OL EuroEast I, May 2004 - Constantinople, Turkey
"Liturgy as a Foundation for Dialogue"
Patriarch Bartholomew - "We give thanks to our loving God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, for the opportunity to warmly welcome you, Your Beatitude, Your Eminences, Your Graces, dear friends, to our historic city. It is a joy to greet you during this sacred season when we celebrate the glorious Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This year we are grateful that all Christians can together observe Pascha, the feast of feasts, as well as the feast of the Ascension and the feast of Pentecost. We recognize the presence of many eminent speakers here at the conference, and we thank them for their contribution. We thank all of you for coming to our historic city. We also express our appreciation to Mr. Jack Figel for organizing this important meeting of Orientale Lumen here in Istanbul. We have followed with much interest the deliberations of the Orientale Lumen Conferences since they began in 1997. From the beginning these conferences have expressed a special appreciation for the light of the East. In the spirit of the apostolic letter Orientale lumen by His Holiness Pope John Paul II, the conferences have examined the rich spiritual and theological treasures of the Christian East. We firmly believe that this is a noble and necessary endeavor which serves the cause of reconciliation and unity."
Patriarch Gregorios III - "The liturgy is not the only basis of Christian unity, however; the liturgy is itself one of its sources (not withstanding the diversity of languages, traditions, expressions, and of the spiritual and literary genius of each liturgy or rite) because the object of the liturgy, its substance and content is the mystery of Christ, as St. Paul says, in “its breadth and length and depth and height” (Eph 3:18); in all its dimensions, aspects, epiphanies and transfigurations, in all its extent and horizons. This is what the Fathers of the Church have so well expressed by the typically Eastern phrase “economy of salvation."
Archbishop Vsevolod of Scopelos -"One of my favorite psalm verses expressly deals with the overriding theme of all of our Orientale Lumen conferences. “Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Psalm 132:1). This is a simple but powerful message. We are clearly instructed to live and work and pray together in unity. The psalmist tries to convince us that God wants all His children to live together on this one small planet, helping each other find salvation, and assisting each other in our daily tasks."
Archimandrite Robert Taft - "What is this divine gift, this Pauline “communion in the Holy Spirit,” which numerous eastern liturgies invoke to open the anaphora, and which the liturgical texts cited see as a fruit of eucharistic communion? Do we not receive, rather, communion in the one body of Christ, according to 1 Cor 10:16-17? This is a pseudo-problem. In classical Trinitarian theology, the one Triune God is the cause of the whole economy of salvation. The only distinctions in God are those interior to the Trinity. The Father is neither Son nor Holy Spirit, the Son is neither Father nor Spirit, the Spirit is neither Father nor Son. But whatever one of the persons does, wherever one of them is and acts, there, too, the whole divine nature with the other two divine persons are and act."