A Vision of Unity

Developed by the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation during a three-day meeting at Georgetown University in Washington, two “unprecedented” statements released on Oct. 7 offer a vision of what the unity of the two churches might look like. Steps Toward a Reunited Church offers a vision of the possible shape of a reunited church resulting from the re-establishment of full communion. The second statement, Celebrating Easter/Pascha Together, focuses on the importance of a unified celebration of Christ’s resurrection. The statements identify areas where the churches diverge in leadership and other practices, such as the role of the pope, that must be reconciled before the nearly 1,000-year separation between the churches can end. Ronald Roberson, a Paulist priest who is the associate director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, said the divided churches now “dimly perceive” what a united church would look like. “Obviously for that to happen,” he said, “Catholics would have to adjust and Orthodox would have to adjust.”

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