Sunday, 25 October 2009

Orthodox thoughts



The spotlight is on the Personal Ordinariates initative at the moment, however relations with the Orthodox certainly appear to be on the move as well.

Strong public condemnation of protests by group of Orthodox opposed to talks.

Protests of radical Orthodox opposed to dialogue with the Catholic Church interrupted the work of the weeklong meeting. The country's police arrested four citizens and two monks of the monastery of Stavrovunio, confirmed Amen.gr.

The Orthodox representatives called the protests "totally unjustifiable and unacceptable, as they present false information which creates confusion," the communiqué stated. "All the Orthodox members of the commission re-affirmed that the dialogue continues with the decision of all the Orthodox Churches and advances with fidelity to the truth and to the Tradition of the Church."


Archbishop Hilarion on recognition of orders and communion.

Most Orthodox responses to questions about Catholic orders I have seen are vague, or some would say yes, others no, or, we do not know.

“To all intent and purposes, mutual recognition of each others Mysteries already exists between us. We do not have communion in the Mysteries, but we do recognize each others Mysteries”, declared Archbishop Hilarion (Alfeev) on the air during a broadcast of the program “The Church and the World” on the television channel “Russia”, on October 17th (video and text, http://vera.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=237432).


“If a Roman Catholic priest converts to Orthodoxy, we receive him as a priest, and we do not re-ordain him. And that means that, de facto, we recognize the Mysteries of the Roman Catholic Church”, explained Archbishop Hilarion.

Responding to the question of whether Roman Catholics can receive Communion from the Orthodox, or Orthodox Christians from the Roman Catholics, Archbishop Hilarion said that such giving of Communion should not take place, inasmuch as ”eucharistic communion has been broken”� between the Orthodox and Roman
Catholics. But, at the same time, he made clear that in some cases such
Communion is possible: “Exceptional cases occur, when, for example, a Roman Catholic is dying in some town where there is no Roman Catholic priest at all in the vicinity. So he asks an Orthodox priest to come. Then in such a case, I think, the Orthodox priest should go and give Communion to that person.”


Until recently, this sort of talk would have had you soundly rounded upon by a large number of senior Orthodox

A Bulgarian Orthodox prelate told Benedict XVI of his desire for unity, and his commitment to accelerate communion with the Catholic Church.

At the end of Wednesday’s general audience, Bishop Tichon, head of the diocese for Central and Western Europe of the Patriarchate of Bulgaria, stated to the Pope, “We must find unity as soon as possible and finally celebrate together,” L’Osservatore Romano reported.

“People don’t understand our divisions and our discussions,” the bishop stated. He affirmed that he will “not spare any efforts” to work for the quick restoration of “communion between Catholics and Orthodox.”

Bishop Tichon said that “the theological dialogue that is going forward in these days in Cyprus is certainly important, but we should not be afraid to say that we must find as soon as possible the way to celebrate together.”

“A Catholic will not become an Orthodox and vice versa, but we must approach the altar together,” he added.

The prelate told the Pontiff that “this aspiration is a feeling that arose from the works of the assembly” of his diocese, held in Rome, in which all the priests and two delegates from every Bulgarian Orthodox parish took part.

“We have come to the Pope to express our desire for unity and also because he is the Bishop of Rome, the city that hosted our assembly,” he stated.

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