CWN - One of the leading theologians of the Orthodox world has said that he sees prosecpts for “quick progress” toward full Christian unity under Pope Francis.

Metropolitan Ioannis of Pergamon, the co-chairman of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue, told the Vatican Insider that Pope Francis has brought new excitement to ecumenical dialogue with the Orthodox world. “The way in which he is carrying out his ministry removes the many apprehensions and fears of the past.”

Metropolitan Ioannis pointed particularly to the Pope’s statement, during his recent visit to Constantinople, that the Catholic Church “does not intend to impose any conditions except that of shared profession of faith.” He said that in the past, “the Orthodox believed that the Pope wanted to subjugate them. And now we see this is not in any way true.”

The Orthodox theologian said that ecumenical discussions should now focus on whether the shared profession of faith would include doctrinal teachings that have been developed by the Catholic Church since the schism—as he put it, “dogmatic definitions which were established unilaterally by the Catholic Church.”

Metropolitan Ioannis also admitted that ecumenical progress could be delayed by opposition within the Orthodox world. He said that some influential Orthodox leaders are “adopting the old attitudes of hostility” toward Catholicism and toward the papacy.

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Teachings of Christ

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge praise You in song: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Theophany is a Greek word meaning "manifestation or appearence of God".

Random Proverb

"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:11,12 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The enemy of our salvation especially strives to draw our heart and mind away from God when we are about to serve Him, and endeavours to adulterously attach our heart to something irrelevant. Be always, every moment, with God, especially when you pray to Him. If you are inconstant, you will fall away from life, and will cast yourself into sorrow and straitness. 

St. John of Kronstadt