Saturday, June 25, 2011
Orientale Lumen Conference 2011
The 15th annual Orientale Lumen Conference was just held this past week at the Washington Retreat House in Washington, D.C. The topic of discussion was “Rome and the Communion of Churches: Bishop, Patriarch or Pope?” I really wanted to be able to attend this conference, but we can't have everything we want right? Well almost! I was very excited to find that Ancient Faith Radio was making the lectures available as the conference went on, and it was updated each day. Now all 8 of the lectures are available for streaming or download on their website. If you are interested in the discussions today regarding union between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches you will probably find the lectures very interesting. That being said, I do not agree with everything that each lecturer said, but nonetheless there is a ton of information you can learn from listening to them. I personally believe that this area of unity is the most important today for the Catholic Church, and I think that there needs to be more serious theological discussions between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
I really enjoyed Fr. Robert Taft's presentation for a variety of reasons, and one of them is not that I agree with everything he said. First, he is a living, breathing, walking, talking library when it comes to Church history. If you have ever listened to any of his lectures, you know that will need to take notes because you will surely want to go back and learn more about the facts he presents. Second, he puts together a very cohesive and entertaining lecture which is quite enjoyable to listen to. Even when I disagreed with his particular position, which happened on a couple occasions, I found myself very engaged and extremely curious as to what he was going to say next. He can also be quite polemical at times. Those who want to learn how to give a solid engaging lecture would be wise to learn the art from him. Likewise I also enjoyed Dr. DeVille's lecture, which was a little more free flowing in structure, but he presented a ton of great information regarding various Church structures and how changes have been made on both sides, Orthodox and Catholic. I want to pick up his book 'Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint and the Prospects of East-West Unity' in the future. It has been on my wishlist for while. Like usual I am up to my neck in books so hopefully I can get to it at some near point in the future. Finally, as always, Metropolitan Kallistos was a joy to listen to. I would like to see some other Catholic theologians, especially that of the classical Dominican Thomists, participate in upcoming conferences. I think that would add some balance and bit more spice to the mix. Anyways, if you choose to listen to these lectures you are sure to learn where many theologians stand on the issue of the papacy, for better or worse. In the process you are also sure to learn some interesting facts.
The lecturers for this year included Metropolitan Jonah, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia, Professor Emeritus of Oxford University, Archimandrite Robert Taft, Professor Emeritus of the Pontifical Oriental Institute, Msgr. Michael Magee (Roman Catholic), Chairman and Professor of Systematic Theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dr. Adam DeVille (Greek Catholic), Assistant Professor at the University of Saint Francis and the editor of LOGOS, Fr. Ron Roberson, CSP (Roman Catholic), Associate Director for Ecumenical Affairs, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.