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 Index > Conferences > March 2003
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The Centro Pro Unione
invites you to the
Fourth annual conference in honor of
Father Paul Wattson and Mother Lurana White
founders of the Society of the Atonement
The Historic Agreement on the Eucharist
Between the Catholic Church and the
Assyrian Church of the East
Promulgated 26 Octob
er 2001
Archimandrite Robert F. Taft, SJ
Professor Emeritus of Oriental Liturgy
Pontifical Oriental Institute
Thursday, 20 March 2003 - 18.00
Centro Pro Unione
Via Santa Maria dell'Anima 30,
00186 - Rome

Robert F. Taft
Archimandrite Robert F. Taft, S.J., a Jesuit priest of the Byzantine Slavonic (Russian) rite, is editor-in-chief of Orientalia Christiana Analecta, founder and editor-in-chief of Anaphorae Orientales, and Professor Emeritus of Oriental Liturgy at the Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome, where received his doctorate in 1970, followed in 1971-72 by postdoctoral studies in Oriental Philology at the University of Louvain, Belgium. A prolific writer, his bibliography comprises over 630 titles, including fourteen books plus seven edited in collaboration with others. Several of his writings have been translated into Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Malayalam, Portuguese, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, and Ukrainian. In recognition of his work, Fr. Taft has received numerous academic awards, including two honorary doctorates. In 2001 he was elected Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, the highest honor the Academy confers on non-British scholars. Fr. Taft is the only US Jesuit ever to be so honored. Most recently (Dec. 2001) he was named the first Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky Guest Professor at the Lviv Theological Academy, Lviv, Ukraine. Since the fall of Communism in 1989, Fr. Taft has been actively engaged in assisting in the restoration of theological education in Greek-Catholic Churches long persecuted and suppressed in the former Soviet East Bloc. On May 5, 1998, the Head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church elevated Fr. Taft to the dignity of Mitred Archimandrite in recognition of his services to the Eastern Churches. On November 11, 1999, Archbishop Vsevolod of Scopelos, of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA within the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, conferred on Fr. Taft, in the name of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, a second pectoral cross, with the right to wear the double pectoral insignia, in recognition of his scholarly research and writings on the Orthodox tradition. As Consultor for Liturgy of the Vatican Congregation for the Oriental Churches and member of several Vatican commissions and other editorial and advisory boards, Fr. Taft is one of those the Holy See consulted concerning the epoch-making decision that is the topic of his lecture.

Historical note
In 1898, the Spirit of God inspired Sister Lurana White and Father Paul Wattson to establish a religious community to be called the Society of the Atonement. sThe Founders had the vision of a religious congregation dedicated to the unity of Christians and to reconciliation in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi. Since the Founders were Episcopalians, the roots of the Society were implanted in that ecclesial communion until 1909, the year in which the Friars and Sisters of the Atonement entered into full communion with the Catholic Church. This was the first time that a corporate reunion with Rome took place since the Reformation. Among the various activities of the Society of the Atonement, special mention needs to be made of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begun by Fr. Paul in 1908 and celebrated today throughout the world. From the humble beginnings in an abandoned church, St. John's-in-the-Wilderness, in an area called Graymoor, (New York), the Society of the Atonement has dedicated its efforts for the unity of the Church and reconciliation in several countries: the United States, Canada, Japan, England, Ireland, Brazil and Italy. Yearly conferences honoring the memory of Fr. Paul Wattson were begun in 1974 at The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, then, in 1980, at the University of San Francisco. To these were added in 1995, the Paul Wattson Lectures at the Atlantic School of Theology, Halifax and in 1996 at the Toronto School of Theology. The Paul Wattson Lectures are given by international experts in the field of ecumenism and interreligious dialogue. Since 1998, the Centro Pro Unione organizes lectures each year in December to honor Fr. Paul Wattson and Mother Lurana White, co-founders of the Society of the Atonement. Earlier lecturers were Enzo Bianchi, Founder and Prior of the Community of Bose, Sarah Anne Coakley (Harvard University), Bruno Forte (Pontifical Theological Faculty - Naples) and Anna Marie Aagaard (Denmark).


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