KESTON NEWS SERVICE
Issue 2, Article 25, 22 February 2000
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ORTHODOX AND CATHOLIC IN DIALOGUE

by Branko Bjelajac, Keston News Service

The Committee for Dialogue which consists of the Holy Synod of the Serbian
Orthodox Church and the Catholic Bishop's Conference in Croatia took place
in Novi Sad (Vojvodina province), Serbia 17-18 February 2000. The
Metropolitan of Montenegro and member of the Holy Synod Dr
AMFIILOHIJE and the Archbishop of Rijeka and Senj Mgr ANTON
TAMARUT held talks, along with Orthodox bishops IRINEJ and IGNATIJE,
and Catholic bishops MARIN SRAKIC, ANTON SKVORCEVIC and DJURO
GASPAREVIC. Metropolitan JOVAN who is also a member of the Holy
Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church and in charge of ecumenical contacts
did not participate in the meetings.

The Committee gave a positive report on relations between the two churches
since its last meeting 17-18 November 1998 in Zagreb, Croatia. The agenda
covered issues regarding the practice of the sacraments in mixed marriages, and
in ethnically and religiously mixed communities. The Committee also
discussed pastoral and spiritual issues that arise due to �non-clerical factors�
and recommended �pastoral responsibility and mutual brotherly support�. Both
parties suggested further cooperation in attempts to restore Church ownership
of church buildings, monasteries, land, schools and other objects which were
expropriated in the years following 1945.

Since the break up of the former Yugoslavia, large clusters of believers
belonging to both confessions remain in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
and in Croatia, mostly in the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina and in the
Croatian regions of Slavonija and Lika. The Committee for Dialogue stated it
was working toward greater understanding and mutual cooperation among two
largest confessions in the Balkans. Its next meeting is scheduled for 2001 in
Croatia. (END)

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