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Ecumenism: Plenary of Joint Commission Between Orthodox and Catholic Churches on primacy and synodality begins

The 14th plenary session of the Joint commission for theological dialogue between the Orthodox and the Roman-Catholic Churches will take place from 15 to 22 September 2016. According to a statement released by the Holy See press office this morning, “the meeting will be hosted in Chieti by the archdiocese of Chieti-Vasto and the italian Bishops’ Conference. The work of the Commission will be presided over by cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for promoting christian unity, and by archbishop Job (Getcha) of Telmessos, from the Ecumenical Patriarchate. As custom, two representatives for each of the 14 autocephalous Orthodox Churches plus an equal number of Catholic representatives will attend the meeting. The plenary session will discuss the draft document entitled “Towards a common understanding of synodality and primacy in service to the unity of the Church”, which was started during the last plenary of the Commission in Amman, Jordan, in 2014, and was finished by the Commission’s Coordinating Committee during the meeting in Rome in 2015. “In Chieti – the statement explains –, the members of the Commission will have to determine whether the draft accurately reflects the current consensus, in theological and ecclesiological terms, on the delicate question of the relationship between primacy and synodality in the life of the Church or whether it is necessary to continue to discuss the issue”. The plenary session will also be an opportunity for participants to have moments of prayer with local Christian communities. On Saturday, 17 September, the members of the Commission will attend Mass at the cathedral of St. Justin in Chieti. On Sunday, 18 September, they will participate in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at the Shrine of the Holy Face in Manoppello (Chieti). Finally, the Commission is scheduled to visit the town of Vasto and the Abbey of St. John in Venus in Fossacesia.

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