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Die Ökumene muss
weitergehen!

Kardinal Franz König

Pro Oriente

Committee of Young Orthodox and Catholic Theologians

The sixteen (eight Catholic and eight Orthodox) members of the PRO ORIENTE Commission of Young Orthodox and Catholic Theologians, founded in 2011, come from various European regions, from diverse fields of theology, and from various professions. Their common concern is to reflect on, study, and vitalise relations between the East and West at various levels.

Historical Background

The Roman Catholic-Orthodox dialogue, which officially began in 1980, is experiencing a difficult phase due to various theological, social and political factors. This dialogue has been frequently diagnosed as being at a standstill. It is therefore of particular importance for PRO ORIENTE to create new impulses at a scholarly level in order to accelerate progress on the road to unity. The Commission of Young Orthodox and Catholic Theologians was established to foster this aim.

Methods and Aims

The aim is to offer young scholars the opportunity to get to know one another and at the same time to introduce a new spirit and beneficial unrest. This should help drive forward the stagnant dialogue between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

The commission works at the following levels:
- The common reading of documents on the official Catholic-Orthodox dialogue and exchange on current developments
- Developing new ecumenical impulses
- Serving as a meeting place for representatives of the Churches and for experts on the dialogue
- Public relations work by way of speeches, symposia and publications

During the meeting in 2013 the following focal points were defined:
- Success and failure of the official dialogue between the Churches
- In what way do unresolved questions hindering unity impair the dialogue?
- Primatial and synodal structures of the past, present and future
- Practical, concrete, and symbolic implementation of the dialogue’s results

The commission elects a pair of moderators from different confessions who are responsible for planning the next meeting as well as for handling incoming requests.