Every second Saturday of the month, 4 pm - Divine Liturgy in English of Sunday - Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family, Duke Street, London W1K 5BQ. Followed by refreshments.
Next Liturgy: Saturday 14th July - 3pm Great Vespers, 4pm Divine Liturgy for Sunday

To purchase The Divine Liturgy: an Anthology for Worship (in English), order from the Sheptytsky Institute here, or the St Basil's Bookstore here.

To purchase the Divine Praises, the Divine Office of the Byzantine-Slav rite (in English), order from the Eparchy of Parma here.

The new catechism in English, Christ our Pascha, is available from the Eparchy of the Holy Family and the Society. Please email johnchrysostom@btinternet.com for details.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Catholic-Orthodox relations after the USSR

WURZBURG, Germany, JAN. 20, 2011 (Zenit.org)

The relations between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches after the disintegration of the Soviet Union 20 years ago will be the topic of a March 19 congress in Wurzburg.

Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, will discuss this topic in a round table as part of the congress organized by Aid to the Church in Need.

Also taking part in the debate will be the aid agency's president in Germany, Antonia Willemsen, and the head of the Russian Section of Aid to the Church in Need International, Peter Humeniuk. The moderator will be the writer Stefan Baier of Die Tagespost, a Catholic newspaper of Wurzburg.

In preparation for the meeting, Willemsen and Humeniuk traveled to Rome to inform Cardinal Koch on the works of their agency in Russia.

The prelate applauded the initiative of the association to promote interreligious rapprochement between the Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches.

He said that he is very interested in the meeting with Metropolitan Alfeyev, whom he has known and esteemed for years. He expressed confidence that the dialogue will continue to prosper.

Willemsen affirmed that, at the request of John Paul II, the aid agency has always made an effort to collaborate with the "Russian Orthodox Sister Church" since the fall of Communism, without neglecting aid to the Russian Catholic Church.

At present, the Catholic and Orthodox Churches are debating the question of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome.

As Cardinal Koch explained last November in a plenary assembly of the dicastery he heads, "An ecclesiology linked to the national culture and a Catholic ecclesiology oriented to the concept of universality have been up to now in disagreement."

Whereas for Pope Paul VI this question was the "major obstacle" for the restoration of full communion, he explained, "in the eyes of the present Pontiff it is also the main opportunity for union."

According to the thinking of Benedict XVI, the cardinal said, "without primacy, the Catholic Church would also have disintegrated a long time ago into national Churches sui iuris, which would have confused and complicated the ecumenical landscape."

He noted that for ecumenism now, it is necessary that "the Catholic Church reflect further on the idea that the primacy of the Bishop of Rome is not a simple external juridical appendix to Eucharistic ecclesiology, but an element that is founded pre cisely on it."

On the other hand, the prelate stated, "the Orthodox Church should address with determination the problem of autocephaly, because it is of fundamental importance for its future and for ecumenism, and thus seek adequate solutions in order to recover its own internal unity and its capacity to act in a concerted way."

Cardinal Koch pointed out the importance of the work of the International Mixed Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church over the last few years, noting that there have been advances in the discussions on ecclesiology in general and on the primacy of the Bishop of Rome in particular.

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