CWN - Speaking at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, the Vatican’s leading ecumenical official challenged the Eastern Orthodox world to “boldly examine its main ecclesiological problem, namely, autocephaly of national churches and their inclination toward nationalism.”

“From the Orthodox point of view, the Church is present in every local church that celebrates the Eucharist, so each Eucharistic community is a complete church,” said Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. “Instead, from the Catholic point of view, a separate Eucharistic community is not a complete church. Therefore, a basis of the Catholic Church is the unity of separate Eucharistic communities with each other and the bishop of Rome. That is, the Catholic Church lives in the mutual intersection of local churches in one universal Church.”

Thus, the Catholic Church should “strengthen the argument for the importance of the life and work of the church of the primacy of the Pope,” he continued, while Eastern Orthodoxy should “boldly examine its main ecclesiological problem, namely, autocephaly of national churches and their inclination toward nationalism.”

“The most important thing is not to lose sight of the goal of ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, which, at least from the Catholic point of view, can consist only in the restoration of a visible communion of churches.”

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