Pontiff Asks Prayers for Catholic-Orthodox Meeting

Commission Again Looking at Papal Primacy in 1st Millennium

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VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 22, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Obedience to Christ and today’s challenges to Christianity oblige Christians to be seriously committed to full unity, Benedict XVI says.

The Pope affirmed this today at the end of the general audience when he appealed for prayers for the work of the International Mixed Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church.

The commission is meeting in Vienna, Austria, through Monday. In the three days of dialogue they have already shared, they’ve been examining the same theme that drew them together in 2009: «The Role of the Bishop of Rome in the Communion of the Church in the First Millennium.»

Noting this theme, the Holy Father said: «Obedience to the will of the Lord Jesus, and consideration of the great challenges that appear today before Christianity, oblige us to commit ourselves seriously in the cause of the re-establishment of full communion among the Churches. 

«I exhort everyone to pray intensely for the efforts of the Commission and for a continuous development and consolidation of peace among the baptized, so that we can give the world an ever more authentic evangelical testimony.»

The Catholic co-leader of the meeting is for the first time Archbishop Kurt Koch, the new president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. He was appointed to that role in July. 

The Orthodox co-leader is Metropolitan Ioannis Zizioulas of Pergamum.

When the commission concluded their meeting last October on this theme, Cardinal Walter Kasper, then-president of the Vatican’s unity council, characterized the dialogue as «little steps forward in the right direction.»

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