His Eminence, Archbishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania; His Eminence, Archbishop Alexander of Dallas, the South and the Bulgarian Diocese; and Dr. Paul Meyendorff, retired Father Alexander Schmemann Professor of Liturgical Theology at Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary [SVOTS], Yonkers, NY, represented the Orthodox Church in America at the 98th Session of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation.
The gathering, held at the Saint Methodios Faith and Heritage Center, Contookook, NH, May 28-31, 2019, was co-chaired by His Eminence, Metropolitan Methodios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston and His Eminence, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark, NJ. The participants—eighteen theological scholars of varying disciplines—contributed to discussions on pastoral, theological, and practical matters.
Consultation members discussed an unofficial international Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue, the Saint Irenaeus Joint Orthodox-Catholic Working Group, and considered one of this Dialogue’s statements on primacy and synodality. Additionally, participants examined the issue of mixed Orthodox-Catholic marriages and made final revisions to a statement titled “Vocation and Mission of the People of God.”
On Thursday, May 30, the Consultation joined the Joint Committee of Orthodox and Catholic Bishops, co-chaired by Metropolitan Methodios and Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston. The two bodies met to discuss mixed marriage, reflect on synodality in the Church, and consider interchurch relations between and within their respective traditions.
A recent SVOTS graduate, Laura Wachsmuth, participate in the Consultation as a steward.
The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation was founded in 1965 and 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’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Reports from past Consultations are available online.