Communique on Eastern Europe

Joint Committee of Orthodox and Catholic Bishops

The members of the Joint Committee of Orthodox and Roman Catholic bishops gathered for their eleventh meeting, September 30 - October 2, 1992, in Tenafly, New Jersey. They reaffirmed their commitment to these annual dialogues and their conviction that through dialogue, mutual understanding, good will and trust, they are following the teachings of the Lord. The theological dialogue at all levels is under severe strain because of recent events in eastern Europe. The Roman Catholic bishops listened with concern as the Orthodox bishops expressed their deepest reservations with the recent letter of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, "Some Aspects of the Church Understood as Communion." In their view, the letter is a sign that the Roman Catholic Church is changing its mind in regard to basic presuppositions upon which the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church meet as equal churches, manifesting the fullness of catholicity of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

As the bishop members of this dialogue committee study the history of the relationship between the two churches since the schism, they recognize that iniquities have been perpetrated by both churches (for example, the problems associated with Brest and Lviv). In this context it is important to study the recent developments in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Having recognized that transgressions and deceptions have been committed, leaders and faithful of both churches must repent and express mutual forgiveness. In this spirit, the example of Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI, whose vision continues to inspire Catholics and Orthodox alike, must not be surrendered.

With the arrival of His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of Serbia in the United States, the bishops turned their thoughts to the tragic events occurring in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. They condemn the past and present manipulation of religion for advancing geopolitical and ethnic interests, which have rekindled so many deep prejudices and enmities. The bishops appealed to all in the United States to pray for the reconciliation of the peoples of that troubled region. As winter approaches, thousands of lives are endangered. The bishops expressed their support for urgent humanitarian effort in meeting the needs of all who suffer there. The applauded the actions of Orthodox and Catholic leaders, and other religious leaders, toward terminating the terrible carnage taking place in these areas.

Tenafly, New Jersey
October 2, 1992


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Teachings of Christ

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?" (Mark 8:34-37 ESV)

Scripture

February 11, 2018
Forgiveness Sunday (Cheesefare)
- Matins: Mark 16:9-20 (Gospel 3)
- Liturgy: Romans 13:11b-14:4, Matthew 6:14-21

First Week of Great Lent
- Monday: Isaiah 1:1-20, Genesis 1:1-13, Proverbs 1:1-20
- Tuesday:Isaiah 1:19-2:3, Genesis 1:14-23, Proverbs 1:20-33
- Wednesday: Isaiah 2:3-11, Genesis 1:24-2:3, Proverbs 2:1-21
- Thursday: Isaiah 2:11-21, Genesis 2:4-19, Proverbs 3:1-19
- Friday: Isaiah 3:1-14, Genesis 2:20-3:20, Proverbs 3:19-34
- Saturday: Hebrews 1:1-12, Mark 2:23-3:5

February 18, 2018
First Sunday of Great Lent
Sunday of Orthodoxy
- Matins: Luke 24:1-12 (Gospel 4)
- Liturgy: Hebrews 11:24-26,32-12:2, John 1:43-51

Second Week of Great Lent
- Monday: Isaiah 4:2-6; 5:1-7, Genesis 3:21-4:7, Proverbs 3:34-4:22
- Tuesday: Isaiah 5:7-16, Genesis 4:8-15, Proverbs 5:1-15
- Wednesday: Isaiah 5:16-26, Genesis 4:16-26, Proverbs 5:15-6:3
- Thursday: Isaiah 6:1-12, Genesis 5:1-24, Proverbs 6:3-20
- Friday: Isaiah 7:1-14, Genesis 5:32-6:8, Proverbs 6:20-7:1
- Saturday: Hebrews 3:12-16, Mark 1:35-44 (and for All Souls, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, John 5:24-30)

February 25, 2018
Second Sunday of Great Lent
St. Gregory Palamas
- Matins: Luke 24:12-35 (Gospel 5)
- Liturgy: Hebrews 1:10-2:3, Mark 2:1-12 (and for St. Gregory, Hebrews 7:26-8:2, John 10:9-19)

Feasts & Fasts

February
2 - Encounter of Our Lord, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ with Simeon and Anna
3 - First All-Souls Saturday
4 - Sunday of the Second Coming of Christ (Meat-Fare)
11 - Forgiveness Sunday (Cheese-Fare)
12 - Beginning of the Holy Forty Days Fast
18 - First Sunday of the Great Fast (Sunday of Orthodoxy)
19 - Washington's Birthday (President's Day) (USA)
24 - Second All-Souls Saturday
25 - Second Sunday of the Great Fast (St. Gregory Palamas)

Please pray!

"They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword...." (Hebrews 11:37a)

Please lift up in prayer all those who are persecuted and deprived of liberty, everywhere in the world. Please especially remember the peoples of Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Niger - the whole Middle East and Africa - who are literal martyrs for Christ. Also the peoples of Ukraine. They are our brothers, for all are one in Christ.

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Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." (Proverbs 11:2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Do we forgive our neighbors their trespasses? God also forgives us in His mercy. Do we refuse to forgive? God, too, will refuse to forgive us. As we treat our neighbors, so also does God treat us. The forgiveness, then, of your sins or unforgiveness, and hence also your salvation or destruction, depend on you yourself, man. For without forgiveness of sins there is no salvation. You can see for yourself how terrible it is.

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, Journey to Heaven