The Holy Cross faculty was well represented at the meeting of the Orthodox-Catholic Bilateral Theological Consultation held on June 2-4, 2014 at the St. Methodios Faith and Heritage Center of the Metropolis of Boston in Contoocook, New Hampshire.
His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, who is the Orthodox chair of the Consultation, welcomed the participants to the center for the first time. Among those present was Catholic Archbishop Joseph Tobin of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, IN and the Catholic chair.
Among those faculty members from Holy Cross participating in the meetings were: Fr. Thomas FitzGerald, executive secretary of the Consultation, Fr. Nicholas Apostola, and Dr. Despina Prassas.
The Consultation is composed of theologians appointed by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Consultation was founded in 1965. It is the oldest continuous bilateral dialogue.
The Consultation continued its discussion on the Laity in the Life of the Church.
The Consultation approved an Agreed Statement that supports the restoration of ancient practice of permitting qualified married men to be ordained in the Eastern Catholic Churches in America. Since the early 20th century, this has not been permitted by Rome in the United States. The Statement said that the restoration of this option for Eastern Catholics would ”affirm the ancient and legitimate Eastern Christian tradition (of married clergy) and would assure the Orthodox that, in the event of the restoration of full communion between the two churches, the traditions of the Orthodox Church would not be questioned."
The Consultation also discussed the historic meeting of Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Jerusalem on May 25-26, 2014.
The members also began to make plans for the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Consultation, which will take place in 2015.