Metropolitan Kallistos Ware – Orthodox Catholic Relations

By | September 8, 2019


Your Eminences, Your Excellencies, brothers and sisters, Welcome to Sacred Heart Major Seminary, as Metropolitan Kallistos does us an honor by presenting us with a presentation on the dialogue between the Orthodox and the Catholics Without further ado I invite Archbishop Vigneron to please come forward and provide us
with an introduction and a prayer. This is a wonderful turnout and I’m so happy all of you
are here today and it’s a wonderful way to show that
to His Eminence, the Metropolitan, our own devotion to the cause of
the restoration of communion between the Bishop of Rome and His All Holiness
the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople It’s really the Spirit that brings us here today. Metropolitan Kallistos is a
titular Metropolitan of The Ecumenical Patriarch
in Great Britain. From 1966 to 2001 he was Spalding Lecturer of Eastern Orthodox Studies at
Oxford University. He is himself an alumnus of the University. He took a Double First in Classics at the Magdalen College and also
read Theology at the University. In 1958, at the age of 24, he
entered the Orthodox Communion and in 1966 he was ordained a priest. He held his position at the University for 35 years until his retirement. He is the author of a list of articles and presentations that run to approximately 18 pages in the Wikipedia, one only hopes that they are accurate. Three of his best known works are “The Orthodox Church” published when he was still a layman, “The Orthodox Way” and he is one of the translators
for the 5 volumes of the “Philokalia” which is used as an important text
in spiritual direction here at the Seminary. It seems to me that there are many reasons that this is is a propitious occasion. Certainly in underscores the nature of The Sacred Heart Seminary as
an institution of theological learning, a learning that came through
the New Evangelization, an effort that is not possible
without our cooperating with the Holy Spirit, as The Holy Spirit seeks
to restore the unity of the Apostolic Churches. It’s also an occasion to think about
another great Oxford churchman, the blessed John Henry Newman, whom we might call
fellow alumnus of yours, Your Eminence, and a good occasion to recall how the
Holy Spirit works in the lives of so many. We are most honored that
you are here today, and you are going to speak on the dialogue between the Catholic Church
and the Orthodox Church, as we seek to fulfill our Lord’s command, we should live as one, and give
our witness to the Most Holy Trinity. Before His Eminence comes forward, I would like to ask us all to pray,
to join in prayer, to ask God that we might be one: St. John records: “But Caiaphas, who was
High Priest that year, said to them: ‘You know nothing, nor do you consider that it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish.’ He did not say this on his own, but
since he was High Priest for that year, He prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the
dispersed children of God.” Let us pray that the plan of Jesus Christ
to gather in to one the dispersed children of God
be fulfilled. Lord God, Holy Father,
Almighty and the Eternal, through your Son Jesus Christ, You brought us to the
knowledge of your truth so that by the bond of one Faith
and one Baptism we might become His Body. Through Him, You poured down Your Holy Spirit
among all the nations so that in a wondrous manner You might prompt and engender unity and the diversity of Your gifts
dwelling within you adopted children and filling and ruling the whole Church. We humbly ask You Lord,
lover of the human family, “Ο θεός ο φιλάνθρωπος” We ask You to pour out
more fully upon us the grace of Your Spirit. and to grant that walking worthily
in the vocation to which You have called us, we may bear witness to
the truth before others and seek with confidence
the unity of all believers in the bond of peace. Oh Lord, who gained for Yourself
the people by adoption, through the one sacrifice once offered for all, bestow graciously on us, we pray, the gifts of unity and peace in Your Church through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. Amen. Please join with me in welcoming His Eminence Metropolitan Kallistos. Your Eminence, thank you for those kind words of welcome. Fathers, brothers and sisters, friends, it is a happiness for me to be with you today to speak about the Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue Are we making any progress? Are we any closer to a solution? I speak to you as a member of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the
Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. This Commission began its work in 1980 but I’ve only been part of it since 2006. I have attended four plenary sessions: at Belgrade in 2006 at Ravena in 2007 at Paphos, in Cyprus, 2009 and then last year at Vienna. We meet in agreeable and interesting places. Let me share with you two memories: First of Ravenna, and then of Paphos. At Ravenna, though were police everywhere, large numbers of them outside the
entrance to the hotel where we were staying, other police outside the hall where we met, police along the road between the hotel and the hall. What was the reason for all this police? I didn’t discover. No incident happened
that demanded their presence. Were they there to protect the Orthodox from the people of Ravenna, or were they there to
protect the people of Ravenna from the Orthodox? The next year at Paphos, things were different. There was only one police officer outside of hotel, but there was a reason why he needed
to be there. Because on the first morning there was a demonstration outside the hotel of members of zealot groups who would come from Athens.
