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Proposals for Lifting Anathemas (1993)

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Joint Commission Of The Theological Dialogue Between The Orthodox Church And The Oriental Orthodox Churches

Communique

Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
Chambesy Geneva, Switzerland
November 1-6,1993

Proposals for Lifting Anathemas (1993)

1. In the light of our Agreed Statement on Christology at St. Bishoy Monastery 1989, and of our Second Agreed Statement at Chambesy 1990, the representatives of both Church families agree that the lifting of anathemas and condemnations of the past can be consummated on the basis of their common acknowledgement of the fact that the Councils and Fathers previously anathematized or condemned are Orthodox in their teachings. In the light of our four unofficial consultations (1964, 1967, 1970, 1971) and our three official meetings which followed on (1985, 1989, 1990), we have understood that both families have loyally maintained the authentic Orthodox Christological doctrine and the unbroken continuity of the apostolic tradition, though they may have used Christological terms in different ways.

2. The lifting of the anathemas should be made unanimously and simultaneously by the Heads of all the Churches of both sides, through the signing of an appropriate ecclesiastical Act, the content of which will include acknowledgements from each side that the other one is Orthodox in all respects.

3. The lifting of the anathemas should imply :

a. that restoration of full communion for both sides is to be immediately implemented;
b. that no past condemnation, synodical or personal, against each other is applicable any more;
c. that a catalogue of Diptychs of the Heads of the Churches should be agreed upon to be used liturgically.

4. At the same time the following practical steps should be taken :

a. The Joint Sub-Committee for Pastoral issues should continue its very important task according to what had been agreed at the 1990 meeting of the Joint Commission.
b. The co-chairmen of the Joint Commission should visit the Heads of the Churches with the view to offering fuller information on the outcome of the Dialogue.
c. A Liturgical Sub-Committee should be appointed by both sides to examine the liturgical implications arising from the restoration of communion and to propose appropriate forms of concelebration.
d. Matters relating to ecclesiastical jurisdiction should be left to be arranged by the respective authorities of the local churches according to common canonical and synodical principles.
e. The two co-chairmen of the Joint Commission with the two Secretaries of the Dialogue should make provisions for the production of appropriate literature explaining our common understanding of the Orthodox faith which has led us to overcome the divisions of the past, and also co-ordinating the work of the other Sub-Committees.

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