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Catholics and Orthodox: improving relations

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 Contents - Nov 2009AD2000 November 2009 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Catholics and Orthodox: improving relations - Michael Gilchrist
Climate change alarmism: a new 'religion' for Christians? - John Morrissey
News: The Church Around the World
The work of Courage and EnCourage supported by Melbourne priests - Marie Mason
A Christian response to post-abortion trauma - Julie Cook
Campion College celebrates its fourth Year of operation - Br Barry Coldrey
Schools: How to rebuild Catholic education from the grass-roots - Sr Mary Augustine OP
Foundations of Faith: 'O happy fault': the Christian doctrine of original sin - Noel Roberts
Holocaust: English nun who saved Jews from the Nazis put forward as saint - AD2000 Report
Missionaries: Mary Glowrey (1887-1957): Australian witness to hope in India - Robyn Fahy And Fr Dan Strickland MGL
Letters: Global cooling - M.J. Gonzalez
Letters: Pius XII vindicated again - Arnold Jago
Letters: Women priests - Robert Prinzen-Wood
Letters: Dissenting views - John Schmid
Books: THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD: Essays Catholic and Contemporary, by John Haldane - Tracey Rowland (reviewer)
Books: JESUS AND THE EYEWITNESSES: Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony, by Richard Bauckham - Peter Westmore (reviewer)
Books: CHRISTIANITY AND THE CRISIS OF CULTURES, by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger - Br Barry Coldrey
Update: The 2009 Fighting Fund
Books: This month's selection from AD Books
Reflection: The Feast of All Souls and the Communion of Saints - Fr Dennis Byrnes

After many hundreds of years of tension between the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox churches there are recent signs that relations are on the mend, especially with the Russian Orthodox (see report page 4).

This progress contrasts with the growing problems with Anglicanism where acceptance of women and "gay" bishops has all but scuttled prospects of closer Church unity between Catholics and Anglicans.

Together, Catholics and Orthodox make up a large proportion of the world's Christians and there are almost limitless possibilities for constructive initiatives to counter the march of militant secularism even if progress towards Church unity will be inevitably slow.

Russian Orthodox Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev, during recent meetings at the Vatican with Benedict XVI and Cardinal Kasper, set the tone for improved relations. He said there are many reasons for Catholics and Orthodox to co-operate in "our de-Christianised world" and "it is time to move past divisions and competition and exist in solidarity and mutual love."

Archbishop Alfreyev, who has been Chairman of the Department of External Affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate since last March, expressed his high esteem for Benedict, who, he said, is much appreciated in the Russian Orthodox Church, adding that he hoped the Pope and Patriarch Kirill could meet soon. It has since been suggested that a meeting might be arranged on neutral territory such as Cyprus.

Cardinal Kasper was also upbeat about the talks: "We have spoken of the exchange of priests, of theologians, and of all that which might help to improve relations and also to overcome the prejudices and resistance that exist in Russia against the Catholic Church and ecumenism; however, little by little, we can also overcome this."

On 17 September, Archbishop Alfeyev attended afternoon prayer with the Sant'Egidio Community whom he thanked for their "contribution to dialogue" while drawing their attention to the common challenge represented by "a de-Christianised world," dominated by "consumerism, hedonism, practical materialism and moral relativism."

Michael Gilchrist: Editor (email available on request).

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 22 No 10 (November 2009), p. 2

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