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A Joint Committee of Orthodox and Roman Catholic Bishops was formed in the United States ln 1981 at the suggestion of His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, especially to address common pastoral concerns.

Foremost among these concerns was the marriage between members of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

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Our own Joint Committee provided a response to its practical suggestions on March 23, 1989.We recognize that the Orthodox Church has expressed its seriousness in working for unity in the Church of Christ in this century through encyclicals and gestures of reconciliation.The Pan-Orthodox conferences held at Rhodes and preparations underway for convening a Great and Holy Synod are tangible signs of hope.We also recognize that the Roman Catholic Church, especially at the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), committed itself to the cause of Christian unity and recognized its close ties with the Orthodox Church.The creation of the Vatican Secretariat (now Pontifical Council) for Promoting Christian Unity is one sign of its dedication to restoring visible unity.

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