Update on Orthodox-Catholic relations ...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

... from Metropolitan Kallistos Ware of the diocese of Diokleia, as I’ve read in the Called to Communion blog. He addressed the things contained in the Ravenna statement of 2007.

What is curious about Ware’s address is that he seemed to affirm the fact of primacy. The synod of both Catholic and Orthodox bishops approved of the fact that there has to be primacy within the universal Church.

He then quotes the Apostolic Canon 34 (which had also been discussed during the dialog in Ravenna) where a bishop who is first among themselves possesses primacy. I will quote from the Ravenna statement to explain further.
10. This conciliar dimension of the Church's life belongs to its deep-seated nature. That is to say, it is founded in the will of Christ for his people (cfr. Mt 18, 15-20), even if its canonical realizations are of necessity also determined by history and by the social, political and cultural context. Defined thus, the conciliar dimension of the Church is to be found at the three levels of ecclesial communion, the local, the regional and the universal: at the local level of the diocese entrusted to the bishop; at the regional level of a group of local Churches with their bishops who "recognize who is the first amongst themselves" (Apostolic Canon 34); and at the universal level, where those who are first (protoi) in the various regions, together with all the bishops, cooperate in that which concerns the totality of the Church. At this level also, the protoi must recognize who is the first amongst themselves.
Ware also quoted from the Apostolic Canon 34 discussing the Orthodox conception of primacy. Judging from Ware’s words, there is this implication that the first possesses primacy.

You may listen to Metropolitan Kallistos Ware himself:

But union would not probably be happening sooner than we’re hoping for. As Ware said, he needed a more durable briefcase because the bishops participating in the dialog would not come to a conclusion anytime soon.

We pray for unity.

Posted by Jared Dale T. Combista, contributor
Also Posted on Verum Nocet


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