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OL XI San Diego

Quotes from OL XI Plenaries:

Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia – The Holy Icon is a means of access into the age to come. It is a point of meeting and encounter with the communion of saints.  So the icon as a door fulfills a mediating function. The icon makes persons and events present to us. Through the icon we meet the person that is shown to us whether that is Christ the Savior, the Mother of God, one of the Angels, one of the saints.  Through the icon, we participate in the mystery that is depicted.

Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco – Our first documented evidence of icons is found in the mid-second century, apocryphal Acts of John, which seems to have come from the region of Ephesus.  Early Christians chose to adopt an artistic style that diverged from that of classical Greek works.  They followed the conventions used to depict pagan gods such as Suchos, Isis, and Heron. These models were a bit more stylized than the more lifelike statues, notably in (1) their more static, frontal poses; (2) lack of anatomical detail under their clothing; (3) engaging eyes; (4) circular haloes; and (5) abstract surroundings.  These characteristics are still present in Byzantine icons produced today.

Archimandrite Robert Taft – For the Byzantines, liturgy filled the gap between the life-giving finger of God and the outstretched finger of the reclining Adam in the famous creation scene in Michelangelo’s 1513 fresco in the Sistine Chapel.  This perceived connection between heaven and earth, realized in the mysteries of the Trinity and Christ, and in Church services, icon worship, and the system of images, had its theological basis in the mystery of the Incarnation.  What had once been seen as an unbridgeable gulf between the Divinity and humankind had, for Christians, been bridged by the eternal Word of God made flesh in the God-Man Jesus.

Father Thomas Loya – Iconography is the official art of the Church, east and west.  It always has been.  In the west, it took on its own kind of development, but when you look at that development you see a telescoping source of western art in iconography.  Iconography is not a craft.  It’s not a lacquer box.  It’s not something you stick on the wall.  It’s not even a holy picture.  Rather the wall was made for the icon.  Iconography needs to be rescued from a certain aspect of the popularity that it is enjoying now, and put back in its context.  Iconography is the quintessential, integrated artform.

OL X San Diego

Quotes from OL X Plenaries:

Archbishop Hovnan Derderian - We cannot separate the preaching from practice.  Preaching the word of God should be deeply rooted in our daily actions and reflected in our relationship with our faithful and our unconditional love, care and compassion for our brothers and sisters.  It is not permissible for a Christian to say “I can pray for you, but cannot pray with you.”

Bishop Kallistos - I see a group such as Orientale Lumen as fulfilling an important task in this mutual knowledge and mutual love. Part of the function of Orientale Lumen is to build up ecumenical friendships. And if we are to make progress in the ecumenical movement we do need personal friendships, not simply reports by experts, but human contact.

Bishop John Michael Botean - How can you be “catholic” with the Pope, and “orthodox” at the same time?  When you are a “Greek Catholic” or an “Eastern Catholic” of some kind, it calls into question a whole lot of things, beginning with the very nature, or function, or purpose, or vocation, or destiny of the Church. It calls people to reflect on their own religious positions individually and communally, the position of their Church, their Church’s loyalties, and their own personally loyalties.  When you are an Eastern Catholic, you find out very quickly that what you assumed, if you’ve chosen this, is to be  a lightening rod for hatred.

Father George Gallaro - We are ever more aware that since the early attempts at reconciliation among Christians, the subsequent realization that the Spirit of the Lord is always at work, the Spirit of Unity,  Indeed the ecumenical movement has its origins as the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit imparts strength by His presence, comforts and enlightens in every difficult moment.  The Spirit is always active in the movement precisely because He inspired and made the movement of unity,  all the work toward

OL IX San Diego

Quotes from OL IX Plenaries:

Archbishop Vsevolod of Scopelos – The Patriarchs of the Ancient Pentarchy (Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem) should jointly call for a worldwide Ecumencial Council of all the Apostolic Christian Churches of the world that adhere to the principle of my presentation – one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. Dare I suggest this be called an Eighth Ecumenical Council. Perhaps we should simply name it an Ecumenical Council of Christian Unity or for the Third Millennium? In any event, it's purpose would be to consider how to re-structure the Churches involved, consolidate where appropriate, de-centralize where appropriate, and combine where appropriate, trying to establish a balanced organizational structure not only in size and shape, but in authority and responsibility. In essence, we need to try and utilize the best of both worlds – counterbalancing central structure with local flexibility.

Bishop Salvatore Cordileone – “…we must understand governance in the Church not as an end itself, but at the service of the Church’s ultimate purpose which is the glory of God and the salvation of souls.  While the Church must borrow models of governance from secular society precisely because it exists in the world in the form of a visible body, it must do so in accordance with its own ends, adapting what it can but never adopting wholesale any one form of government.  After all, those who exercise governance in the Church are called “pastors,” and so they must rule their flocks not like kings of the temporal order but like shepherds, after the manner of the Good Shepherd himself who lays down his life for his flock (cf. Jn 10:11).”

Bishop Nicholas Samra – “To understand and to define the essence of the Church and its structure, it is first necessary to speak about the Holy Trinity—to search its depths and theological meaning, and to attempt to better understand the mystery of God.  We call the Church the “Body of Christ.”  We call it the “communion in the Holy Spirit.”  To get a better understanding of these words we need first to speak of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  When we get a better view of the Trinity—of course never totally understanding the mystery—we will better understand the love of God.  By recognizing and knowing the love of God we must first know it, and in order to know it we must be participants of the living godly organism which we call Church – the Body of Christ.”

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