“Communion in faith”

Bishop Feige and Metropolitan Augoustinos © DR

The Catholic and Orthodox bishops in Germany want to bring Christians closer to the meaning of the church year again. They therefore jointly published a collection of texts on the theme of. It is a matter of building bridges.

The collection of texts is entitled "Church Year in the Tradition of the East and the West" and was published by the Joint Commission of the German Bishops' Conference and the Orthodox Bishops' Conference in Germany.

The documents were developed over a period of ten years. They deal with Sunday as the "primordial feast day" of Christians, Easter as the principal feast of the Church in East and West, Christmas as the celebration of the Incarnation of God, and other feasts of particular importance in the practice of faith and piety.

For "mutual understanding"

The two chairmen of the commission, Orthodox Metropolitan Augoustinos and Catholic Bishop Gerhard Feige of Magdeburg, said the publication emphasizes commonalities and views differences between faith traditions as enrichment. There are numerous "bridges that serve mutual awareness and understanding," he said.

Feige explained: "The familiar liturgy of Sunday, Christmas and Easter, as well as other festivals of the church year, can be identity-forming, especially since they always appeal to the emotional side of people."Therefore, it is important that Catholic and Orthodox Christians know more about each other, especially on this central point.

Frequently similar feasts on the same day

Augoustinos stressed that many of the feasts described are located in both traditions and are also often celebrated on the same day. "Making people aware of this can help Orthodox and Catholic Christians in Germany recognize even more strongly the community in faith and come closer to each other".

The Joint Commission is a Catholic-Orthodox dialogue forum that addresses theological ies in a pastoral perspective. It meets twice a year.

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