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Pope, Orthodox Patriarch look to new meeting at Nicea

May 30, 2014

Pope Francis and Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople have agreed to plan for an ecumenical meeting to be held in Nicea in 2025, the AsiaNews service reports.

Patriarch Bartholomew revealed that he and the Roman Pontiff had “agreed to leave as a legacy to ourselves and our successors a gathering in Nicaea in 2025, to celebrate together, after 17 centuries, the first truly ecumenical synod, where the Creed was first promulgated.” The Council of Nicea, held in 325, brought together over 300 bishops and approved the formula of faith now known as the Nicene Creed.

Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch chose Nicea—now known as Iznik, Turkey—as the site for a council that could bring together Eastern and Western Christians, as the original Council of Nicea did.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this CWN story referred to a "council" at Nicea. The nature of the meeting described by Patriarch Bartholomew is not entirely clear, and could change in the intervening years. But it would be premature, at the least, to say that the plan is for an ecumenical council. We apologize for using a word that could be misleading in this context.


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  • Posted by: AimezLoyaute - May. 30, 2014 10:24 PM ET USA

    What a great blessing! Sounds like a celebration at this point...but like the editor noted it can change in the next 11 years. How awesome it would be to live through a truly Ecumenical Council such as there was before the disunion of East and West...

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - May. 30, 2014 7:31 PM ET USA

    Ironic, isn't it, because the most famous product of the council of Nicaea, the Nicene (Constantinopolitan) creed, has become the big sticking point to reunion, since the West added the "Filioque."

  • Posted by: gary.brisebois1104 - May. 30, 2014 5:11 PM ET USA

    The headline here is incorrect. They are not planning a "new council", they are planning a meeting to celebrate the first ecumenical council. However, that said... they have planned it eleven years ahead, so that this could really turn into something more than just a meeting. It remains to be seen which other Eastern bishops and patriarchs will decide to attend, or be absent.

  • Posted by: Lucius49 - May. 30, 2014 12:45 PM ET USA

    Truly ecumenical? As opposed to? Vatican II the Church regards as truly ecumenical. Despite the Eastern schism, the Church remains the Church albeit wounded, and she has never lost her marks because of wounds to her unity from schisms or heresy hence there have been truly ecumenical Councils after the schism of 1054.

  • Posted by: Edward I. - May. 30, 2014 12:28 PM ET USA

    I'm stunned, but looking closely at the article, it's not entirely clear whether a new ecumenical council is being planned, or merely a "gathering" to "celebrate" the legacy of the First Council of Nicaea.