Response to The Chieti Document is Another Step Forward for the Catholic and Orthodox Churches’ Common Understanding in Service of Unity

December 14, 2017 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—TheNorth American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation (NAOCTC) has releasedits response to the most recent document produced by the Joint InternationalCommission for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and theOrthodox Church. Entitled, "Synodality and Primacy During the First Millennium:Towards a Common Understanding in Service to the Unity of the Church," thiswork of the international dialogue was released in September 2016. It is oftenreferred to as, "The Chieti Document," because it was finalized during ameeting in Chieti, Italy.

The NAOCTC, which is co-chaired by Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin,Archbishop of Newark and Consultant for the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, andby Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, prepared its response during its mostrecent meeting, which took place in Washington, DC, from 26-28 October. Theresponse praises the Chieti Document "as the fruit of perseverance in fidelityto our one Lord. It is a fruit holdingmany seeds, potentially yielding a harvest for the countless members of ourChurches who experience the division every day in their lives and pray for itto be healed."

The ChietiDocument discusses the relationship between primacy and synodality during thefirst millennium Churches of the East and West. It specifically examines thatrelationship on three levels: the local, regional and universal. The NAOCTCresponse reflects upon each of the three levels and offers suggestions forfurther study and consideration.

The North American dialogue has responded to every agreed statement produced bythe International Dialogue including those finalized at Rhodes (1980), Munich(1982), Bari (1987), Valamo (1988), Balamand (1993), and Ravenna (2007).

The Chietidocument is posted on the Vatican web site here:

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/ch_orthodox_docs/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_20160921_sinodality-primacy_en.html

and on theweb site of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople here:

https://www.patriarchate.org/dialogue-with-the-roman-catholic-church/-/asset_publisher/xPOzhhZ0zKIa/content/synodality-and-primacy-during-the-first-millennium-towards-a-common-understanding-in-service-to-the-unity-of-the-church-9-21-16-

The NorthAmerican Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation was established in 1965 bythe Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in America, now theAssembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States, and by theNational Conference of Catholic Bishops, now the United States Conference ofCatholic Bishops. Since 1997, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops hasbeen a co-sponsor.

More information on the work of the North American Orthodox-CatholicTheological Consultation, including links to the full text of Statements andother documents, may be found at the respective sites of:

The Assemblyof Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States:

www.assemblyofbishops.org/ministries/dialogue/orthodox-catholic/

and TheUnited States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/ecumenical-and-interreligious/ecumenical/orthodox/index.cfm

The response to the recent document producedby the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between theCatholic Church and the Orthodox Church, "Synodality and Primacy During theFirst Millennium: Towards a Common Understanding in Service to the Unity of theChurch," The Chieti Document of the international dialogue canbe found here: https://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/ecumenical-and-interreligious/ecumenical/orthodox/upload/Chieti-Response.pdf

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Keywords: NorthAmerican Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation (NAOCTC), JointInternational Commission for Theological Dialogue, Catholic Church, Vatican, OrthodoxChurch, "Synodality, Primacy, common understanding, unity of the Church,international dialogue, The Chieti Document, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin,Metropolitan Methodios, dialogue. 

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