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Wednesday, May 21, 2003


VATICAN CITY, MAY 21, 2003 (VIS) - An academic symposium on the Petrine Ministry, organized by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, will take place in Rome from May 21 to 24.

According to a communique made public yesterday afternoon, this initiative responds to what the Pope wrote in the Encyclical "Ut Unum sint" about the need to "find a way of exercising the primacy which, while in no way renouncing what is essential to its mission, is nonetheless open to a new situation" and to "seek ... the forms in which this ministry may accomplish a service of love recognized by all concerned."

In the years following the publication of this encyclical different studies and contributions have been sent to the dicastery by other Churches and ecclesiastical communities in response to the desire expressed by the Holy Father.
Participating in the symposium are eight speakers (four Catholics and four Orthodox), seven Catholic specialists and eleven delegates who represent Orthodox Churches. The topics that will be discussed are: The biblical foundation of the primate; The primate of the Fathers; The role of the Bishop of Rome in ecumenical councils; recent debates on the primate in relationship to Vatican Council II; recent debates on the primate among Orthodox theologians.

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