POPE: STUDY OF EASTERN CHURCH LAW HELPS ECUMENISM
Pope Francis on Thursday received in audience participants in the congress of the Society for the Law of the Eastern Churches.
By Robin Gomes (vaticannews)
The work of the , which brings together experts from the Eastern Catholic, Orthodox and Oriental Churches, is of fundamental assistance to ecumenical dialogue, Pope Francis said on Thursday.
Speaking to some 80 participants in the 24th International Congress of the Society for the Law of the Eastern Churches, underway in Rome from September 16 to 20, he said that they can learn from one another in all areas of ecclesial life, such as theology, the experience of spirituality and liturgy, pastoral activity and canon law.
The Society aims at promoting better international and inter-confessional scholarly collaboration among specialists of the Law of the Eastern Churches and of the Civil Law on Eastern Churches, It is marking its 50th anniversary.
According to the Pope, “Canon law is essential for ecumenical dialogue.” Many of the theological dialogues pursued by the Catholic Church, especially with the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Churches, he said, are of an ecclesiological nature. Since ecclesiology finds expression in the institutions and the law of the Churches, theological dialogues, he said, also have a canonical dimension. Ecumenical dialogue also enriches canon law.
The Holy Father particularly focused on synodality, explaining that, when translated into established institutions and procedures of the Church, it expresses the ecumenical dimension of canon law. The Catholic Church can learn from the synodal experience of other traditions, especially the Eastern Churches, and its own experience of synodality is important for its relations with other Christians.
Synodality, he said, is a challenge for ecumenism. The commitment to build a synodal Church, to which all are called has significant ecumenical implications. In this regard, the Pope said that the current theological dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church seeks precisely a common understanding of primacy and synodality and their relationship in the service of the unity of the Church.
That they may be one
The work of the Society for the Law of the Eastern Churches also has a synodal dimension as they walk together and, in mutual listening, evaluate their traditions and experiences to find ways to full unity as wished by the Lord in His prayer: “that they may all be one; […] so that the world may believe.”
COUNCIL OF CARDINALS MEETS TO STUDY APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION
The Council of Cardinals, a group of nine cardinals from different parts of the world chosen by Pope Francis at the start of his pontificate as papal advisors, met this week at the Vatican for the 31st time. Now only 6 cardinals and two bishops who act as secretaries, the group met Tuesday through Thursday, with Pope Francis participating when his schedule allowed.
There was no press conference this time to explain the work sessions to the media but the press office did issue a note today, stating that “the activity of this Council meeting focused on re-reading and modifying the draft of the new Apostolic Constitution on the basis of the many contributions that have arrived from Episcopal conferences, the precise observations of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia and the suggestions provided by the interested bodies. This first re-reading, which has come to an end, was a passage of listening and reflection that responds to the indications of the Holy Father in the sense of communion and synodality.”
The Council has set the calendar of meetings for 2020. The next meeting for 2019 will be December 2, 3 and 4.