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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

“A Sign of Contradiction”: A Forgotten Reflection by Florovsky on the Pope and the Patriarch | Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy

Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras

Upon his election to the chair of bishop of Rome in March of this year, Pope Francis announced his intention for a personal meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in the Holy City of Jerusalem for the coming year of 2014. Although the trip has not yet been confirmed, the event is intended to commemorate the meeting of Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI on the Mount of Olives in January 5-6, 1964.

The 1964 encounter in the Holy Land was a significant development. The first physical meeting of a Roman pontiff and a patriarch of Constantinople since the failed 15th century union council of Florence, this Jerusalem summit led to the Catholic-Orthodox Joint Declaration of December 7, 1965. In this declaration, read simultaneously at a meeting of the Second Vatican Council in Rome and at a special assembly at the Phanar in Istanbul, the 11th century anathemas between the churches of Rome and Constantinople were lifted simultaneously by both sees, and a sincere desire for ecclesiastical concord was expressed. The first in a series of similar reconciliatory gestures, the “dialogue of love” begun by Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras would soon lead to a bi-lateral theological dialogue on multiple levels, international and local, pursued with increasing seriousness up to the present.

These developments have continued to provoke a conflict of responses among the Orthodox ever since, ranging from enthusiastic embrace, to cautious, patient and discriminating commitment, to distrust, indignant denunciation and opposition. Now, with the news of a possible recapitulation of that first meeting in Jerusalem, the moment is propitious for reflection on a half century of ecumenical dialogue between Orthodoxy and Rome.

Read the full piece here:
“A Sign of Contradiction”: A Forgotten Reflection by Florovsky on the Pope and the Patriarch | Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy
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