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Intervention of Mons. Jean TEYROUZ, Titular Bishop of Melitene of the Armenians, Curia Bishop of Cilicia of the Armenians (LEBANON)



1. “The Catholic Church holds in high esteem the institutions... of the Eastern Churches, for in them, distinguished as they are for their venerable antiquity, there remains conspicuous the tradition that has been handed down from the Apostles through the Fathers and that forms part of the divinely revealed and undivided heritage of the universal Church. (Preamble of the Decree on the Catholic Churches of the Eastern Rite). “This tradition is to be attributed to Divine Providence”.
2. The Patriarchal Churches are at the first level. The Western Churches drew from their liturgical, spiritual, juridical and dogmatic treasures (DOE no. 14). The Patriarchal institution is the traditional form in Eastern Churches. (EO, no. 11). Patriarchs with their Synod are the superior instance for all patriarchal activities (EO, no. 9). To develop this global patrimony to conserve the fullness of Christian Tradition is to be recommended (DOE, no. 15).3. Who says emigration, says Diaspora. Some Patriarchal Churches have diaspora that count many more faithful than those on their own territories. Pope John Paul II asks to maintain and intensify the relationships between the Catholic communities of the diaspora and the different patriarchates. In fact, a local community cannot live cut off from its center of unity (New Hope..., No. 89). In the same Exhortation, the Pope speaks about the “historical roots of a religious nature that are part of the national identity” (1) and emphasizes their “prophetic character” (21).
4. The Orthodox Churches rejoice more in the powers in all affairs of their patriarchate. From an ecumenical perspective, to not give the Eastern Catholic Churches more legal powers constitutes a risk in seeing them disappear one day. To not plan for the future is to condemn oneself to failure. Life in its own way punishes the tardy ones. On the other hand, should these same Churches have greater jurisdiction, would this not be a stimulant to promoting the unity of Churches?
Finally, should the Catholic Church not give more jurisdictional powers to the Patriarchs of the “sui iuris” Churches for the good of all the Catholic and Orthodox Churches?

[00089-02.03] [IN068] [Original text: French]




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