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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 12/17/2010, 00.00

    VATICAN ORTHODOX

    Card Koch: a united Church to meet the challenge of globalization

    NAT da Polis

    In an interview with AsiaNews about the importance and the future of ecumenical dialogue, the new president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity emphasizes the "solid foundations of love and friendship that exist between Rome and Constantinople, although difficulties remain in dialogue with the Orthodox. After the meeting in Vienna the "great challenge for the future is how to see together the issues of primacy and collegiality."

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Only a united Church, the fruit of the ecumenical movement, will be able to respond to the challenges of an increasingly globalized world, to give answers which highlight the ethical foundation of social coexistence. It is therefore important that all the faithful feel involved in the ecumenical movement. Speaking to AsiaNews, the new president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch, highlights these points on his return from Istanbul, where he attended celebrations for the apostle Andrew, patron saint of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

    The cardinal does not hide the difficulties that exist in dialogue, but emphasizes that the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, as Sister Churches, which resumed after the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, can now depend on the solid foundations of love and friendship created between Rome and Constantinople. The cardinal also plans to visit other patriarchs and Orthodox churches.

    The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity celebrates 50 years. What is the overall view of this period in dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox?

    During these 50 years there has been a great effort in Ecumenism and the meeting between Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, was the turning point of the great beginning of our journey together. Of course we still haven’t arrived at full  unity and there is still much to do. But it is especially necessary today to deepen the dialogue of charity and truth. I think the dialogue of charity and friendship is the foundation of true ecumenism. Without friendship and love, together, dialogue between the two sister Churches cannot go on. And so I think the great friendship that characterized relations between Rome and Constantinople is now an anchor to look at the future with optimism.

    On November 30, as head of the Vatican delegation you visited the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, which is the driving force of the ecumenical dialogue in the Orthodox world. This was a visit of courtesy or was it an attempt to redefine the importance of ecumenical dialogue after the meeting in Vienna?

    First of all we attended the great liturgy for the patron saint of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Apostle Andrew. It was a wonderful experience, my meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew, whom I respect as a man of deep spirituality and noble kindness, was moving. This was followed by a meeting between the delegation of the Patriarchate and ours and we considered the future of the dialogue. In Vienna there were some difficulties, but I'm sure we can find a way to proceed in a positive way.

    It is said that after Vienna dialogue will focus more on the theological rather than historical aspect.

    About two years ago, we embarked on a mainly historical approach, but we realized that the Orthodox have a different way of dealing with history, than we Catholics. Since the questions are very difficult and there is need for expert historians, the Orthodox have proposed a text on the theological primacy and collegiality. Because collegiality is a major theme for the Orthodox, while for Catholics the major theme is the primacy. The great challenge for the future is how to see these two great realities together.

    How does the Catholic world view the Orthodox world today?

    I think that when we meet with the Orthodox, we feel at home. This is because the Orthodox have maintained the structures, the mentality and vision of the ancient Church. We Catholics are in danger of forgetting this reality. Although the break with these ancient Orthodox Churches took place more than a millennium ago, I feel at home when I visit them.

    With the Protestants, even though we are separated by just 400 years, it is another reality.

    What response should be given to those minority Catholics and Orthodox, who are opposed to any initiative in favor of ecumenical dialogue?

    Even among Catholics there are those minorities who do not want ecumenism. But I think the first challenge in an increasingly globalized world, is that the Church must breathe, as John Paul II said, on both lungs, that of the East and the West. Therefore ecumenical dialogue is a source of enrichment for all.

    In an increasingly globalized world, with a clear social economic and ethical crisis, how can a divided church provide answers?

    It is important in today's world, a world of globalization, that Christianity be a global reality. Consequently, even in ecumenism, being able to speak with one language is a specific need of our time, in order to address all the socio-political and ethical challenges. Because if the Church does not have a single language, she will not have anything to say to our society. This is why the very presence of churches in society depends on the ecumenical movement. The foundation of our ecumenism is our faith, our beliefs and our baptism. In this sense, we first need to identify ourselves as Christians and then as Catholic or Orthodox, in the sense of belonging to the two churches - and not the Protestant denominations as they say – which have the apostolic tradition in common.

    Photo: Nikos Manginas

     

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    See also

    07/03/2008 VATICAN
    Bartholomew invited by the pope to participate in the synod of bishops
    In the "spirit of Ravenna", the ecumenical patriarch will take part in the meeting of the world's Catholic bishops, scheduled to take place in October on the theme "The word of God in the life and mission of the Church".

    20/01/2010 VATICAN
    Pope: ecumenism has made "great progress", even if there are new problems
    Benedict XVI dedicated his general audience to the Week for Christian Unity. Positive outcome, especially in theological dialogue with the Orthodox, but the journey "is not linear and its outcome depends on the will of God”.

    30/11/2005 VATICAN – ECUMENISM
    Pope tells Orthodox he would have liked to have celebrated St Andrew with them
    In a message on the occasion of the feast day of the Orthodox Church's Patron Saint, the Pontiff expresses his hope for an "even deeper communion", which will allow us to "celebrate together the Eucharist".

    06/12/2008 RUSSIA - VATICAN
    Alexy II: pope expresses condolences
    Remembering the figure of the deceased Orthodox patriarch, Benedict XVI hopes that his memory will be "an encouragement for those who will benefit from his spiritual legacy." Condolences also from the Russian Catholic world, and bishops Werth and Pezzi. The funeral of Alexy II is scheduled for December 9, and Cardinals Kasper and Etchegaray are expected to attend from Rome. The date of the synod for the election of his successor will be made known following the ceremony.

    02/12/2005 VATICAN - RUSSIA
    Card. Martino sums up Moscow visit optimistically

    The president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace highlights progress in ties with the Orthodox Church and expresses hope for "real and concrete" progress; we have drawn nearer to the Moscow Patriarchate as regards European integration and the need to rediscover shared Christian roots and to face current secularization trends. The Cardinal invited Catholics to "embody" Church social doctrine in daily life.





    Editor's choices

    CHINA – VATICAN
    Global Times: the pope should accept the independence of the Chinese Church



    After 24 hours of silence, China’s media today published excerpts, comments and editorials about Pope Francis’ interview with Asia Times. Although the pope did not address religious issues or Church problems, many saw the interview as an attempt to improve diplomatic relations between China and the Vatican, and advised Francis to accept Mao Zedong’s "three principles of independence" (theology, administration, jurisdiction), which would leave the power to appoint bishops in the hands of the Party. The People's Daily’s Global Times publishes an editorial on the issue.


    INDIA – PHILIPPINES
    Archbishop of Guwahati: In Asia religion is not dying, the faithful take strength from the Eucharist



    Mgr Menamparampil is among the speakers at the International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu, Philippines. He was also a conflict mediator between various ethnic groups. He told AsiaNews about the value of the Congress for the Catholic Church in Asia and how people can bear witness the Gospel today, even amid tensions and violence of those who "hate us." "with the same pain in our hearts that we descend to our depths during a Eucharistic adoration."


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