Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation Meets in Brookline

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

PRESS RELEASE
                                          28 JUNE 2006


ORTHODOX-CATHOLIC THEOLOGICAL CONSULTATION MEETS IN BROOKLINE, MA



The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation held its 70th meeting at Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts, from June 5 to 7, 2006.  The meeting was co-chaired by Metropolitan Maximos of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh and Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk of Cincinnati.  

At this meeting several papers were presented in connection with the Consultation’s ongoing study of primacies and conciliarity in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.  Metropolitan Maximos presented a study of the canons of the Council of 879.  A paper entitled “Insights and Ideas on Petrine Ministry from Bilateral Dialogues” was read by Vito Nicastro of the Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the Boston Archdiocese.  Rev. James Dutko, Pastor of Saint Michael’s Carpatho-Russian Orthodox parish in Binghamton, New York, offered reflections on the recent book by Olivier Clément, You Are Peter.  An extensive interview with Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon, the new Orthodox co-chairman of the international Orthodox-Catholic theological dialogue, that appeared in the No. 8/ 9 – 2005 issue of Thirty Days was presented by Dr. Paul Meyendorff of Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary.  Dr Susan Wood of Marquette University read a paper entitled, “Neither Univocal nor Equivocal:  Sorting Out the Terms of Dialogue.”  And finally, Fr Brian Daley, SJ, of Notre Dame University offered an analysis of the 1999 book by Archbishop John R. Quinn, The Reform of the Papacy:  The Costly Call to Christian Unity.

As usual, the Consultation also set aside some time to examine important events in the lives of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.  These included the decision by Pope Benedict XVI to set aside the title Patriarch of the West, the visit of a Vatican delegation to the Ecumenical Patriarchate on November 30, developments in SCOBA, the most recent meeting of the Saint Irenaeus Joint Orthodox-Catholic Working Group, the election of a new Archbishop of Cyprus, developments in the international Orthodox-Catholic dialogue, the raising of the Romanian Greek Catholic Church to Major Archepiscopal rank, the international dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, prospects for reconciliation between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, the visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch to the United States in January, the recent General Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Porto Alegre, Brazil, the inauguration of Christian Churches Together in the USA, developments in the Orthodox Church in America, and the 60th Anniversary of suppression of the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine.  


During the course of the meeting, the members of the Consultation were able to participate in worship services with the seminary community in Holy Cross chapel on campus.  In the evening of June 5, the Consultation welcomed a number of local ecumenical guests, including Rev. Dr. Diane Kessler of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, Fr Edward O’Flaherty, Director of the Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the Boston Archdiocese, Fr John Maheras, Ecumenical Officer of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston, Prof. Lewis Patsavos, a former member of the Consultation, Mr Jeff Citro, Director of the Office of Social Ministry at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and Fr George Tavard, a longtime Catholic member of dialogues with the Anglican and Lutheran communions, and Professor Emeritus of theology at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio.  

In addition to the two co-chairmen, the other Orthodox members of the Consultation include Father Thomas FitzGerald (Secretary), Father Nicholas Apostola, Prof. Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Father James Dutko, Prof. Paul Meyendorff, Father Alexander Golitzin, Dr. Robert Haddad, Father Paul Schnierla, Father Robert Stephanopoulos, Dr. John Barnet, Rev Dr Theodore Pulcini, and Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos, General Secretary of SCOBA (staff). The additional Catholic members are Father Brian Daley, SJ (secretary), Prof. Thomas Bird, Father Peter Galadza, Msgr. John D. Faris, Father John Galvin, Father Sidney Griffith, ST, Father Joseph Komonchak, Father David Petras, Sr Susan K. Wood, SCL, Mr. Vito Nicastro, and Father Ronald Roberson, CSP (staff).

The 71st meeting of the Consultation is due to take place from October 26 to 28, 2006, in Washington, DC.  

The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation is sponsored jointly by the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), the Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Since its establishment in 1965, the Consultation has now issued 22 agreed statements on various topics. All these texts are now available on the website of the USCCB at http://www.usccb.org/seia/dialogues.htm and on the SCOBA website at http://www.scoba.us/resources/index.asp.  During 2005 and 2006, these Consultations have been funded by the Prokopis Foundation.