Friday, December 15, 2006

Blog by-the-Sea: Common Declaration between Pope Benedict XVI and Abp. Christodoulos

Teresa Polk in her Blog-by-the-Sea has translated the Common Declaration Between Pope Benedict XVI and Abp Christodulos of Athens.

In their joint declaration they apply the words of St Basil the Great to the current division between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. They write "St. Basil the Great, who in a period of multiple divisions in the ecclesial body was persuaded 'that with more durable reciprocal communications and discussions without a quarrelsome spirit, if some new explanation is needed, the Lord will provide it, He who makes all things work together for the good of those who love him' (Letter 113).

Central to this process of "reciprocal communication" between East and West they write they "wish to live ever more intensely our mission of giving an apostolic testimony, of transmitting the faith to those who are near and to those afar, and of proclaiming to them the Good News of the Saviour’s birth that we will both soon celebrate. It is also our common responsibility to overcome, in love and in truth, the multiple difficulties and the painful experiences of the past, for the glory of God, the Holy Trinity, and of His holy Church."

For this reason, the commit themselves and their Churches "to travel together the difficult path of dialogue in truth in order to restore full communion of faith in the bond of love. Thereby we will obey the divine commandment, and will carry out the prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ, and, enlightened by the Holy Spirit who accompanies and never abandons the Church of Christ, we will continue our commitment, following the apostolic example and showing mutual love and the spirit of reconciliation."

The visit between the Pope of Rome and the Archbishop of Athens and their common declaration is an exciting development that I hope and pray will bear fruit in full communion soon.

You can find the whole text of the declaration here: Blog by-the-Sea: Common Declaration between Pope Benedict XVI and Abp. Christodoulos

Thank you to Teresa Polk for her translation.

In Christ,

+Fr Gregory

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