Athens News Agency - March 31, 1999

Spyridon Meets With Cardinal Keeler

By Justine Frangouli

The resumption of theological dialogue between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches was announced today at a joint press conference given in Baltimore by Archbishop Spyridon, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, and Cardinal William Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore.

For the first time, leaders of the Orthodox and Catholic Churches will meet in the western hemisphere -in Maryland and Washington in early June- to discuss doctrinal matters and to pray together.

The Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the two Churches, together with American Orthodox and Roman Catholic representatives, will meet at Saint Mary's College to find common ground in their historical and doctrinal differences. As Cardinal Keeler commented: "Historical and theological research, academic meetings, common pastoral concerns ... put the professors and pastors of our Churches into ever more frequent contact."

In his address, the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, taking his starting-point from the resumption of dialogue between the two Churches separated by historical differences, did not miss the opportunity to refer to the appalling bloodshed in Kosovo. "Sadly, Kosovo is the latest example of escalating violence that lack of constructive dialogue occasions in the presence of diverse cultures and complex histories," he noted. The Archbishop again appealed to the parties involved to contribute to a peaceful discourse and mutual understanding which will lead to respect and open dialogue.

[ Translated from Greek ]

[ Αθηναϊκό Πρακτορείο Ειδήσεων - March 31, 1999 ]