The picture below shows an ecumenical moment but the word “moment” is ephemeral; movement, which is something ongoing, is more appropriate for the situation. Our Metropolitan works tirelessly with Cardinal O’Malley and Bishop McManus on ecumenical issues. Here are His Eminence’s remarks welcoming the Cardinal to the vespers of St. Andrew at the Metropolis. The tradition is Cardinal O’Malley joins us at the service and Metr. Methodios joins the Cardinal at the vespers for Sts. Peter and Paul.
” Your Eminence,
“It is with great joy that I greet you this evening in this Cathedral chapel where we have gathered to celebrate the Feast of Saint Andrew, Patron Saint of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and of this Metropolis.
“Far away in the city of Constantinople, Cardinal Kurt Koch is leading a delegation of clergy representing His Holiness Pope Benedict at the Phanar. For years now here in Boston, we emulate the example of our Mother Churches that celebrate together the Feasts of their Patron Saints—Saints Peter and Paul in June and Saint Andrew in November, saints whose memories inspire us to be a witness to our Christian Faith in the world in which we live.
“Our two Churches have pursued with great dedication the path towards the reestablishment of full communion which was enjoyed during the first millennium. The theological dialogues between our two churches—-the international but also the dialogue of theologians here in America, have enabled us to grow in friendship and mutual respect. Our two Churches courageously face difficult issues which remain as obstacles in our journey to full communion. Despite these difficulties we continue to work together in the service of God’s people. In these challenging times our two Churches continue to defend the dignity of the human person. They continue to affirm fundamental ethical values. Our two Churches continue to promote justice and peace and respond to human suffering throughout the world, especially hunger and poverty.
“Your Eminence, the clergy and laity of this Metropolis are thankful to God for your courageous leadership of the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston and for the sterling example you provide men and women of all faiths”.
Sometimes when I post about this stuff I get negative reaction from certain Orthodox people. There are usually two types of criticism:
-Fanatics who believe we should not talk to non-Orthodox and keep everything to ourselves. I pretty much have nothing to say to these people.
-Well-meaning but, I believe, misguided believers who say “we can’t even keep our own house in order and we are reaching out to the RC church?”. The idea here is that the church in America is not administratively unified, so shouldn’t we take care of this first? I look at it this way: We are unified – any Orthodox person can worship and receive communion in any canonical Orthodox church, and hopefully all are welcome everywhere. The administrative stuff? This is the last thing we need to get hung up on, but it is being taken care of in its own due time (and when you are talking Orthodox time, well, that can take a bit). And we pray for the unity of all and are called to ecumenism. With everything else that is going on, we still should find the time to reach out. Thankfully here in Worcester and in our Metropolis as a whole we do.
Here is the picture: