Page 3, 30th May 1980

30th May 1980
Page 3
Page 3, 30th May 1980 — The Pope embraces reunification — but how far is the Orthodox church prepared to go?

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People: John Paul


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The Pope embraces reunification — but how far is the Orthodox church prepared to go?

relations could be useful when it wants closer links with the European Common Market).

Recently the leader of the Greek delegation to the Patmos Rhodes talks, Metropolitan Chrysosomos Gerassimc Zaphiris, published a scorching attack on the Catholic Uniate churches which are represented at the talks (the Catholic Uniate churches are those groups which have united with Rome while retaining their Eastern rites and discipline).

The Greek Orthodox Church in Greece, which consider itself guardian of the national tradition, resents the small Uniate Catholic church there and the fact that there is a Catholic Bishop of Athens.

Metropolitan Chrysostomos' article hinted at a Greek Russian Orthodox alliance by expressing indignation that John Paul had raised the issue of the Ukrainian Catholic uniates who were absorbed by the Russian Orthodox after the Second World War.

Even though Rome has been more successful at "poaching". Uniatism works both ways: breakaway Catholic communities have linked-up with the Orthodox. Uniatism was understandable in the past but was deplored in the joint Catholic -Orthodox preparatory docurnent lor the Patmos Rhodes meeting as were proselytism between Catholics and Orthodox and appointment of bishops in each others Sees.

Orthodoxy is sorely tried because its patriarchal sees (Instanbul — Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem) are ill non-Christian hands while most of the national churches are in atheistic states (Eastern Europe). The churches of the Diaspora (mainly the Americas and Australia) have acute problems in adapting to new circumstances.

Already in North America, in addition to the Greek Orthodox archdiocese which is

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