DAILY CATHOLIC MONDAY May 24, 1999 vol. 10, no. 100
NEWS & VIEWS
ECUMENICAL PROGRESS IN ROMANIA AFTER PAPAL TRIP; ROMANIAN PRESIDENT GIVES AWARDS TO ORTHODOX, CATHOLIC LEADERS
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- A spokesman for the Romanian Orthodox has indicated that the recent trip by Pope John Paul II to his country has opened new avenues toward Church unity.
Speaking to a Vatican Radio audience on May 20, the Orthodox Metropolitan Seraphim said that the Orthodox and Catholic churches have made substantial progress in eliminating the tensions that have surrounded the Byzantine-rite Romanian Catholic Church. He said that two major theological issues remain to be resolved: the issue of papal primacy and the "filioque" clause.
Metropolitan Seraphim said that the single regret expressed by the Romanian Orthodox Patriarch Teoctist in the aftermath of the visit was that he had not invited all of the patriarchs of the Orthodox world. If they had been on hand during the Pope's visit, he said, the Orthodox prelates would have "been witness to who the visit has produced." The papal trip was a remarkable exercise in "mutual trust," he said, and the results will inevitably further the cause of unity "not only between hierarchies, but among the People of God as a whole."
Meanwhile in Bucharest, Romanian President Emil Constantinescu on Friday awarded the country's highest awards to the country's leading Orthodox patriarch and Catholic cardinal.
The Star of Romania was presented to Patriarch Teoctist and Cardinal Alexandru Todea, who spent 43 years in prison and exile under the former Communist regime. Constantinescu said the award was intended to recognize the advancement of peace between Catholics and the majority Orthodox by the visit of Pope John Paul II two weeks ago. "Patriarch Teoctist is the first head of an Orthodox church who made the gesture of peace, ecumenism, and Christian love to invite the Pontiff to our home," the president said.
The 84-year-old patriarch replied, "This cross will help
Orthodox and Catholics crown the year 2000 with historic
reconciliation between our two churches." Cardinal Todea
who is 83-years-old, was too ill to attend the award
ceremony and will receive the star from the president later
in the Transylvania region, where many Catholics live.
Cardinal Todea is the only surviving bishop jailed by the
Communist after Catholicism was banned in 1948.
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.
NEWS & VIEWS