“Listening to the East”: New book on Synodality in Orthodox Traditions

5 Oct 2023

“In the dialogue with our Orthodox brothers and sisters, we Catholics have the opportunity to learn more about the meaning of episcopal collegiality and their experience of synodality (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium n. 246).

Inspired by these words, the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity and the General Secretariat of the Synod agreed to hold conferences on the synodal experiences of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches. These international conferences were intended to be an ecumenical contribution to the 2021-2024 synodal process of the Catholic Church, on the topic “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission.”

The conferences, entitled “Listening to the East”, were held in November 2022 at the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome, jointly organised by the Pro Oriente Foundation in Vienna and the Angelicum’s Institute for Ecumenical Studies. More than one hundred theologians, historians, and canonists, from different Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox traditions, were invited to present the synodal experiences of their Churches, through keynote speeches, case studies and workshops.

This volume, “Listening to the East. Synodality in Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Church Traditions” (see Table of Content), brings together the proceedings of the conferences, with the conviction that “The journey of synodality undertaken by the Catholic Church is and must be ecumenical, just as the ecumenical journey is synodal” (Pope Francis to Catholicos-Patriarch Mar Awa III, 19 November 2022).

Published by the Libreria Editrice Vaticana in the series “Ut Unum Sint” of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, it is the fourth volume of the series, after In cammino verso l'unità - 60° anniversario del Pontificio Consiglio per la Promozione dell’Unità dei Cristiani, La missione ecumenica delle Chiese orientali cattoliche in Europa oggi Atti dell’incontro dei Vescovi Orientali Cattolici in Europa. Roma, 12-14 settembre 2019, and The Catholic Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church. 50th Anniversary of the Meeting between Pope Paul VI and Pope Shenouda III (1973-2023).