|Summary of introduction.
Tarcisio Card. Bertone,
Secretary of State
For the first time, Orthodoxia is published alongside LAnnuario Pontificio. It may appear to be nothing more than a list of persons, names, headquarters and telephone numbers. It may seem an arid, soulless work. But the history of this yearbook, currently overseen with tenacity and generosity by Msgr. Nikolaus Wyrwoll, needs to be recalled, even if only on a single page of introduction.
In fact, the origins go back ninety years, when Pope Benedict XV, on October 15, 1917, founded the Pontifical Oriental Institute. Much later, in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity was created; since 1988 it has been one of the Pontifical Councils. These two ecclesial realities gave rise to this directory which lists the Orthodox churches and their bishops, with contact information. It is what one might call an ordinary way of making fraternal daily communion grow with these churches which, as Dominus Iesus recalls,
As usual, the volume is published by the Eastern Churches Institute in Regensburg, which this year is celebrating 40 years since its foundation, when the solemn inaugural discourse was delivered by then Professor Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. For the past 25 years, the book has always been offered to the Holy Father after one of the Wednesday General Audiences.
Along these lines there was a celebrated remark by the Servant of God John Paul II who, on one of the last of such occasions, was heard to say,
This humorous remark by John Paul II has become prophetic with the appearance of this jubilee edition which, in its elegant external form, imitates LAnnuario Pontificio. It is offered with simplicity and humility, as a valuable instrument to promote that ever-more hoped for and intense communion among Christians for which all of us daily pray.
+ Tarcisio Bertone