Synodality Series Session 4 | Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Christians: Contexts and Dialogue

Oct 4, 2022
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Jaisy JosephVillanova University

Cyril HovorunSankt Ignatius Theological Academy

Aristotle PapanikolaouFordham University

Free and open to the public. This online symposium series is being organized by the American Cusanus SocietyNova Forum and the Lumen Christi Institute. Additional Cosponsors include CommonwealHarvard Catholic ForumAmerica Media, the St. Anselm Institute for Catholic Thought and the Collegium Institute.


About the Series | In light of Pope Francis’ call for global Catholic communities to enter into a two-year process on synodality, this six-part series will examine both the history of synods and the current dialogue around the future of synodality in the Church. This series is an opportunity to learn more about the topic in advance of the October 2023 Rome summit, “For a Synodal Church.” Pope Francis is inviting the entire Church to reflect on “this path of synodality which God expects of the Church of the third millennium,” an important part of the Church’s own process to achieving participation and living out mission. 


For more information about the entire series, including other upcoming sessions, visit our series webpage.

About Session 4 | A dialogue featuring Jaisy Joseph (Seattle University) and Cyril Hovorun (Sankt Ignatius Theological Academy), moderated by Aristotle Papanikolaou (Fordham University).


Jaisy A. Joseph is an Assistant Professor of Ecclesiology and Theology of Ministry at Villanova University. With interests primarily in ecclesiology and theological anthropology, her main areas of research involve understandings of unity and difference in the Catholic church, how these definitions have shifted over the centuries, and how erroneous expressions have wounded the bonds of communion between different peoples. These differences are not only intercultural and ecumenical, but also involve the almost-invisible ancient Eastern Catholic churches that have been present since the first centuries in North Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and Eastern Europe. She is also committed to understanding how globalization and migration have brought all of these differences to the United States in the past fifty years and how these diasporas influence understandings of catholicity for the church of the third millennium. Aside from the academy, she is very involved in the lay ministry of the SyroMalabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago, which spans across the United States to unite nearly forty parishes and forty missions. Her primary concern is to work with the emerging second generation of this immigrant community, particularly regarding issues of identity, domestic violence, and intergenerational healing.

Cyril Hovorun is a Professor of Ecclesiology, International Relations and Ecumenism at Sankt Ignatios Theological Academy. He is originally from Ukraine, where he first began his studies in theoretical physics before moving to the study of theology at the theological seminary and academy in Kyiv. He continued theological education at the National and Kapodistiran University of Athens and Durham University in the United Kingdom, where he defended his PhD under the supervision of Prof Fr Andrew Louth. The topic of his thesis was related to the post-Chalcedonian Christology. Fr. Hovorun taught theology in a number of confessional and public institutions, including theological academies in Kyiv, Moscow, Minsk, National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy” in Kyiv, Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and others. He was a research fellow at Yale and Columbia Universities in the United States, a visiting professor at the University of Münster and international fellow at Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life at the University of Alberta in Canada. He has been invited to lecture in over fifty institutions globally.

Aristotle Papanikolaou is the Archbishop Demetrios Chair in Orthodox Theology and Culture at Fordham University, where he is also the co-founding director of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center. He holds a BA from Fordham, an MDiv from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and a PhD from the University of Chicago. Prof. Papanikolaou’s areas of expertise are Eastern Orthodox theology, Trinitarian theology, and political theology. He is co-editor of several books and author of The Mystical as Political: Democracy and Non-Radical Orthodoxy (Notre Dame Press, 2012) and Being with God: Trinity, Apophaticism, and Divine-Human Communion (Notre Dame Press, 2006).