I don’t think they had much support from the people of Cyprus. So there was a group waving placards saying “Orthodoxy or death! We will never submit!” “The pope is antichrist!” They were allowed simply to stand there, and they were not admitted to the hotel, nothing further happened and
eventually they just went away. So I wonder today, would there be members of the police surrounding the buildings here, would there be crowds with placards? But I was disappointed. Now I mentioned that incident in Paphos because it is important for us to remember that dialogue between separated Christians is sometimes misunderstood. And there are certainly many members of the Orthodox Church who are still very reserved about closer relations with the Catholic Church. I don’t think there is the same kind of
reservation on the Catholic side. Even if we do not agree with those Orthodox who protest against the dialogue,
we must take them seriously because they represent a
substantial number of our people and they’re acting with sincerity. We must try to overcome their unhappiness. On the last occasion, when Catholics and Orthodox met together at the highest level at the
Council of Ferrara-Florence in 1438-39, the two sides occupied some 10 months debating the procession of the Holy Spirit and the addition of the Filioque to the Creed. They devoted about four months to the subject of Purgatory and
the blessedness so the Saints. But on the question of the Papal Primacy they spent no more than 10 days towards the very end of the Council when everybody was in a hurry to get home. 10 months for the Filioque, 10 days for the papal claims, such was the order of priorities in the 15th century. Our perspective in the 21st century is altogether different. In the eyes of most Orthodox and of most Catholics today the crucial point of issue between our two Churches is not the Theology of the Holy Spirit but the position of the Bishop of Rome within the Universal Church. In the words of Cardinal Walter Kasper who was until recently the Chairman on the Catholic side in our dialogue “For Non-Catholic Christians the papal ministry is the major hindrance on the path towards unity. The main theological problem we now face, he says, is our shared and different understanding of COMMUNIO.” (KOINONIA) His counterpart, the Orthodox Co-Chairman of the Joint International Commission,
Metropolitan John Zizioulas of Pergamon, is in full agreement here. “Historically,” he says, “the question of Papal Authority and Primacy has been the main cause
for the gradual estrangement between the East and the West. The question of Primacy undoubtedly lies at the very heart of Roman Catholic – Orthodox relations.” The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is of the same opinion: “We have
different Ecclesiologies,” he says “and the place of the Bishop of Rome in the universal Church of Christ constitutes the principal obstacle.” Now when the dialogue started in 1980 on the island of Patmos, in the Monastery of St. John,
of which I am a member, it was decided not to start with the issues that in past history have led to conflict. It was feared that if that was done the two sides would merely repeat well-known arguments from the past. The dialogue wanted to make a fresh start. As Pope John Paul II said in his encyclical “Ut Unum Sint” of 1995 “we must be open to a new situation.” To begin with, we discussed other issues and it was only at Ravenna in 2007 that we began to approach the crucial issue of Papal Primacy.
