12 September 2006, 12:56
Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz hopes the join theological commission will give fresh impetus to Orthodox-Catholic relations
Moscow, September 12, Interfax - Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, head of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow, lays his hopes on the theological commission for dialogue between the Roman Catholic and national Orthodox Churches.
The commission is to meet on September 18-25 in Belgrade, after a long interruption.
‘This good news has inspired hope for development of Catholic-Orthodox relations. By God’s mercy, we resume discussing problems to be settled on our way towards unity’, the archbishop states in his message to the clergy and laity, the text of which has been communicated to Interfax on Tuesday.
He recalled that Pope Benedict XVI was optimistic about the upcoming meeting, describing it as ‘a new stage in the dialogue’ and noted that the Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches ‘in their defense of moral values in face of the challenges of secularism, moral relativism and ever more threatening liberalism, should confirm their desire of unity in practice’.
Archbishop Kondrusiewicz is convinced this would become a vivid testimony that problems of today’s fragmented world can be settled through dialogue.
‘With all the complexity of the problems, it is naïve to believe that the resuming talks would be easy and able to settle all the problems of our relationships. It should be remembered however that ecumenical dialogue is an expression of the will of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit and we all are called to be instruments in His hands’, he stressed.
In conclusion of his message, Archbishop Kondrusiewicz called everybody to pray during the meeting of the commission for its fruitful work and further development of Catholic-Orthodox dialogue.
The joint commission, whose task is to settle theological problems, was set up in the 1980s. Its work was interrupted after it failed to settle the Uniate problem at its meeting in Baltimore, USA, in 2000.
A few years ago, the Pope of Rome and Patriarch Bartholomaios signed a joint statement of intention to resume the interrupted dialogue. The talks in Belgrade will focus on the primacy of the pope and the Greek Catholics.