"Let unity, the greatest good of all goods, be your preoccupation." - St. Ignatius of Antioch (Letter to St. Polycarp)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Orthodox Leaders Join in Pledge for Unity

Heads of the Orthodox Churches
Photo by D. Panagos (Oct. 12, 2008)

The Primates of the Orthodox Churches, meeting over the last three days in the Patriarchal Cathedral of Saint George in Istanbul, Turkey, have just released a document titled "Message of the Primates of the Orthodox Churches".

Here's one section:

"The Orthodox Church, having the understanding of the authentic interpretation of the teaching of the Apostle to the Nations, in both peaceful and difficult times of its two-thousand year historical course, can and must promote to the contemporary world the teaching not only regarding the restoration in Christ of the unity of the entire human race, but also regarding the universality of His work of redemption, through which all the divisions of the world are overcome and the common nature of all human beings is affirmed. Nevertheless, the faithful promotion of this message of redemption also presupposes overcoming the internal conflicts of the Orthodox Church through the surrendering of nationalistic, ethnic and ideological extremes of the past. For only in this way will the word of Orthodoxy have a necessary impact on the contemporary world." (my emphases)

Amen. There is one phrase later in the document that made my ears perk up:

"In this respect we welcome the proposal by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to convene Panorthodox Consultations within the coming year 2009 on this subject, as well as for the continuation of preparations for the Holy and Great Council.

There has been talk among the Orthodox for some time about an "Eighth Ecumenical Council". Pray that this "Holy and Great Council" would be an Ecumenical Council, including West and East together. Wouldn't that be a beautiful and fitting resolution to this 954 year-old schism?

"Μόνον πίστευε"! [Only believe!] (Mark 5:36)

(H/T: Catholic Culture)

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