Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue Continues To Explore Role Of Laity

June 26, 2012 By Public Affairs Office

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

Papers presented at themeeting included “Canonical Reflections onthe Rights of Orthodox Laity” by Father Patrick Viscuso of the Greek OrthodoxArchdiocese of America; “Further Reflections on the Laity from Ancient SyriacChristianity: Laity in the Image of Christ” by Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Ph.D., ofBrown University; “The Lay-Clergy Distinction in Recent Catholic Theology” bySister 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 HisEminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese). He wasrecently appointed to that post by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America,chairman of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and CentralAmerica. He succeeds Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh, who retired last year.The Catholic co-chairman, Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans, was unableto attend this meeting because of a pastoral emergency in his archdiocese.

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

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

Additional Catholic members areJesuit Father Brian Daley (secretary), Catherine F. Huisking professor oftheology at the University of Notre Dame; Thomas Bird, Ph.D., of QueensCollege, City University of New York, Flushing, New York; Sylvain Destrempes,Ph.D., faculty of the Grand Seminaire in Montreal; Father Peter Galadza, KuleFamily professor of liturgy at the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute ofEastern Christian Studies, Ottawa; Father John Galvin, professor of SystematicTheology, 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 theByzantine Catholic Seminary of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Pittsburgh; VitoNicastro, Ph.D., associate director of the Office for Ecumenical andInterreligious Affairs, Archdiocese of Boston; and Paulist Father RonaldRoberson, Ph.D., associate director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’(USCCB) Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, staff.

The North American Orthodox-CatholicTheological Consultation is sponsored by the Committee for Ecumenical Relationsof the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, theUSCCB Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, and the CanadianConference of Catholic Bishops. Since its establishment in 1965, theConsultation has issued 25 agreed statements. These texts are available on theUSCCB Website at www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/dialogue-with-others/ecumenical/orthodox/orthodox-dialogue-documents.cfmand the official Orthodox website at www.scoba.us/resources/orthodox-catholic.html.

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

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