Breaking News Stories
These are news stories breaking after the publishing of this Word
– Twenty-First Century Crusades?
The Pope taking radical steps to bring
all sheep back into fold.
Orthodox ready to
resume dialogue with Vatican
By Jeffrey Goldfarb and Cheryl Juckes
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Orthodox leaders on Thursday hailed Pope
Benedict's commitment to Christian unity and said they were prepared to
resume a theological dialogue that has been stalled for five years.
|...the Pope urged the
visiting Orthodox prelates to focus on what unites them with
Rome rather than on millennium-old disputes.
"Our Orthodox Church shares fully the same commitment," said
Metropolitan Ioannis of Pergamum, a leading Orthodox theologian, in Rome
for the feast of Saints Peter and Paul.
He said their highest-ranking prelate, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
I of Constantinople, had convinced the Orthodox churches that follow him
to appoint two delegates each to the international mixed religious
"This will allow us to resume our theological dialogue in the near
future, concentrating now on crucial ecclesiological issues concerning,
in particular, the subject of the primacy" of the pope, he said.
Benedict has made reconciliation with the Orthodox, who split from Rome
in 1054 in disputes including one over the pope's role, a top priority
of his papacy.
The new Pope, elected in April, sent an envoy to Russia this month to
see how to repair strained ties.
In a homily on Wednesday, the Pope urged the visiting Orthodox prelates
to focus on what unites them with Rome rather than on millennium-old
On Thursday, he took up the theme again: "The unity that we are seeking
is not one of absorption or fusion, but fully respecting the many forms
of the Church."
The commission on theological dialogue was interrupted five years ago
amid souring relations with Russia and a row over property.
Bartholomew met John Paul last year. On that occasion,
John Paul expressed "disgust and pain" for the Catholic sacking of
Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade in 1204.