As long time readers will know, I dream of the day the two great lungs of Christendom finally join together once again, to breath deeply of that wondrous and tantalising aroma of full and joint communion.
I maintain that the re-evangelisation of Europe will not be successful without Catholic / Orthodox alliance and collaboration. There has to be a recognition by both parties that a united and cooperating Church would be far more effective.
Given this I was heartened to read the following from AsiaNet:
50 years on from Vatican II, Benedict XVI today recalled that the Council gave the right start to “an important stage” in relations between the Catholic Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, with the “rediscovery of the deep fraternity” that binds them and with the “progress” of the Mixed Commission for theological dialogue.
The feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul, patrons of the Church of Rome, as well as that of Andrew, patron saint of the Church of Constantinople, has become the traditional occasion for an exchange of visits of delegations of the two “sister churches” to reaffirm the common desire to pursue the road to ” bring closer the blessed day when we can share the Eucharistic table.”
The 50 years since Vatican II were the focus of the greeting Benedict XVI gave to the Orthodox delegation, composed of Adamidis Emmanuel, Metropolitan of France, Director of the Office of the Orthodox Church to the European Union; Ilias Katre, Bishop of Philomelion (USA) and deacon Paisios Kokkinakis, Codicographer of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
“This year – the Pope said – marks the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, which will be solemnly celebrated on October 11th. It is in conjunction with the Council, at which, as you well know, there were some representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as fraternal delegates, that an important new phase of relations between our two Churches began. “
I can live in hope….