August 7, 2019

North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation Releases New Agreed Statement

The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation has just released a new agreed statement entitled The Vocation and Mission of the People of God: “A Chosen Race, A Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation.”  The document was finalized at the most recent meeting of the Consultation in late May at the Saint Methodios Faith and Heritage Center in Contoocook, New Hampshire. The Consultation is co-chaired by His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, Interim President of HCHC, and His Eminence Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, the Catholic Archbishop of Newark. The Rev. Dr. Thomas FitzGerald, Interim Dean of Holy Cross and Professor of Church History and Historical Theology, is Executive Secretary of the Consultation.

More than five years in the making, this new text takes a different approach to ecumenical dialogue: instead of addressing together an issue that has prevented full communion between the Churches, here the Catholic and Orthodox theologians examine together challenges that affect both Churches, in this case the role of the laity in the two traditions and the problem of clericalism.

This new text does not speak officially for either Church, but has been drafted by a highly competent group of theologians from both traditions and submitted to all the members of both Churches for their prayerful reflection and discussion. The full text of the statement can be found here.

The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation is sponsored jointly by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, the Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the USCCB, and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Since its establishment in 1965, the Consultation has issued some thirty agreed statements on various topics.