CWN - Speaking on September 16 at a meeting of a joint Catholic-Orthodox theological commission, the chief ecumenical officer of the Russian Orthodox Church said that the activity of the "Uniates"-- the Eastern churches in communion with Rome-- is the greatest obstacle to greater unity between Catholics and Orthodox.

The statement by Metropolitan Hilarion was a familiar complaint from the Moscow patriarchate, which has frequently criticized the Eastern-rite Ukrainian Catholic Church, accusing that body of fueling tensions in Ukraine. The Russian Orthodox Chuch regards Ukraine as its "canonical territory"-- a claim that the Holy See does not accept.

Despite his criticism of Eastern Catholic churches, the Moscow representative did not demand an immediate discussion of their status. This week's meeting of the joint Catholic-Orthodox commission is dedicated instead to the questions of synodal governance and primacy, and their contributions of ecumenical unity. A draft statement on that issue has been submitted for discussion and approval.

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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 sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold." (Proverbs 3:13,14 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The demons are sleepless and immaterial, death is at hand, and I am weak. Lord, help me; do not let Your creature perish, for You care for me in my misery.

St. Peter of Damascus