Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2014 Theme Announced

By: Fr Thomas Orians, SA
Associate Director – Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute

 2014 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
The 2014 theme for the week of Prayer for Christian Unity has been selected.  For the coming year the theme finds its origins in 1 Corinthians 1:1-17. The traditional period in the northern hemisphere for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is 18-25 January. Those dates were proposed in 1908 by Paul Wattson to cover the original days of the feasts of the Chair of St. Peter  (January 18) and the Conversion of  St. Paul (January 25) , and therefore have a symbolic significance.  The initial work on the theme for this year’s week of prayer material was prepared by a group of representatives from different parts of Canada, brought together at the invitation of the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism and the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism. The texts were approved at a meeting of the International Committee composed of members of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, and the Pontifical Council for Promoting of Christian Unity. Being faithful to Christ’s desire for the unity of his disciples, has led to this year’s theme which focuses on Saint Paul’s provocative question in 1 Corinthians:“Has Christ Been Divided?”  We continue to be divided by doctrine, polity, and practice, and to maintain our own religious identity, yet our pilgrimage towards unity continues under God’s guidance.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Leader of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church to Visit Pope

VATICAN CITY, September 02, 2013 (from Zenit) - Moran Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, Catholicos of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, India, will visit Pope Francis this week.
The meeting will form part of the Catholicos' pastoral visit to orthodox faithful in Europe.
The Malankara Orthodox Church is divided into two communities: the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in full communion with the Orthodox Syrian Patriarch of Antioch, and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church led by His Holiness Moran Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, (automous orthodox Church). The Orthodox Syrian Church currently has over 2.5 million members in thirty dioceses, with more than 33 bishops and 1,700 priests.
Two important meetings took place between Pope John Paul II and the Catholicos Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews I, in Rome in 1983 and in Kottayam in 1986; on the latter occasion the Mixed International Commission for Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church was established. In 1990, the common Christological Declaration was signed.
Since 1989 two parallel dialogues have taken place annually in Kerala, southern India; one with each of the two communities. These dialogues relate to questions on three main themes: the history of the Church in India, ecclesiology, and common witness.
The Catholicos Moran Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, as well as meeting with the Holy Father on Thursday, will visit the tomb of the Apostle Peter and will be received by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.