We have already started making plans for the Orientale Lumen Conference for next year. Since it will be our fifteenth anniversary, we are hopeful to have a great turnout. In discussions over the summer, Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) from Oxford, one of the founders of the OL Conferences in 1997 and frequent speaker over the years, has agreed to schedule his “one” US trip this year to be at the time of the conference. Also, he has suggested a topic which I believe is very current and relevant and important to contributing to the overall dialogue between the Catholic on Orthodox Churches.
To topic will be “Rome and the Communion of Churches: Bishop, Patriarch or Pope?” In essence, we will focus on the role of the bishop of Rome in the Church and other aspects of Church structure known as “ecclesiology.” Many on all sides of the dialogue feel this is the major issue separating East and West today, and if this one issue can be resolved, many of the others will fall into place, especially the existence of Eastern Catholic Churches.
There will only be one OL Conference in 2011 so that we may all gather in one place to celebrate the 15th anniversary. The dates will be June 20-23 and it will be held in Washington, DC. The exact venue is still being evaluated.We also have commitments from Metropolitan Jonah, primate of the Orthodox Church in America, and Archimandrite Robert Taft, the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, to be plenary speakers. We plan to invite Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, Metropolitan Hilarion of the Department for External Affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate, and Msgr. Paul McPartlan of The Catholic University of America and leading international scholar on Church ecclesiology.
The conference is open to the public, and you can register by calling 703-691-8862 or online at www.olconference.com. With this topic and lineup of speakers, we could have an overflowing audience for this exciting conference! If you want to attend, I suggest you sign up early!