Orientale Lumen conference tussles over the role of the papacy. Greek Orthodox bishop suggests a Ratzingerian solution

by CHARLOTTE HAYS | ncregister.com

WASHINGTON — “Many Orthodox view all bishops as successors to Peter,” Metropolitan Kallistos Ware of the Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate said recently, “but most would concede that the bishop of Rome is a successor of Peter in a special way.”

What exactly is that special way? Like others at the Orientale Lumen conference in Washington at which he spoke, Metropolitan Kallistos acknowledged that the papacy is entitled to primacy in some form, but he stopped far short in his willingness to grant it the kind of jurisdictional role the papacy enjoys in the Catholic Church.

Of course, that’s nothing new. The Catholic and Orthodox Churches split in 1054, and attempts to heal the fracture have so far fallen short of the goal. The papacy is central to ongoing dialogue.

Although the Orientale Lumen gathering has no official status in dialogue between Eastern and Western Christianity, it is considered a good gauge of opinion among Eastern Christians in the United States.

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