This Week in Christian History: John Brown Executed, Missionary Born, Excommunications Lifted

Pope, Patriarch Lift Excommunications – December 7, 1965

pope Paul VI
Vatican City (picture oficial of pope) - Vatican City, picture oficial of Pope Paul VI. |

This week marks the anniversary of when Pope Paul VI of the Roman Catholic Church and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I of the Orthodox Church simultaneously lifted the excommunications put against each church back in the 11th century.

The joint declaration lifted the excommunications made back in 1054 during the Great Schism, which first created the two separate church bodies.

“They regret the offensive words, the reproaches without foundation, and the reprehensible gestures which, on both sides, have marked or accompanied the sad events of this period,” reads the text in part.

“They likewise regret and remove both from memory and from the midst of the Church the sentences of excommunication which followed these events, the memory of which has influenced actions up to our day and has hindered closer relations in charity; and they commit these excommunications to oblivion.”

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