To reconcile and forgive: Uniates seek impetus to consensus with Orthodox

Participants of the conference on the search for reconciliation impulses between the Greek Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Photo: UGCC website

На конференции православных и греко-католических Церквей участники призвали принять новую экклезиологическую реальность.

On July 19-21, 2019, a theological conference was held at the Academy of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rothenburg-Stuttgart (Germany), the purpose of which was “to look for new impulses for dialogue and relations between the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches”. This is reported by the official website of the UGCC.

It is said that the initiator and organizer of the conference was Georgetown University (Washington city, USA) in collaboration with the International Research Network of Ecclesiological Studios (EIIRN), Leuven and Ukrainian Catholic University, Volos Greek Theological Academy, and several other institutes working in the field of Catholic dialogue.

According to the UGCC resource, the conference created all the conditions for “easy communication between Orthodox and Greek Catholics”. It is noted that the parties were looking for new ways of contact and unity, because "we are tired of discussing such long-debated topics as filioque, the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, romanization or proselytism."

The participants discussed the following topics: “ecclesiological models of church unity, synodality and conciliarity of the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, missionary and sacramental nature of the Church, the role of women in the Church; as well as a number of topics from liturgy and church law as special components of the identity of the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches”.

The overwhelming majority of participants expressed the opinion that “one should simply recognize the new ecclesiological reality and look for new paradigms for its theological and ecclesiological understanding”.

Also, the conference program included two liturgies – the Greek Catholic and Orthodox, "which was attended by almost all participants having the opportunity to visually see that they share a common liturgical heritage".

It is reported that “the conference participants came to a consensus that the Eastern Catholic Churches are neither stolen Churches nor bridges to Orthodoxy. Their identity is a complex phenomenon that can be understood in their direct dialogue with the Orthodox Churches in the spirit of mutual acceptance through reconciliation and forgiveness.”

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that the head of the UGCC, Sviatoslav Shevchuk, stated that ecumenism is “part of the identity of the Eastern Catholic Church”, while the Uniates want to be catalysts for ecumenism.

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