We have not spoken very much about Papal Infallibility. At Ravenna, in the joint statement we issued, three levels of Primacy in the Church were discussed. And I quote: “The conciliar dimension of the Church is to be found at the three levels of Ecclesial Communion: the local, the regional and the universal. At the local level, entrusted to the bishop; at the regional level, of a group of local Churches with their bishops who recognize
who is the first among themselves; and at the universal level, where those who are first in the various regions, together with all the bishops, cooperate in that which concerns
the totality of the Church. At this level also the Protos must recognize who is the first among themselves. There then you have a threefold distinction: local, regional and universal. The Pontifical Council for
Promoting Christian Unity in a working document issued in 2002 makes the same point somewhat more concisely: “the Bishop of Rome acts simultaneously at once as Bishop of a local diocese, as Patriarch of the Western, or Latin Church, and as the Universal Minister of unity.” This threefold distinction local, regional, universal has important implications both for Catholics and for Orthodox. First for the Catholics: there has been a tendecy in the past for the Catholic theologians to neglect the level of regional primacy, the middle level, the second of the three levels. Very many Catholics would work simply with a two-fold scheme: the Episcopate and the Pope. If we look at the documents of the Anglican – Roman Catholic
International Commission Archives during 1976-81 we find that virtually nothing is said about regional Primacy. It’s only the local authority of the diocesan bishop and the Pope as Universal Pontiff. And that’s also the same with the 1995 Encyclical of Pope John
Paul II that I mentioned, “Ut Unum Sint.” There are very many things there which we, Orthodox, find encouraging but we note that the level of regional
primacy is almost entirely neglected. Also we, Orthodox, are a little disquieted that the Synod of Bishops is not given
greater importance. It seems to be denied a genuine
canonical authority. And of course we, Orthodox, were puzzled and disturbed when in 2006 the Pope stopped using his traditional title of Patriarch of
the West. All of this to us seemed to fit together and to suggest a certain neglect of the middle level of Primacy, the level of regional Primacy. Now, let’s look at the writings during the 1960’s of the present Pope Benedict the 16th. Writing as professor Joseph
Ratzinger at that time, he insisted upon the distinction between the
regional, or Patriarchal level of Primacy, and the Universal Primacy. He spoke specifically of the need to
build up “Patriarchal spaces.” We, Orthodox, fervently hope that he is still of the same opinion. At this juncture, he were to say
this plainly and emphatically it would greatly assist our Orthodox – Catholic dialogue. Now, during the past millennium there has been little or no practical
reason in the Latin West to differentiate between the patriarchal jurisdiction
of the Bishop of Rome and his position as Universal Primate. For the Christian East however this distinction is vital. We, Orthodox, believe that the Pope possesses in the Latin West a direct power of jurisdiction that he does not possess in the Christian East and I know that many Eastern
Catholics agree with us here. For us, Orthodox, the Universal
Primacy of the Pope is to be regarded as the top of a pyramid underneath which there is the lower level of the regional
Primacy of the patriarchates and the autocephalous churches. Only when the Universal Primacy of
the Pope is woven into the fabric of these regional Primacies can its
true character be properly appreciated. If regarded in isolation, Rome’s Universal Primacy becomes distorted. That is why we, Orthodox, are disturbed by the omission of the title “Patriarch
of the West” that is why we, Orthodox, welcome the consistent adoption in the Ravenna statement of a structure that is triadic not twofold. But, this threefold distinction local, regional, universal, has implications also for the Orthodox because we, Orthodox, in the past tended to neglect or even totally to deny the Universal Primacy of the Pope. there’s been a tendency for Orthodox
to think of the pope simply as the senior among the regional Primates, the First among the Patriarchs, as the older brother and nothing more. This is the standpoint for example of the answer of the
Great Church in Constantinople in 1895 sent in response to the encyclical “Praeclara Gratulationis” of pope Leo the 13th. The Orthodox write here: “having recourse to the Fathers in the Ecumenical Councils of the Church of the first nine centuries, we are fully persuaded that the Bishop of Rome was never
considered as the supreme authority and infallible
head of the Church and every bishop is head and president to his own particular Church. subject only to the synodical ordinances and decisions of the Church Universal as being alone infallible; The Bishop of Rome being in no way
exempted from this as church history shows our Lord Jesus Christ alone is eternal
Prince and immortal Head of the Church.” Now that statement is concerned more
with infallibility then with the Pope’s primacy of
universal jurisdiction but its intention is obviously to exclude the latter as well as the former. And there are many Orthodox who would continue to agree with that answer of 1895 from the Church of
