Pro Oriente


25. März 2024
Thema: 60th Anniversary of PRO ORIENTE


In 1989, PRO ORIENTE could celebrate 25 years. Alois Grillmeier SJ formulated in vol. 2/2: The Church of Constantinople in the Sixth Century of “Jesus der Christus im Glauben der Kirche“ (English: Christ in Christian Tradition) the following dedication to Cardinal Koenig and the foundation PRO ORIENTE instituted by him, the promotors of the dialogue with the Churches of the East: “Domino Francisco Cardinali Koenig dialogi cum ecclesiis orientalibus promotori et institutioni ‘Pro Oriente’ quinque lustris ante ab ipso fundatae”.

Grillmeier participated from the very beginning in the so-called Vienna Dialogue with the Oriental Orthodox Churches which PRO ORIENTE began in 1971. This was a fruitful endeavor (leading to the first official dialogue with an Eastern Church), and PRO ORIENTE later undertook a similar initiative with the Churches of Syriac tradition (in 1994). There are also the Patristic Colloquies between Orthodox and Catholic patristic scholars which began in 2001 and developed into a network. These are some (besides others!) of the main achievements for which PRO ORIENTE is synonymous for me – encouraging and starting dialogue initiatives with Eastern and Oriental Churches on a scholarly basis, often with outstanding theologians of the resp. Churches. A task that no other institution has undertaken, and therefore unique endeavours with results that have opened the way for other and new perspectives – despite setbacks that have not failed to materialise along the path.

Theresia Hainthaler