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  • Ecumenical Essay Contest Winners 2014

    Ecumenical Essay Contest

    We congratulate our two essay contest winners for 2014!

    Andrew Cuff, Catholic University of America, Συμπροσευχή (Prayer): Defeating the Otherness Mentality with Joint Catholic-Orthodox Prayer

    Runner up, Ardaine Gooden of Howard University School of Divinity for his paper, Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue: Is this an End to an Era of Divide

    We thank them for their thought provoking submissions!

    Andrew’s Essay will be published in the LOGOS: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies

    Here is an Abstract of Andrew’s Essay

    Συμπροσευχή (Prayer): Defeating the Otherness Mentality with Joint Catholic-Orthodox Prayer by Andrew Cuff, CUA

    Orthodox and Catholics are the two largest groups of Christians in the world; they celebrate the same sacraments, hold largely compatible doctrines, and share one thousand years of tradition.  There are many explanations, both theological and historical, for the ecclesiastical divide which now keeps them “out of communion” with each other.  Yet do these reasons also provide a sufficient barrier to spiritual and cultural cooperation between Orthodox and Catholics?  Many Orthodox and Catholics in the twenty-first century, including clergy in the Washington Metropolitan Area who were surveyed for the purpose of this article, would still emphasize the difference and “otherness” that divides Eastern and Western Christianity and prevents celebrations of the unity that does exist between them.  This article analyzes many polemical rejections of joint Catholic-Orthodox prayer services, observes instances when this type of prayer has been effective, and considers the three main criticisms of joint prayer.  Of the three, namely the priority of inter-Orthodox unity, the necessity for dogmatic unity before joint prayer, and the citation of the Pedalion, none of these represent defeaters for the celebration of joint prayer services between Orthodox and Catholics.  Given a recent impetus to celebrate such joint prayer services bolstered by the recent visit between Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholemew, settling these ecclesiological issues has never been more urgent for the goal of Catholic-Orthodox unity.

     For Essay Contest 2015 guidelines, visit:

    Ecumenical Essay Contest Flyer 2015