Our Boosters are matching gifts up to $45,000. We have $33,992 to go. Your gift today will count twice!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catholic World News News Feature

Oriental Orthodox Churches Seek Stronger Ecumenical Ties January 27, 2003

VATICAN, Jan 27, 03 (CWNews.com) -- Representatives of the Oriental Orthodox churches are in Rome this week, for a series of talks sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity.

The meetings, which will be held January 27- 29, include representatives of the Coptic Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox, and Syro-Malankar churches. These Oriental Orthodox churches broke from Rome in the first major split within Christianity, after the Council of Chalcedon in 451. Long before the "Great Schism" of the 11th century, which gave birth to the Orthodox churches that now center around the great patriarchates of Constantinople and Moscow, these Oriental Orthodox groups had established their own hierarchies, independent of the Holy See.

Ecumenical talks with the Oriental Orthodox groups hold special promise, because the theological disputes that originally caused their break with the Holy See in the 5th century have been largely overcome, and the political tensions that exacerbated their difficulties with Rome are now mostly forgotten. In recent years some leaders of these Eastern churches-- most notably the Armenian Apostolic Church-- have signed mutual statements of faith with the Vatican, indicating that theological disagreements have been resolved.

Although the different Eastern churches classified under the "Oriental Orthodox" heading are separate groups, they consider themselves members of one ecclesial community; they recognize the validity of each other's sacraments, and allow concelebration of the Eucharistic liturgy. They are also noteworthy for their frequently close relations with Eastern Catholic communities.

Father Johan Bonny, a spokesman for the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, observed that the current tensions in the Middle East have spurred the Oriental Orthodox churches to redouble their pursuit of unity with each other and with the Catholic Church.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

And here's another very old story: the secular media don't understand Catholic affairs 17 hours ago
How not to be persuasive 18 hours ago
Francis the Man, Francis the Pope October 28
Clarifying what it might mean for a pope to wish to change Catholic doctrine October 28
Does the Kasper Proposal make Pope Francis a heretic? Invalid marriages and mortal sin October 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6