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The Role of the Petrine Ministry in the Ecumenical Relationship between the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and the Catholic Church

Pater Biju Mathew

This work deals with the role of the Petrine ministry in the ecumenical relationship between the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and the Catholic Church. The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church traces her origin to the Church of St Thomas Christians, founded by St Thomas, the Apostle who reached the south Indian state of Kerala in 52 AD. The book explores the Ecclesiologies of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, the St Thomas Christians of India and the Catholic Church from a dogmatic-juridical-historical perspective. The author tries to mediate between the two Churches in order to support them in the reviewing process of their history and Ecclesiology and re-establishing the unity for which Jesus Christ prayed: «Holy father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one» (Jn 17, 11). The author in his role as mediator makes a few suggestions for solving the problems related to the concept of the Petrine ministry on a universal level in the light of the Communion Ecclesiology of Vatican II, the studies of the various unofficial ecumenical dialogue commissions and the analysis of the experience of the Syro Malabar Church, one of the 22 sui iuris Churches in the Catholic Church.
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Chapter 3: Suggestions for a possible ecumenical Rapprochement between the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and the Catholic Church on the Point of the Petrine Ministry

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Chapter 3:  Suggestions for a possible ecumenical Rapprochement between the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and the Catholic Church on the Point of the Petrine Ministry

If the Oriental Orthodox Churches are not convinced of the concept of the jurisdictional primacy of the Bishop of Rome and they refute the claim of the Catholic Church about it, it will be the duty of a genuine ecumenist who wants to strive to bring peace and harmony among the Christian Churches, to evaluate the concept of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome which is an integral element of the faith of the Catholic Church and the arguments of the Oriental Orthodox Churches with which they refute it. It seems that none of the Oriental Orthodox Churches is ready to accept the present-day concept of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome and its practice according to the teaching of the Catholic Church. The position of the MOSC is not different from it.

In Part 1 we have seen the position of the MOSC on the Petrine ministry in the Universal Church. It presents its own standpoint in this regard as follows: (1) the MOSC has its own strong position concerning the Petrine ministry. (2) Its position has been strengthened and corroborated by the common position of the family of the Oriental Orthodox Churches. (3) The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church does not fully refuse the Petrine ministry, but stands for a form of the ministry of unity on the...

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