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

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 ESV)

Pentecost

Blessed are You, O Christ our God, * Who has shown the fishermen to be all wise, * by sending down to them the Holy Spirit, * and through them You have caught the whole world in Your net. * O Lover of Mankind, glory to You. (Troparion - Tone 8)

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

When the Most High descended, confusing tongues, * He divided the nations; * but when He distributed the tongues of fire, * He called all to unity; * and, with one voice, * we glorify the Most Holy Spirit. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

Random Proverb

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Our Lord Jesus Christ..., who came to liberate mankind, in which both males and females are destined to salvation, was not adverse to males, for He took the form of a male, nor to females, for of a female He was born. Besides, there is a great mystery here: that just as death comes to us through a woman, Life is born to us through a woman; that the devil - defeated - would be tormented by each nature, feminine and masculine, since he had taken delight in the defection of both.

St. Augustine of Hippo, Ca. A.D. 397, Christian Combat 22, 24 in The Faith of the Early Fathers (Jurgens, Liturgical Press) 3:50, no. 1578