Constantinople. So there you have an example of the way in which the third level can be altogether denied. This brings out the importance of the Ravenna Statement for us Orthodox. In the Ravenna Statement it is stated ambiguously the fact that of primacy at the universal level is accepted by both East and West. And that statement was endorsed by all the delegates, the Orthodox as well as the Catholics. The Orthodox representation was not absolutely complete because the Church of Russia was not present at the Ravenna meeting. It has been present at subsequent
meetings in Vienna, for example. The absence of the Church of Russia
however was not due to any theological reason concerning relations with the Catholics, it was because of Orthodox difficulties in Estonia. This statement stressing the existence of universal primacy is the first time at any rate in recent history that the Orthodox Church, at a high official level, has affirmed in principle the Universal
Primacy of the Bishop of Rome. The viewpoint of those Orthodox who were here to deny the existence of the third level of ecclesial authority is in this way directly repudiated. But, the question then arises What kind of universal primacy is meant? How is it to be interpreted? Ravenna did not offer an answer. In its agreed Statement, the meeting at Ravenna merely said that the fact of Primacy at the universal level is accepted but the delegates at once went on to admit there are differences of interpretation with regard to the manner in which it is to be exercised and also with regard to its scriptural and theological foundations and the delegates at Ravenna said crucial to this whole question is what happened historically in the 1st millennium when Orthodox and Catholics were in full communion. After all, if in the first ten centuries we
were in full communion that means that we Orthodox cannot offer less to Rome than we did in those ten centuries. but at the same time, Rome does not have the right to ask from us Orthodox more than was accepted in those ten centuries. So, the 1st millennium is taken as the criterion for discovering what is meant by Universal Primacy. However, the appeal to history is not easy. We have different ways of interpreting the historical evidence. And also, even though East and West were in full communion during the first millennium, with certain
limited exceptions, Yet, already during those first thousand years there were in the two halves of Christendom
divergent manners of interpreting the position of the Papacy. Let me illustrate that by what happened in 449 to 451 Pope Leo the Great, whose memory we celebrated yesterday in the Orthodox Church wrote his famous Tome concerning the the theology of the
Person of Christ and it seems that, having written his tome, the pope thought that this was sufficient to settle the disputes that were then in
progress. He does not seem to have thought it neccessary for the East to summon an Ecumenical Council it would be enough, it seems to have been in his mind, for the East simply to accept his Tome. So, Leo certainly felt that by pronouncing on the dispute in
question he had provided a solution, a definitive solution, the emperor and the Eastern bishop saw it differently and an Ecumenical Council was summoned Pope Leo’s Tome was read at the Council and it was received with acclamation. The bishop shouted aloud: “Peter has spoken through Leo!” words that are often quoted but we should remember they didn’t form
part of a formal definition of doctrine they were simply an acclamation. However, there were some Eastern bishops who are
unhappy about particular passages in the pope’s document and they were not told the pope has spoken, the matter is settled. A different approach was used: the Council of Chalcedon set up a committee and the bishops who had reservations met with a number of other bishops a small number on each side and the the specific passages in the
Tome to which objection was made were compared to the writings of Cyril of Alexandria who was a great authority for the Eastern bishops and the Tome was then adopted on the grounds that what Leo was saying was in full agreement with what Cyril had said thirty years earlier. So, there we see that the Eastern bishops did not accept the terms simply because
it was a statement from the Bishop of Rome, they accepted the Tome because it agreed with the Tradition that they already
held, because Leo agreed with the father whom they held in special reverence Cyril of Alexandria. Now, at that time there was no breach of
communion between East and West these differences of opinion were not particularly emphasized but it’s clear
therefore that even in the period of full communion
there coexisted different approaches in East and West towards the position of the bishop of Rome. So, the 1st millennium is a timeof unity but it is also a time of diversity and if we’re going to look at the
historical evidence one of the special questions we have to ask is how far can this diversity be carried without impairing Eucharistic communion? So that was where Ravenna left us: it didn’t define exactly the content of
Papal Primacy but it affirmed its basic existence. However, the Statement of Ravenna offers us a precious guideline: it appeals to the 34th Apostolic Canon Now, I don’t think the Apostolic Canons which are 4th century in date, are particularly well-known in the Western canonical tradition but for the Christian East the Apostolic Canons have always been
