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Orthodox-Catholic Talks

September 30, 2010

I received an email today from an Eastern Catholic friend of mine (in fact the same one I spoke about in my post called The Shire) in which he added the following links:

These are links to news articles about the Joint International Commission for Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue, which just had a meeting in Vienna, Austria on the 24th of September 2010. You can read the articles and get a sense of what came of the meeting. While nothing definitive happened, or will happen for a long time, this gives me a sense of hope that reunion may be possible. If not full cummunion, as Archbishop Koch stated, I hope that there can be a recognition that we are sister Churches working for the same purpose.
As you can see, the reports have different perspectives on how the meeting went. If anyone who reads has any other links, feel free to add them to your comments.
In the general intercessory prayers of the Orthodox Prayer Book are the words, “Heals the schisms of the Church…” I have been praying this prayer with earnest. My hope is that we can all pray this and do our part to apply it.
The theologians, bishops and such will be the ones to make the general decisions, of course, regarding reunion. An while there is much to work through, both historically and theologically, my hope is that we can remember the words of St Proclus of Kallippi, who during the reign of Trajan uttered these words before his torture and martyrdom, “I am of the race of Christ.” I mentioned this in an earlier post titled by that quote. My hope is that all true Christians would remember that we are all of the race of Christ. In that light, I pray this truth would be the catalyst that compels us to work together toward unity in Christ, in love.
I have no Pollyanna notions that this will be all smiles, hugs and kisses, with parades in the streets. This will be a lot of hard work, repentance, dying to self, and most of all forgiving for the sake of our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. But it is work that must be done. The witness of Christ on the Earth depends on it, I believe.
As a layman, I will do my part. I will pray. I will pray for the hierarchs who are convening at these meetings, and those under them who must pass on the news. I will pray for the whole Church that we will all be ready to receive one another with joy and love, and not be like the righteous son who was jealous and would not rejoice with the father, for the return of his prodigal brother.
Like I stated in “The Shire”, I am new to the Church and have not even been fully received yet. Having said that, the prospect of unity between East and West is exciting. May God grant us repentance, and great mercy.
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