The promotion of Christian unity, especially between the Catholic and Orthodox churches, is the “pursuit of catholicity,” that is, of a holistic vision of Christianity that values and safeguards its Western and Eastern traditions, said Msgr. Paul McPartlan.
And within that ecumenical task, he said, the Eastern Catholic churches are “privileged agents of the exchange of gifts that is needed between Catholics and Orthodox,” since they have preserved the Eastern liturgies, spirituality and traditions while also being in full communion with Rome.
Msgr. McPartlan, a professor of theology at the Catholic University of America in Washington and a longtime member of the international Catholic-Orthodox theological dialogue, spoke on 15th November on the first day of a two-day conference on “Eastern Catholics’ ecumenical vision in dialogue with the Orthodox” at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome.
The conference was sponsored jointly by the institute and the Ukrainian Catholic University’s Institute of Ecumenical Studies with support from the Catholic Near East Welfare Association. Speakers emphasised the ecumenical commitment of the Eastern Catholic churches, as well as the role the Eastern Catholic churches play in bringing the gifts of Eastern Christianity to the global Catholic Church.
Picture: Msgr. Paul McPartlan, a professor of theology at the Catholic University of America in Washington and a longtime member of the international Catholic-Orthodox theological dialogue. (CNS photo/Robert Duncan)