Theologians representing Rome and the Orthodox are meeting in continuation of a dialogue of two decades. Benedict XVI hopes these talks "will contribute to upholding and corroborating the real - though imperfect - communion that exists between Catholics and Orthodox, so that we may reach that fullness which will one day enable us to concelebrate the one Eucharist."
St. John Chrysostom pray for us.
VATICAN CITY, SEP 17, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father has written a Message to Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, for the Tenth Inter-Christian Symposium between Catholics and Orthodox, which is being held from September 16 to 19 on the Greek island of Tinos.
The symposium, organized every two years by the Franciscan Institute of Spirituality at Rome's Antonianum Pontifical Athenaeum, and by the faculty of theology at the Aristotle University of Thessalonica, Greece, aims to study Catholics' and Orthodox' shared patrimony of faith and tradition. The current meeting - which has as its theme "St. John Chrysostom, a bridge between East and West" - coincides with the 1,600th anniversary of the death of that saint, considered as a Father of the Church in both East and West.
In his Message, the Pope expresses his happiness at the fact that the gathering is being held on Tinos "where Orthodox and Catholics coexist fraternally," and he recalls how "ecumenical cooperation in the academic field contributes to maintaining an impetus towards the longed-for communion among all Christians.
On the subject of ecumenical cooperation, the Pope points out how "Vatican Council II recognized in this field an opportunity to involve the entire People of God in the search for full unity."
The Holy Father then goes on to refer to St. John Chrysostom as "a valiant, illuminated and faithful preacher of the Word of God, ... such an extraordinary hermeneutist and speaker that, from the fifth century, he was given the title of Chrysostom, which means golden-mouthed. A man whose contribution to the formation of the Byzantine liturgy is known to everyone," and whose mortal remains "after complex historical events have, since 1626, rested in St. Peter's Basilica."
"In 2004," Pope Benedict writes, "my venerated predecessor John Paul II donated part of the relics to His Holiness Bartholomew I, ecumenical patriarch, so that the great Father of the Church could be venerated both in the Vatican Basilica and in the church of St. George in Fanar."
The symposium will consider St. John Chrysostom and communion with the Church of the West, studying a number of current problems. This, writes the Pope "will contribute to upholding and corroborating the real - though imperfect - communion that exists between Catholics and Orthodox, so that we may reach that fullness which will one day enable us to concelebrate the one Eucharist.
"And it is to that blessed day," the Holy Father adds in conclusion, "that we look with hope, organizing practical initiatives such as this one."
MESS/SYMPOSIUM:JOHN CHRYSOSTOM/KASPER VIS 070917 (440)