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Rev. Dr. Thomas FitzGerald Lectures at Houston Conference

Rev. Dr. Thomas FitzGerald, Professor of Church History and Historical Theology at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, offered the keynote address at a conference on “Deep Roots, Deep Faith: Orthodox-Catholic Encounter” on February 17,  2018, at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas.   

Sponsored by the University of St. Thomas and the Catholic Archdiocese of Houston, in cooperation with the local Orthodox parishes, the conference brought together over one hundred Orthodox, Eastern Catholic, and Western Catholic clergy and laypersons to examine the present relations between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches.

Fr. Thomas spoke on the theme “From Communion to Schism to Reconciliation.”  Following a review of the reasons for the schism, he identified a number of joint affirmations coming from the official Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultations. The formal dialogue between the Churches began in 1965 in the United States. The international dialogue was established in 1971.

Fr. Thomas serves as the Orthodox Executive Secretary of the Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation in North America. He recently coedited The Journey Toward Unity, a two-volume collection of documents of the Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue.     

Conference participants were greeted by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. He emphasized the importance of the process of reconciliation between the Churches. Fr. Ron Roberson of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington spoke about the development of Eastern Catholic Churches. Parish perspectives were offered by Fr. Demetri Tagaropulos of Houston's Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral and Fr. James Shadid of St. George Orthodox Christian (Antiochian) Church.