held in very high regard, and especially the 34th Apostolic Canon which is seen as the touchstone for primacy. I’m sure that my friend Metropolitan Nicholas here knows the 34th Apostolic Canon by heart I’m sure he recites it to himself before he goes to sleep each night. Now, the canon says: “the bishops of each province must recognize the one who is first (‘protos’ says the Greek word) the one who is first among them and consider him to be their head and they must not do anything important without his consent but the first, the Protos, cannot do anything without the consent of all” and the canon ends by referring to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, doesn’t draw out the point, but the point
might be made that yes, within the Trinity the Father is first, but the Son and the Spirit of equal to Him. Now, this Apostolic Canon is referring to regional primacy not universal primacy. But the Ravenna Statement suggests without affirming this in an entirely explicit manner that the canon may likewise be applied to
universal primacy, level 3 of the three levels that I distinguished. Now, yes… what does that imply? The 34th Apostolic Canon suggests a relation, a mutual relation, between the one knew who is first and the other bishops. The Protos, the head, the first is not to do anything without consulting the others, but the others are not to do anything without consulting him So the pattern there is mutuality, reciprocal concorde co-responsibility, interdependence So, if we apply this to Papal Primacy it means that the members of the
Episcopal College and equally the patriarchs of the East
cannot act without their head, the Pope, But equally, the Pope cannot act without the members of the Episcopal College and the Eastern patriarchs. I wonder how far such an understanding of Papal Primacy can be reconciled with the decrees of the First Vatican Council
or, for that matter, of its successor, Vatican II. In the Dogmatic Constitution of the
Church, Lumen Gentium, adopted at Vatican II, it is clearly said that “the College of Bishops cannot act without its head: the Pope, whereas the Pope can very well act without the College” (section 22). In the words of the “Nota Explicativa Praevia” (section 4): “as supreme Pastor of the Church, the sovereign Pontiff can always
exercise his authority as he chooses, but the College of Bishops acts only at
intervals and with the consent of its head.” Now that doesn’t seem to correspond with the kind of reciprocal relationship that the Ravenna Statement envisages when it invokes Apostolic Canon 34. If it proves possible to reinterpret the authority of the Pope, in the perspective of this canon, there is certainly an understanding of
papal primacy that may well prove acceptable to the Orthodox Church. For this reason I regard the Ravenna Statement as a document full of hope. But I would apply to it the words of Winston Churchill, during
the Second World War, when Britain won its first victory
over Germany, the Battle of Britain, when the
German Air Force failed to gain control of the airspace above Britain and that indeed prevented Germany from
invading Britain. Churchill said of this: “It is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end but perhaps it is the end the
beginning.” So perhaps Ravenna is not the end, nor
even the beginning of the end, but I hope it represents the end of the beginning. I do think it constitutes an exciting
breakthrough that the Orthodox have recognize the
principle of Universal Primacy. Now we’ve got to get down to the much more difficult question perhaps of looking at the details and that is what we are now doing, since Ravenna. We are trying to draw up a joint statement reviewing the historical evidence trying to achieve a shared view of history. We haven’t yet succeeded entirely we’ve drawn up a draft document, I think this will be revised this year and
probably next year it’ll come back to a plenary session for the two sides to try and assess how far we really do agree in our few of the evidence in the
first millennium. So, we still got plenty of work to do, please pray for the continued success of our discussions. I truly believe that if we Orthodox and Catholics can make genuine progress on the way we
understand Primacy, then most of the other issues that arise between us could be solved. Let me, in conclusion, suggest why dialogue is important. As I mentioned, some Orthodox are not happy about the idea of dialogue. Let me tell you why I am in favor of it. Half a century ago a highly instructive book was written on the Christian understanding of the
human person so worth reading, too much neglected, a work by the Scottish philosopher
John Macmurray entitled: Persons in Relation. Macmurray’s theme was this: personhood is relational as persons we are what we are only in relation to other persons. No one isolated, cut off from others turned inward is truly a person according to the image and likeness of God There was a saying among the early Christians: “Unus Christianus, nullus Christianus” “One Christian (isolated, cut off) is no true Christian.” We could extend that by saying: Una persona, nulla persona One person (isolated, cut off) is not a true person. As Macmurray says, “the self exists only in Dynamic Relation with the other the self is constituted by its relation to the other it has it’s being in the relationship.” and Macmurray develops this: “there is no true person, he says, unless there are at least two persons in communion with one another. To be human is to be dialogic.” And so Macmurray concludes: “I need you in order to be myself.” I might add in passing here that the very
