Those of us who are Catholics must keep in mind that the Greek Orthodox Church is a Sister Church. The excommunication was lifted by Pope Paul VI. They in turn lifted their excommunication of the Catholic Church.
There have been commitments between Popes Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI to work together with the Orthodox. They same overture has been made by the Greek Orthodox Church.
They are not our enemies. They are our brothers and sisters. They do have apostolic succession with valid sacraments.
What separates us is the issue of communion with the Bishop of Rome. This is a reality for which we must pray and work.
Mount St. Mary’s Seminary University is one of the most prestigious theological schools in the country. It does employ several prominent Orthodox theoloogians in different departments of theology. Several promient Catholic theologians have been given license to teach at Orthodox seminaries. The Orthodox theologians who teach at Mt. St. Mary’s and at Catholic University of America have received clearance from the Holy See to teach theology at Catholic seminaries and schools of theology.
Besides the seminary, Emmitsburg is also the home to the Daughers of Charity in America. It is the place where they began and where St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is burried.
Having the three communities in one location may turn out to be a blessing toward unity in the future, provided that everyone remembers the importance of charity and the importance of listening in order to understand.
The current dean at the seminary is a Capuchin Franciscan Friar, Bro. Dan Mingling, OFM Cap. The Capuchins have a long history in the field of ecumenism and theology. The Daughters of Charity have a very long history in the practice of service and charity to all people without distinction.
I’m praying that these forces together with the new Orthodox monastery will serve as a power for the good of the Catholic and Orthodox Church, with the ultimate good being reunification, even it it is one step at a time.
Br. JR, OSF