Fr Robin Gibbons writes: At the beginning of St John Paul II’s Apostolic letter, Orientale Lumen of May 2nd 1995, this phrase appears: ‘…we believe that the venerable and ancient tradition of the Eastern Churches is an integral part of the heritage of Christ’s Church, the first need for Catholics is to be familiar with that tradition, so as to be nourished by it and to encourage the process of unity in the best way possible for each.
Our Eastern Catholic brothers and sisters are very conscious of being the living bearers of this tradition, together with our Orthodox brothers and sisters’.(OL I)
This concept is not new, not at all inimical to any ecclesiological understanding of Church and Kingdom, but is perhaps too often overlooked in our contemporary preoccupations-and yet it is essential if the world is to hear and know the Risen Christ and the living history of his community found particularly in the land of Christ’s birth, ministry and resurrection where the mission of the Church begins and still continues.
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