word for person in the Greek language indicates the relational character of
personhood the word for person in Greek is
“prosopon” and that means face, countenance I am not truly a person unless I face other persons, unless I look at them unless I look into their eyes and let them look into mine. Now, we should apply all this not only to individual persons but to
church communities, isolated, cut off, from other Christian communities. No ecclesial group is truly fulfilling its vocation in Christ; each Christian community should be
willing to say to the others we need you in order to be ourselves. Yes indeed, on the Catholic side you say that the one true Church subsists in the Roman Catholic Church, and we on
the Orthodox side make a similar claim we say the Orthodox Church is the one true
church of Christ but without contradicting these
theological claims we have to admit that because of our
separation, we are on both sides grievously diminished, we need each other in order to be ourselves. And that to me constitutes the compelling reason to engage in dialogue. Cardinal Suenens sums up the matter with great simplicity. He says “In order to unite we must first love
one another, in order to love one another we must first get to know one another.” That is why we need theological dialogue in order to get to know one another,
in order to listen to one another but of course dialogue at the highest
level is not enough. We need to bring the dialogue to the local level to involve parishes, dioceses, theological schools so that it is not simply a matter for
experts discussing things in isolation but it is something that is understood and appreciated by the whole Christian people on each side. And this is perhaps going
to take some time. I recall the words of a great Orthodox Ecumenist during the second half of the 20th century Archpriest George Florovsky. He said: “the greatest Ecumenical virtue is patience” but I would add an impatient patience, a patient impatience. Thank you! Q&A 1: In terms of the dropping of the title Patriarch of the West I think one of the reasons given is that it it an ambiguous title, from a Catholic point of view, that the West could include: New Zealand, Australia so the idea of a regional jurisdiciton is not quite the same. Maybe there is a Ritual jurisdiction over the Latin Rite but not the same as the regional. That’s one question, and the other is about St. Flavian’s letter to Pope St. Leo in 449 where he stated that “your sacred letter will heal the problem” and the convening of a Council will be considered superfluous So I just wondered if you could comment on these two points. METROPOLITAN KALLISTOS: Thank you! The first point you made was also
made by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity it was assayed in explanation of the
dropping of this title that the word West has lost its precise meaning in the modern world. If that is so, I would feel the answer is not to drop the title but to clarify it. And I think one way in which you could
be clarified would be to say it means Patriarch of
the Latin Rite. But the Orthodox concern still
remains valid that there is a difference between the Patriarchal position of the Pope and his position as Universal Primacy and we mustn’t telescope those two
levels together. The West, as I said, has not had in the first past millennium
reason to make a distinction here but we want to make such a distinction and so from the Orthodox side it is very
important to say that giving the Pope
universal primacy does not mean that he will exercise the kind of
direct jurisdiction that he has in the West. So that is why we are disquieted I don’t want to isolate this
issue of Patriarch of the West but simply to make the more general
point that the level of regional primacy should not be neglected. Then you spoke about Flavian perhaps he did say that but in practice the Council was summoned and it discussed the Pope’s letter and it compared it with that of the writings of Cyril of Alexandria. So the Christian East accepted the Tome of Leo not primarily because it was the Pope’s word but because they believed that the Pope
had spoken the truth and that’s not quite the same. So
that was the point I was making that there were different approaches there
already in the middle of the fifth century but it did not lead at that time to a schism, so we have to ask today if we are to restore communion how much diversity is to be allowed? Now the dialogue between the Orthodox
and the Catholics has not yet begun to discuss the definitions of Vatican I and that’s going to be quite difficult, but we thought we have to start with the 1st
millennium and try and seek common ground before we come to the extreme difficulties of a later period. Q&A 2: YES, I don’t know if you heard the
question which as I understand it was how much theological work has been done by
the Orthodox on the second level of Primacy, Regional Primacy. Now, yes, there is quite a body of theological treatment of all this and of course it raises widespread questions if you’re looking at the
level Regional Primacy and what is the relationship of the regional primates
to one another of the patriarchs and heads of
the autocephalous churches that of course raises the issue: how do you understand conciliarity,
