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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 2: The Petrine Ministry in the Wake of the new Suggestions of the different Non-official Institutions of Dialogue from all over the World

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Chapter 2:  The Petrine Ministry in the Wake of the new Suggestions of the different Non-official Institutions of Dialogue from all over the World

The Petrine ministry on the universal level has been widely discussed officially and unofficially at various forums of the different Christian Churches all over the world. These discussions have produced positive results and some ecumenical commissions have made valuable suggestions to reform or reshape the concept of the Petrine ministry on a universal level which would suit the apostolic tradition and the common Christian tradition of the Christian Churches in the early centuries when all the Churches lived in communion with one another and decided important matters of faith in ecumenical councils convoked by the Roman Emperor. The suggestions which are made by the various ecumenical dialogue commissions are based on exhaustive study and critical evaluation. There are also various non-official ecumenical institutions or foundations all over the world which promote the unity of all the Christian Churches. Therefore an analysis of the outcome of the studies and research of such ecumenical institutions and foundations is important and helpful for the further discussions on the point of the Petrine ministry which is said to be the greatest hindrance on the way to the unity of the Churches.

The Foundation Pro Oriente was founded by Franciscus Cardinal König, the then Archbishop of Vienna in 1964 with the goal of “promoting academic research, publications and all kinds of contacts that may contribute to...

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