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N. 135 (2010/III–IV) - · PDF fileADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI YourEminences ,...

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  • OFFICES: via della Conciliazione, 5 - 00193 Rome (Italy). Telephones: +39 06.698.83212 (Editorial Office) - +39 06.698.83074 (Administration)Fax: +39 06.698.85365 - E-mail: [email protected]

    CONTENTS

    PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN UNITY, 15-19 November2010 ......................................................................................................................................... 73Address of Pope Benedict XVI ................................................................................................ 73Opening Address of Cardinal Kurt Koch, President PCPCU ................................................. 74Secretarys Report on the PCPCU 2009-2010, Bishop Brian Farrell ..................................... 87

    CELEBRATION OF THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIANUNITY, 17 November 2010 ....................................................................................................... 102Address of Cardinal Walter Kasper, President Emeritus ....................................................... 102Address of His Eminence John Zizioulas, Metropolitan of Pergamon ................................. 106Address of Dr. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury ................................................. 110

    VISIT TO THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE BY A DELEGATION OF THE HOLY SEE FOR THE FEAST OF STANDREW, 29 November 1 December 2010 ............................................................................ 114Message of Pope Benedict XVI to His Holiness Bartholomew I ........................................... 114Greeting of His Holiness Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch ......................................... 114

    SPECIAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS FOR THE MIDDLE EAST, Rome, 10-24October 2010 ........................................................................................................................... 116

    XITH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE LUTHERAN WORLD FEDERATION, 22-27 July 2010 ......................... 127Discourse of Cardinal Walter Kasper, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for

    Promoting Christian Unity ............................................................................................... 127

    ECUMENICAL NEWS .......................................................................................................................... 129Second Plenary Meeting of the International Lutheran Roman-Catholic Commission on

    Unity, Regensburg, Germany, 22-29 October 2010 .......................................................... 129Joint International Commission for Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the

    Malankara (Jacobite) Syrian Orthodox Church, Kottayam, India, 7 December 2010 ... 129Joint International Commission for Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the

    Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Kottayam, India, 8-9 December 2010 ................. 132Theological Conversations between the Baptist World Alliance and the Pontifical Council

    for Promoting Christian Unity, Oxford, England, 12-18 December 2010 ....................... 133

    N. 135 (2010/IIIIV)

  • Editor: VLADIMIRO CAROLI, OP

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  • ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI

    Your Eminences,Venerable Brothers in the Episcopateand in the Priesthood,Dear Brothers and Sisters,

    It gives me great joy to meet you on the occasionof the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council forPromoting Christian Unity, during which you arereflecting on the theme: Towards a new stage in theecumenical dialogue . In addressing my cordialgreeting to each one of you, I also wish to thank inparticular your President, Archbishop Kurt Koch forhis warm words expressing your sentiments.

    Yesterday, as Archbishop Koch mentioned, youcelebrated with a solemn commemorative Act the 50thanniversary of your Dicastery. On 5 June 1960, on theeve of the Second Vatican Council which identifiedecumenical commitment as central for the Church, Bl.John XXIII created the Secretariat for PromotingChristian Unity which in 1988 was given the name ofPontifical Council . This Act was a milestone on theecumenical journey of the Catholic Church. In thecourse of 50 years great headway has been made.

    I would like to express deep gratitude to all thosewho have devoted their service to the Pontifical Coun-cil, recalling first of all the successive Presidents: Cardi-nal Agostino Bea, Cardinal Johannes Willebrands, Car-dinal Edward Idris Cassidy; and I am particularlypleased to thank Cardinal Walter Kasper, who has ledthe Dicastery in the past 11 years with competence andenthusiasm. I thank the members and consultors, offi-cials and collaborators, those who have contributed tobringing about the theological dialogues and ecumeni-cal meetings and all those who have prayed the Lordfor the gift of visible unity among Christians.

    These are 50 years in which a true knowledge andgreater esteem has been acquired with the Churchesand Ecclesial Communities, overcoming prejudices

    crystallized by history: we have grown in theologicaldialogue and in the dialogue of charity; various formsof collaboration have developed, among which, inaddition to those for defending life, for safeguardingcreation and for combating injustice, collaboration inthe field of ecumenical translations of Sacred Scrip-ture has been important and fruitful.

    In recent years, then, the Pontifical Council hasbeen involved, among other things in an extensiveproject, called the Harvest Project, in order to drawup a first estimate of the goals achieved in the theo-logical dialogues with the principal Ecclesial Com-munities since the Second Vatican Council.

    This is valuable work that has highlighted boththe areas of convergence and those in which it is nec-essary to continue to deepen reflection.

    As I thank God for the fruits already gathered, Iencourage you to persevere in your commitment topromoting a correct assessment of the resultsachieved and to make known exactly the present stateof the theological research at the service of the jour-ney towards unity. Today some people think that thisjourney, especially in the West, has lost its impetus;therefore the urgent need to revive ecumenical inter-est and to give fresh purpose to the dialogues is felt.

    Moreover we are presented with unheard of chal-lenges: the new anthropological and ethical interpre-tations, the ecumenical formation of the new genera-tions and the further fragmentation of the ecumeni-cal scene. It is essential to become aware of thesechanges and to identify ways to proceed effectively inthe light of the Lords desire: that they may all beone (Jn 17:21).

    Also with the Orthodox Churches and the AncientChurches of the East, the closest intimacy (Uni-tatis Redintegratio, n. 15). The Catholic Church iseagerly continuing the dialogue, seeking seriouslyand rigorously to deepen the common theological,liturgical and spiritual patrimony in order to facewith serenity and commitment the elements that stilldivide us. With the Orthodox she has reached a cru-cial point in comparison and reflection: the role ofthe Bishop of Rome in the Churchs communion. Andthe ecclesiological issue is also the centre of the dia-logue with the Ancient Churches of the East: despitemany centuries of misunderstanding and distance, it

    73

    PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE PONTIFICAL COUNCILFOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN UNITY

    15-19 November 2010

    On Thursday November 18, in the Clementine Hall, Pope Benedict XVI spoke to participants in the PlenaryAssembly of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary. Thefollowing is a translation of the Popes Address, given in Italian.

    * Sources of the texts are designated as follows: OR: LOsserva-tore Romano, daily edition in Italian; ORE: LOsservatore Romano,weekly edition in English. If texts come from sources other thanLOsservatore Romano, this will be noted. When translation is madeby the Information Service it is indicated by the abbreviation: IS.

  • Rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute and formerconfessor of Pope Pius XII, the Jesuit Augustin Bea,who would later be known as the Cardinal of unityand Cardinal of ecumenism and dialogue.2 PopeJohn XXIII himself may be considered to be the spir-itual father of the ecumenical movement in theCatholic Church. In order to realise effectively his keyaspirations, namely to renew the Catholic Churchand to re-establish the visible unity of Christians,3which he had linked to the Second Vatican Council,with wise and far-sighted vision he founded the Sec-retariat, renamed in 1988 Pontifical Council, whichsince then has aimed at re-establishing the unity ofChristians in common faith, in the sacraments, andin ecclesial ministry. The fact that I start my newresponsibilities as President of the Pontifical Councilfor Promoting Christian Unity in the year that thedicastery celebrates the 50th anniversary of its foun-dation4 is a very pleasant coincidence, which invitesus to reflect comprehensively on the state of the ecu-menical movement today.

    I. THE ECUMENICAL HERITAGE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

    With the Second Vatican Council, and above allwith the Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis redintegra-tio , the Catholic Church officially entered t

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