RCC: Uniates obstructed ecumenical dialogue with Orthodox Church

Cardinal Kurt Koch. Photo: christianunity.va

According to Kurt Koch, in the late 1990s, the theological dialogue between the RCC and the Orthodox Churches "suffered shipwreck because of the problem of Uniatism."

On October 7, 2020, Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and head of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity Kurt Koch said that the "revival" of Uniatism in Ukraine and Romania prevented the ecumenical dialogue between the RCC and the Orthodox Church, according to the website Сhristianunity.va.

 In a lecture at the invitation of Pro Oriente organization, Cardinal Kurt Koch noted that "in the second decade, from 1990 to 2000, ecumenical interaction became more complex and theological dialogue practically stalled."

In his opinion, “this was primarily eventuated by the new situation that arose after the 1989 political turn. Political changes in Eastern Europe led to the fact that, first of all, in Ukraine, Transylvania and Romania, the Eastern Catholic Church ... was able to return from the catacombs to public life."

“On the Orthodox side, this event revived the old controversy about Uniatism and proselytism, which resulted in a sharp deterioration in the atmosphere of dialogue and a change in the ecumenical agenda conceived,” Koch said.

He also recalled that attempts were made “at two plenary sessions of the Commission in Balamand (Lebanon) in 1993 with the document ‘Uniaticism – an outdated union method – and the current search for complete unity’ and in Baltimore in 2000 to find a solution to the problem of Uniatism, but they were not crowned with success, so the Orthodox side stopped the work of the Commission."

Ultimately, according to Kurt Koch, "despite a long period of progress in theology, theological dialogue was shipwrecked due to the problem of Uniatism and seems to have returned to zero, at least in terms of solving this delicate problem." 

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that, according to Kurt Koch, it is necessary to overcome the division in the Church between East and West and resume Eucharistic communion.

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