The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity this morning released a communiqué announcing that starting this morning, January 30th, the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox will resume meetings in Rome, in accord with the agreement signed by Pope Benedict XVI and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, during the Pontiff’s recent trip to Turkey.
The meeting which will run through the 3rd of February is to be presided by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the pontifical council, and by Metropolitan Anba Bishoy of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
The Orthodox delegation includes representatives from seven local Churches that are part of the family of the Eastern Orthodox Churches: the Coptic Orthodox, the Syrian Orthodox, the Armenian Apostolic (represented by the two catholicosates of Etchmiadzin and Cilicia), the Ethiopian Orthodox, the Eritrean Orthodox and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian.
The Catholic delegation includes representatives of the Latin tradition and from the various Eastern Catholic traditions (Coptic Catholic, Syrian Catholic, Armenian Catholic, Maronite, Syro-Malabarese, and Ethiopian).
In accord with the desires of Pope Benedict and Patriarch Bartholomew, the commission will continue its discussion of the ecclesiological questions regarding each Church’s structures of communion and the exercise of apostolic ministry in the Church; themes which continue to be two of the largest obstacles to Catholic-Orthodox unity.