Pope Francis receives Joint International Commission for theological dialogue between Catholic Church and Oriental Orthodox Churches

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Pope Francis receives Joint International Commission for theological dialogue between Catholic Church and Oriental Orthodox ChurchesOn Friday, 26 January, His Holiness Pope Francis received in private audience the members of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches gathered in Rome for its 20th plenary session. In occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the Commission, the participants in the Study Visit for young priests and monks, organized for the fourth time in Rome, attended the audience.

In his greeting, His Grace Bishop Kyrillos, reflecting on the anniversary of the commission, declared: “We thank God in all the work that He has done in and through our brothers and sisters in this dialogue over many fruitful years.” Observing that “it is approximately at the age of 20 when a person makes the transition from adolescence to adulthood, into a world necessitating maturity and responsibility,” he noted that “After 20 years in pursuit of unity in Christ's love, we acknowledge the need for a more mature dialogue—one that is deeper in honestly and faithfully tackling the deep divisions before us.”

Emphasizing the importance of fraternal encounter alongside theological dialogue, Pope Francis affirmed in his address that “the ‘dialogue of charity’ should be understood not simply as a preparation for the ‘dialogue of truth’, but as itself a ‘theology in action’, capable of opening new horizons on the journey of our Churches. At a time when, thank God, relations between us are deepening, I believe that it is good to think back on the development of those relations in the light of a ‘theology of dialogue in charity.’”

With regard to the “dialogue of life”, the Holy Father welcomed the recent initiative of organizing yearly and reciprocal study visits for young priests and monks, affirming that “The involvement of young people in bringing our Churches closer together is a sign of the Spirit, who rejuvenates the Church in harmony, inspires paths of communion, and grants wisdom to the young and prophecy to the old (cf. Joel 2:28)”. Concluding, the Holy Father stated that “The dialogue of charity, the dialogue of truth and the dialogue of life [are] three inseparable ways to advance on the ecumenical journey that your Commission has encouraged over these past twenty years.” and invited the Commission members to recite together the ancient prayer Sub Tuum Praesidium.

Source: http://www.christianunity.va/