DAILY CATHOLIC     THURSDAY     July 2, 1998     vol. 9, no. 128

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Visiting Rome for the celebration of the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, the representative of Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I proclaimed the need for greater progress toward Church unity.

          Metropolitan Jean de Pergame, the head of delegation sent by the world's Orthodox leader to participate in the traditional celebration of Christian unity, echoed the views of Pope John Paul, saying that it is essential to accelerate the progress toward unity as the Church approaches the Grand Jubilee. The metropolitan said that the year 2000 should find the Church "visibly united, as it was before the Great Schism."

          The Orthodox delegate paid tribute to Pope John Paul for his own efforts to promote unity, citing that "we have particularly appreciated your encyclical Ut Unum Sint...." He noted that in that encyclical the Holy Father had encouraged a new discussion of the meaning of papal primacy-- a topic which has caused disputes between Catholic and Orthodox leaders over the years.

          This encouraging statement from the Orthodox delegation-- which was made in the name of the Ecumenical Patriarch-- was evidently intended to overcome some of the disappointment caused by the absence of any Orthodox delegation at last year's celebration of the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, and to signal a new willingness to resume serious ecumenical dialogue.

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

July 2, 1998       volume 9, no. 128


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