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From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Mon, 17 Jun 2002 19:09:51 -0700

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For Immediate Release:
June 17, 2002

Contact: (212) 774-0248


Brookline, MA ? The sixty-second meeting of the North American
Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation met at Hellenic College/Holy
Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology June 3-5, 2002, for their spring

Co-sponsored by the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in
the Americas and the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops, twelve Orthodox
and ten Catholic theologians met for three days to continue their on-going
discussions of theological issues. Topic for this session was a
continuation of their study on the filioque.

Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh and Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk of
Cincinnati co-chaired the three-day meeting. Archbishop Pilarcyzk was
newly-appointed to the Consultation by Bishop Tod Brown of Orange, Chairman
of the Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. He
succeeds Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee who stepped down after
the October 2001 meeting in view of his impending retirement.

The first theological session was led by Professor Fr Brian Daley, SJ, who
discussed the Holy Spirit in Augustine and the work carried out recently on
the filioque by the Pro Oriente foundation in Vienna, Austria. He also
commented on Thomas Weinandy's article, "Clarifying the Filioque: The
Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue."

The second day began with Divine Liturgy, celebrated by Metropolitan
Maximos at Holy Cross Chapel. In the second theological session, reviews on
the filioque in contemporary Orthodox theology were given by Fr Nicholas
Apostola (Romanian Archdiocese), who spoke on the theology of Fr Dumitru
Staniloae, and Fr James Dutko (Carpatho-Russian Diocese), who surveyed Fr
John Meyendorff's writing on the topic.

For the third theological session, Professor Fr Thomas FitzGerald (Greek
Orthodox Archdiocese), reviewed the filioque in contemporary bilateral
ecumenical dialogues with the Orthodox, beginning with the discussions that
have taken place under the auspices of the World Council of Churches. He
then examined the work of bilateral dialogues involving the Orthodox
Church, including international dialogues with the Old Catholic Churches,
the Roman Catholic Church, the Reformed Churches, the Anglican Communion,
and the Orthodox-Lutheran dialogue in the United States. Fr Peter Galadza
(Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops) and Professor Susan Ashbrook
Harvey (Antiochian Archdiocese) reviewed points of convergence between
eastern and western traditions and work of the dialogue to-date.

In the fourth and final theological session, participants considered a
proposed joint statement which will be drafted over the summer months for
consideration at the next meeting.

The Consultation also heard a number of reports about major events in the
lives of our churches. Archbishop Pilarczyk presented an overview of the
crisis in the Catholic Church over the handling of sex abuse cases by the
clergy and the issues the Catholic bishops will be facing when they meet in
Dallas. There was also a wide ranging discussion of the crisis in relations
between the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church occasioned by
the creation of four Catholic dioceses in Russia in February 2002.

Other topics discussed included the election of a new Metropolitan of the
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and its relations with the Moscow
Patriarchate, the intercommunion agreement between the Assyrian Church of
the East and the Chaldean Catholic Church, relations between the Orthodox
and the World Council of Churches, the election of John Erickson as Dean of
St Vladimir's Seminary in Crestwood, NY, the consecration of Holy Myrrh at
the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the drafting of a new Charter for the Greek
Orthodox Archdiocese of America, developments in the international
Orthodox-Catholic dialogue, Cardinal Kasper's Prolusio at the Plenary of
the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, new Ruthenian
Catholic bishops in Van Nuys and Pittsburgh, the visit of the Ecumenical
Patriarch to America last March, the election of a new Romanian Orthodox
Archbishop of America, the visit of a delegation of the Orthodox Church of
Greece to Rome, the retirement of Metropolitan Theodosius of the Orthodox
Church in America, and the visit of Pope John Paul II to Bulgaria.

The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation has been
meeting semiannually since it was founded in 1965 under the auspices of the
Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United
States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Standing Conference of
Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA). It works in tandem with
the Joint Committee of Orthodox and Catholic Bishops which has been meeting
annually since 1981.

Theologians representing the Catholic Church included Archbishop Daniel
Pilarczyk of Cincinnati, Professor Robin Darling Young (Catholic
University), Professor Fr John Galvin (Catholic University), Fr Peter
Galadza, Fr John Long, SJ (America House), Sister Donna Geernaert, SC
(Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops), Professor Fr Brian Daley, SJ
(Notre Dame), Professor Fr David Petras (Byzantine Catholic Seminary),
Professor Thomas Bird (Queens College), and Fr Ron Roberson, CSP, of the
Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs at the United States
Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC.
 From the Orthodox delegation, Metropolitan Maximos, Professor Susan
Ashbrook Harvey, Professor John Erickson (Orthodox Church in America),
Professor Fr Alexander Golitzin (Orthodox Church in America), Fr Paul
Schneirla (Antiochian Archdiocese), Professor Lewis Patsavos (Greek
Orthodox Archdiocese), Dr Robert Haddad (Antiochian Archdiocese), Fr
Nicholas Apostola, Fr James Dutko, Professor Fr Alkiviadis Calivas (Greek
Orthodox Archdiocese) and Professor Fr Thomas FitzGerald. Staff: Bishop
Dimitrios of Xanthos, General Secretary of SCOBA and Office for Ecumenical
and Interreligious Affairs, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, and Fr Gregory
Havrilak, Associate General Secretary of SCOBA.

The next meeting of the Orthodox-Catholic Consultation is scheduled for
October 31-November 2, 2002 at St Paul's Seminary in Ottawa, Canada, under
the auspices of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
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