how do you understand the status of councils when the primates of the regional churches meet together? And, well, we do have a considerable body of writing in Orthodoxy
about this we have particularly the Russian
development of the concept of “sobornost” or conciliarity, or catholicity,
as it could be translated yet we don’t have an exhaustive
treatment here so we need to draw on all this material and there have been a number of recent discussions in the Orthodox Church at
a pan-Orthodox level on these matters. For example, there has been discussion about how does an autonomous church, a regional church, endowed with canonical independence, how does this come to be recognized, what is the process for granting
autocephalous or autonomous status to local churches? But the discussion is not yet finished. Equally in the Orthodox Church today the Ecumenical Patriarch enjoys a de facto Primacy. Since the division between Rome and Orthodoxy, it is the Ecumenical Patriarch who has
been first in the Orthodox world and certainly in the Greek
canonical tradition he is understood as enjoying certain prerogatives within the total
Orthodox Communion he cannot intervene in the internal
affairs of different Orthodox churches but he can take the initiative to encourage the summoning of
pan-Orthodox councils and this has been by recent
ecumenical patriarchs but here again there is difference of
opinion among certain Orthodox and the Church of Russia has a rather
different attitude over the primacy of
the Ecumenical Patriarch from that which the Patriarchate and the
Greek-speaking churches would have so there’s an ongoing dialogue within
Orthodoxy about these things. So the level of regional primacy is certainly under discussion among
the Orthodox in the last 100 years but the discussion has not yet finished. JRR Tolkien says in The Hobbit: “Roads go ever, ever, on” and that’s also true of
theological discussions. Q&A 3: If I interpret it rightly you were
concerned that… yes, perhaps there could be an acceptance of
the principle of Primacy but that it might be applied in different ways I’m but I think that’s exactly the point
where we now are. We’ve agreed at Ravenna, though this decision needs to be discussed and received by all the different Orthodox
churches but we’ve in principle agreed at Ravenna that we do accept the
Papal Primacy but we have not yet agreed how it should
be exercised and I think we can’t just stop with the
agreement with the general principle we need to try and work out modalities about its exercise, otherwise there
will be continuing misunderstandings between us but forgive
me if I didn’t quite understand what you were stating. Yes. One more question then. Yes, please! Q&A 4: As we focus on East vs. the Latins… what are your thoughts on the coming global vibrancy of the South in terms of the globe as articulated by John Allen in his book: The Future Church. Do you have any thoughts on the global South? The “global South” as distinct from East and West?
I that what you’re asking about? The “global South.” Yes… Yes, I don’t know if I have an answer to that. and I’m not aware of the book you’re
referring to If we speak of Christian East and
Christian West, we have a clearer historical basis, even if the terms East and West are not absolutely clear in their modern application, but we have the fact that the West was held to be the Latin Church of Rome and the churches depended on it, and the East consists of the four
ancient Patriarchates of Constantinople, Alexandria,
Antioch and Jerusalem and the churches that are in
communion with them. So there, I think, Christian East and
Christian West have a meaning, historically, they indicate different identities. Now… What do we mean by the Christian South? There I would not be very clear
in terms of history, or in terms of identity because so far as we, Orthodox,
are concerned yes, we have churches in the South, we have dioceses in South Africa, we have missions in
Kenya and Uganda. We have many Christians in
South America and in Australia, but, most of these communities
are very recent and due to immigration and so I don’t see, from the Orthodox side,
that the Christian South has at this moment a distinctive identity. So, it seems to me rather difficult to assess what is meant
by talking of the Christian South, but perhaps we shall be shown something more in
the future. On behalf of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and the Metropolis of Detroit in particular, with the blessing of our Ecumenical Patriarch, I extended to him the information
that you are going to be here, to you he extends greetings, I told him we will be coming here, to you, Archbishop Vigneron, he extends greetings, and of course, to the Cardinal. As a memento of this event, we will have, with much thanksgiving, first to the Archbishop, because we know that he loves to read… the Metropolitan has written many books. On behalf of the Metropolis and the Metropolitan, to the Archbishop we extend a set full of reading material. Oh, well, thank you! All signed by Metropolitan Kallistos. Your Eminence, thank you so much! Thank you! Lest, however, we should leave this sacred building without a memento to the
Monsignor: Monsignor Monforton we have the
Philokalia for you, we don’t know if you have read it.
It is signed by Metropolitan Kallistos, It is for you and for the School. Thank you for your hospitality! Thank you very much! God bless you! Thank you! Thank you, everyone! God bless you! Thank you for being here today!

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