30 May 2014

Francis and Bartholomew announce the Third Council of Nicea in 2025

Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images
Just days after their prayerful encounter at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, has announced that he and Pope Francis have agreed to call an Ecumenical Council to meet at Nicea (modern day Iznik, Turkey) in the year 2025, 1,700 years after the Nicene Creed, which is often recited at Mass, was there proclaimed:
Speaking exclusively with AsiaNews, Bartholomew says that together with Pope Francis "we agreed to leave as a legacy to ourselves and our successors a gathering in Nicaea in 2025, to celebrate together, after 17 centuries , the first truly ecumenical synod, where the Creed was first promulgated" [more].
This, folks, is big. I don't know how else to describe it.

The First Council of Nicea met in A.D. 325 to settle the matter of the Arian heresy which claimed that Jesus was not fully divine. The Second Council of Nicea met in A.D. 787 to settle to matter of iconoclasm that claimed the Church could not use, make, or venerate images.

When he spoke with Asia News about the planned Third Council of Nicea, Patriarch Bartholomew said,
The dialogue for unity between Catholics and Orthodox will start again from Jerusalem. In this city, in the autumn, a meeting of the Catholic-Orthodox Joint Commission will be held hosted by the Greek Orthodox patriarch Theophilos III. It is a long journey in which we all must be committed without hypocrisy.
Presumably, then, Christian unity will be the matter that the Third Council of Nicea will seek to address.

As yet, neither Pope Francis nor the Holy See has publicly spoken of the agreed upon Council with Patriarch Bartholomew I.

May I suggest it is not too early to begin praying for his council?

1 comment:

  1. It really is hard to overstate just how important full reunification of East and West would be to this world. And just about as hard to conceptualize.