The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops Welcomes the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation

Wednesday, November 07 2018

Ottawa – The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation recently met in Mississauga, Ontario, 25-27 October 2018. The Consultation, founded in 1965, is sponsored by the Committee for Ecumenical Relations of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB). To date, the Consultation has published numerous papers and responses on a wide variety of theological and pastoral issues affecting Catholic-Orthodox relations. Since 1997, when the CCCB became a sponsoring body to the Consultation, the group’s meetings are hosted in Canada every five years.

In collaboration with the Faculty of Theology of the University of Saint Michael’s College in the University of Toronto, alongside The Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies (MASI), a free public lecture was held the evening of Friday, 26 October to coincide with the meeting of the Consultation. Msgr. Paul McPartlan, S.T.L., D.Phil., Professor of Systematic Theology and Ecumenism at The Catholic University of America and member of both the North American and International Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue, gave a lecture entitled “The Road to Chieti and Beyond: Recent Developments in Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue.” In his lecture, Msgr. McPartlan reviewed some of the major questions related to primacy and synodality and the implication of the Eucharist as the basis for our communion as Churches.

Over the course of the two-day meeting, the Consultation members continued in their current work related to a future joint statement on the laity and baptismal ecclesiology (the theology of the nature and structure of the Church). His Eminence Joseph William Cardinal Tobin, C.Ss.R., is currently the Catholic co-chair of the Consultation alongside His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios, the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Boston as the Orthodox co-chair.

The CCCB is currently represented on the dialogue by Reverend Luis M. Melo, Academic Dean of St. Augustine’s Seminary, Toronto, and Reverend Alexander Laschuk, a Ukrainian Catholic priest serving as the Judicial Vicar of the Marriage Tribunal in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto.

The next meeting of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation is planned for the spring of 2019.