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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: The Post-Vatican Pronouncements of the Catholic Church concerning the Petrine Ministry


Chapter 3:  The Post-Vatican Pronouncements of the Catholic Church concerning the Petrine Ministry

The study of the Petrine ministry did not end with the Second Vatican Council, but it entered into a new phase of its development rooted in the biblical and patristic thought with the goal of an ecumenically accepted form of the Petrine ministry. The post-Vatican period is noted for its innovative spirit of ecumenism. The Catholic Church also took initiative to become engaged in the ecumenical movement which took its origin in the other Christian Churches. The Catholic Church in her efforts to lead all the Christian Churches to full communion by achieving unity in all realms made a number of official pronouncements and issued a number of official documents which promoted Ecumenism. Several ecumenical dialogue commissions were set up for holding consultations with various Churches and families of Churches. One of the chief concerns of the ecumenical dialogue was to shape the Petrine ministry on the basis of the Scripture and the tradition of the Church. The goal of this chapter is to analyze the post-Vatican pronouncements and documents of the Catholic Church concerning the Petrine ministry. An analysis of these documents will help us to understand what all changes or agreements or new innovative ideas or findings are there as signs of progress in the ecumenical movement as well as in the position of the Catholic Church.

The first set of documents is the collection of papal encyclicals and Apostolic Letters...

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