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Orthodox-Roman Catholic Dialogue meeting ends in disagreement

Today, 23 October 2009, it has been reported by the Greek News Agency,, that the meeting of the Mixed Commission for the Orthodox/Roman Catholic Theological Dialogue in Cyprus has ended without agreement. Participants called the discussions ‘painful’ and the commission could not even discuss all the points in the agenda, which concerned ‘The Role of the Bishop of Rome in the first millennium’. A participant commented that discussions on the 13-page text were extremely slow and difficult and that only half of the various paragraphs in the document were even discussed.

The agenda which reads as though it had been imposed by the Roman Catholic side alone concerned four main points:

1.The Church of Rome as ‘the first of the Local Churches of East and West’.
2.The Bishop of Rome as the successor of the Apostle Peter.
3.The role of the Bishop of Rome in the Church community at times of crises.
4.The influence of non-theological factors.

It is unthinkable that such an agenda could have been set by Orthodox representatives, because it presupposes that the statements are actually true. If you ask false questions, you can only ever get false answers. An Orthodox Commission could have set a historically factual agenda, such as:

1.The influence of Roman paganism on the conduct of the Church of Rome as a factor in its schism, so making it ‘the last of the Local Churches of East and West’.
2.Orthodox bishops as successors of all the Apostles.
3.The role of the Bishop of Rome in creating division.
4.The influence of German political factors on the schism of the Bishop of Rome.

It is to be recalled that this highly political Dialogue, taking place behind closed doors, faced protests from some local Cypriot Orthodox. It is to be hoped that in future ordinary Orthodox will be allowed to take part in such Dialogues openly, so that ordinary Orthodox, and not an academic and political elite, will be allowed to express themselves. Hopefully, a more open spirit will be demanded by Orthodox and will influence the next meeting of this Commission, which is to take place in Vienna in September 2010.

Frankly, there seems little point in continuing this Dialogue until the Vatican ceases to finance Uniatism, which is like a dagger which it has deliberately planted in the back of the Orthodox Churches.

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