Historic meeting between pope and patriarch could be near

View image | gettyimages.com Let us pray:  An historic meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church is “getting closer every day,” a senior Orthodox prelate said in an interview published on Sunday. The unprecedented meeting would be a significant step towards healing the 1,000-year-old rift between the Western and Eastern [Read More...]

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Patriarch Bartholomew on the encyclical: “We count it a true blessing”

Some smart person at TIME magazine sought an exclusive response to the new encyclical from the man dubbed “The Green Patriarch” — and the essay he’s written helps put this vital new work in an important context: It came as no surprise to us that our beloved brother Francis of Rome opens his encyclical, which [Read More...]

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Cardinal: Christians, Muslims “still don’t know each other well enough”

From CNS:  “Despite 50 years of ‘Nostra Aetate,’” the Second Vatican Council’s document on interreligious relations, “we still don’t know each other well enough,” said French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.Speaking May 19 about Catholic-Muslim relations, Cardinal Tauran added, “Most of the problems we face are problems of ignorance.” [Read More...]

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Meet the man who launched the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Paul Wattson via OSV/CNS He’s Rev. Paul Wattson a former Episcopal priest—the son of an Episcopal priest, in fact—who converted to Catholicism and who also co-founded Catholic Near East Welfare Agency (CNEWA), the papal agency where I work. Father Paul is now being considered for sainthood. Some background, from OSV:  Born in 1863 in Millington, Maryland, [Read More...]

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Pope Francis makes unscheduled visit to Buddhist temple

From AP:  Pope Francis has become the second pontiff to visit a Buddhist temple, changing his schedule at the last minute to pay his respects at an important place of worship in Sri Lanka’s capital and to witness a key ritual for Buddhists: the opening of a casket containing relics of two important disciples of [Read More...]

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Megachurch pastor stuns congregation by announcing he’s converting to Catholicism

Details:  During his Sunday morning service, Ulf Ekman announced the he and his wife, Birgitta, are converting to Roman Catholicism. Ekman is the founder of Word of Life, a megachurch in Uppsala, Sweden. News reports and blogs coming out of the nation reveal congregation was “partially stunned” after hearing what was packaged as a “special announcement.” The theme was “follow the [Read More...]

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A look at deacons in the Orthodox tradition

This popped up in my Facebook feed and I thought it worth sharing here. It offers another view of the diaconate, from another tradition: The Deacon is the third and lowest degree of the major orders of clergy in the Orthodox Church, following the bishop and the presbyter. The word deacon (in Greek διάκονος) means server and [Read More...]

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In Connecticut, an interfaith celebration of Ramadan

Photo: Keila Torres Ocasio This will certainly be of interest to Bridgeport’s new bishop.  Details:  It was like those cartoon moments when a light bulb appears to symbolize the spark of a new idea. A staffer at Congregation Rodeph Sholom, accepting the synagogue’s correspondence from a mail carrier, asked the man if he wanted water. [Read More...]

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