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Orthodox-Catholic theological commission fails to reach accord on synod, primacy

September 23, 2014

The 13th working session of the joint Orthodox-Catholic Theological Commission concluded its work in Amman, Jordan on September 23, without approving a document on "Synodality and Primacy."

The theological commission could not reach a consensus of agreement on the role of the synod and the primacy. Instead the group agreed to renew discussion of a draft document at the next working session in 2015.

The commission did issue a statement expressing grave concern about the plight of Christians in the Middle East and calling for the release of hostages and an end to bloodshed in that region.

The theological commission apparently could not reach agreement on the working document because of continuing discord on the subject of primacy. The Russian Orthodox Church has resisted statements, supported by other Orthodox bodies, that compared the primacy of the Holy See with that of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

During the meeting in Jordan, Metropolitan Hilarion, who led the Russian Orthodox delegation, argued that an earlier document approved by the joint commission in 2007 actually did not command a consensus of support, since the Russian delegation had not participated in the meeting at which it was approved.

 


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