We'll receive a $25,000 grant if others match it by Pentecost. $23,785 to go. Your gift will be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Doctrinal disputes among Orthodox leaders pose problems for ecumenical discussions

Catholic World News - January 20, 2014

The calendar year 2014 could furnish exciting new opportunities for ecumenical work with the Orthodox world, but progress may be impeded by disagreements between the world’s most powerful Orthodox groups, according to the president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity.

At the start of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch told Vatican Radio that a meeting between Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople could be the “most important opportunity” of the year. However he acknowledged that tensions between the Orthodox churches—in particular, the resistance of the Russian Orthodox Church to a common statement on primacy—pose problems for the immediate future of ecumenical discussions.

“I think there are more tensions between the Orthodox than between the Orthodox and Catholics,” Cardinal Koch said. A key point of contention is an argument over an Orthodox statement on primacy, which the Patriarchate of Moscow refused to accept. The cardinal told Vatican Radio that representatives of the patriarchates of Moscow and Constantinople are now discussing that issue, and their talks might provide a “very good opportunity” for resolving the difficulties. But that is an “internal Orthodox dialogue,” and the Catholic Church cannot be directly involved, he said.

Cardinal Koch reported that the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue, which includes Catholic and Orthodox scholars, will meet sometime this year. He did not specify the time or place for the meeting. The Joint International Commission, which held its last meeting in Vienna in 2010, had originally been scheduled to meet again in 2012. But plans for the meeting were postponed because of the disagreements among Orthodox participants over the statement on primacy.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($23,785 to go):
$25,400.00 $1,615.00
94% 6%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

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

Recent Catholic Commentary

A silent scandal: Catholic schools promoting morally unacceptable vaccines April 24
A More Militant Church? April 24
How we'll know if the Vatican and the US hierarchy are serious about deposing negligent bishops April 24
Final take on the LCWR: A time to plant, a time to uproot April 24
With the LCWR, has the Vatican taken Gamaliel's advice? April 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope challenges world leaders' silence on persecution of Christians CWN - April 6
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16
Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn CWN - April 21