of Serbia generously provided hospitality for the meeting.

The official opening took place in the patriarchal chapel of the Serbian Patriarchate in the presence of His Holiness Patriarch Pavle who welcomed the members of the commission and offered his prayerful support, saying: "...Welcome all of you, to this house of God of our Church and of our people and my home!

"My humble prayer shall cover your theological dialogue of love and truth, for that is why you have gathered here. Of far greater significance, even of sole importance, is that all of you be strengthened by the grace of the Holy Spirit, which rectifies all of our shortcomings and heals all of our weaknesses."

The commission invoked the Holy Spirit on its work.

At the first working session in the Sava International Center, the co-presidents Cardinal Walter Kasper and Metropolitan John of Pergamon introduced the work of the commission, and Metropolitan Jovan of Zagreb welcomed all present on behalf of the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

The prime minister of Serbia, Vojislav Kostunica, addressed the commission, affirming that: "...The Churches of the East and West are setting an extraordinary example by means of their dialogue, and this theological meeting in Belgrade represents a reference point on the way.

"The greatest gift to contemporary humanity would be to convince people, perhaps first and foremost the political elites, that dialogue has no alternative and that every form of application of force, dictate or imposition of one's own models and solutions -- in service of primarily personal interests -- destroys the last remaining bridges between confronted peoples and communities, instead of building peace, confidence, solidarity and cooperation."

He also hosted a reception and dinner for all the participants.

The Joint Commission is composed of 30 Orthodox and 30 Roman Catholic members, and is chaired by two co-presidents: Cardinal Walter Kasper and Metropolitan John of Pergamon (Ecumenical Patriarchate).

Metropolitan Gennadios of Sassima (Ecumenical Patriarchate) and Monsignor Eleuterio Fortino from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, serve as the Joint Commission's secretaries.

The entire Roman Catholic delegation was present in the Belgrade meeting except for two members who were unable to attend.

Orthodox members represented the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa, the Patriarchate of Antioch, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the Patriarchate of Moscow, the Patriarchate of Serbia, the Patriarchate of Romania, the Patriarchate of Georgia, the Church of Cyprus, the Church of Greece, the Church of Poland, the Church of Albania, the Church of Czech Lands and Slovakia and the Church of Finland.

The Joint Commission discussed a text entitled: "The Ecclesiological and Canonical Consequences of the Sacramental Nature of the Church: Conciliarity and Authority in the Church," at three levels of the Church's life: local, regional and universal.

That text prepared by the Joint Coordinating Committee in Moscow in 1990 was to have been presented at the plenary meeting of the Joint Commission in Freising, Germany, the same year, but was not discussed then or later because events taking place in Eastern Europe at that time obliged the commission to address the issue of "uniatism" in relation to the ecumenical dialogue.

In the present meeting the document prepared in Moscow was carefully examined in a shared spirit of genuine commitment to the search for unity.

A Joint Drafting Committee was appointed to revise the text in the light of the many observations and comments made during the discussion on the text. A revised text will be the object of discussion at the next meeting of the Joint Commission which will be hosted by the Roman Catholic Church, next year, 2007.

During the weeklong meeting the Roman Catholic delegates were present at the Orthodox Divine Liturgy in St. Mark's Church on the feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God, the Theotokos, and the Orthodox members in a Mass at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Ascension of the Holy Virgin of Belgrade at the invitation of Archbishop Stanislav Hocevar.

The members of the commission also had the opportunity to visit the historic Ravanica Monastery. A dinner was offered in the Monastery by Bishop Ignatij of Branichevo. On Sunday evening the president of Serbia, Boris Tadić, hosted a dinner at his residence in honor of the Commission.

The meeting of the Joint Commission was marked by a spirit of friendship and trustful collaboration. The members of the commission greatly appreciated the generous hospitality of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and they strongly commend the ongoing work of the dialogue to the prayers of the faithful.

Belgrade, Serbia, Sept. 24, 2006

Contact

Catholic Online
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000

Email

info@yourcatholicvoice.org

Keywords

Catholic, Orthodox., Serbia, Theology

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity
DAN SHEA

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.