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Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue Continues To Explore Role Of Laity

June 26, 2012

WASHINGTON—The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation continued their study of the role of laypeople in their churches during their 82nd meeting at Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts, June 5-7.

Papers presented at themeeting included “Canonical Reflections on the Rights of Orthodox Laity” by Father Patrick Viscuso of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America; “Further Reflections on the Laity from Ancient Syriac Christianity: Laity in the Image of Christ” by Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Ph.D., of Brown University; “The Lay-Clergy Distinction in Recent Catholic Theology” by Sister of Charity of Leavenworth Susan K. Wood of Marquette University; and “The Role of Lay Members of the Christian Faithful in the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches” by Chorbishop John D. Faris, pastor of St. Louis Gonzaga Maronite Church in Utica, New York.

The meeting was co-chaired by His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese). He was recently appointed to that post by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, chairman of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America. He succeeds Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh, who retired last year. The Catholic co-chairman, Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans, was unable to attend this meeting because of a pastoral emergency in his archdiocese.

The next meeting of the Consultation is scheduled to take place October 25-27, at Saint Paul’s College in Washington.

Additional Orthodox members of the Consultation include Rev. Dr. Thomas FitzGerald, dean of the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts; Bishop Alexander Golitzin of the Bulgarian Diocese of the Orthodox Church in America, Toledo; Father Nicholas Apostola of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas; Father John Erickson, former dean and professor of canon law and church history at Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, New York; Father James Dutko, pastor of St. Michael’s Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church in Binghamton, New York; Paul Meyendorff, Ph.D., Alexander Schmemann professor of liturgical theology and editor of Saint Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly, Crestwood, New York; Despina D. Prassas, Ph.D., of Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island; Robert Haddad, Ph.D., Sophia Smith professor emeritus of history at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts; Father Robert Stephanopoulos, pastor emeritus of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, New York; and Father Theodore Pulcini, associate professor of religion at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Additional Catholic members are Jesuit Father Brian Daley (secretary), Catherine F. Huisking professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame; Thomas Bird, Ph.D., of Queens College, City University of New York, Flushing, New York; Sylvain Destrempes, Ph.D., faculty of the Grand Seminaire in Montreal; Father Peter Galadza, Kule Family professor of liturgy at the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies, Ottawa; Father John Galvin, professor of Systematic Theology, The Catholic University of America (CUA); Father Sidney Griffith, professor in the Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures, CUA; Father Joseph Komonchak, professor emeritus of religious studies, CUA; Msgr. Paul McPartlan, Carl J. Peter professor of systematic theology and ecumenism, CUA; Father David Petras, spiritual director and professor of liturgy at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Pittsburgh; Vito Nicastro, Ph.D., associate director of the Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Archdiocese of Boston; and Paulist Father Ronald Roberson, Ph.D., associate director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, staff.

The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation is sponsored by the Committee for Ecumenical Relations of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, the USCCB Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Since its establishment in 1965, the Consultation has issued 25 agreed statements. These texts are available on the USCCB Website at and the official Orthodox website at


Keywords: Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, dialogue, Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation, Archbishop Gregory Aymond, USCCB, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops, laity, laypeople, Metropolitan Methodios of Boston

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Don Clemmer
O: 202-541-3206

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