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Recent Efforts For Unity Between The Two Families Of The Orthodox Church

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Recent Efforts For Unity Between The Two Families Of The Orthodox Church

http://www.coptic.net/articles/orthodoxunitydialog.txt

“Disputes merely about words must not be suffered to divide those who think alike”
St. Athanasius, Tome to the people of Antioch

CONTENTS
--------
1. Preface

2. Introduction

3. Synopsis
   o Aarhus 1964 
   o Bristol 1967
   o Geneva 1970
   o Addis Ababa 1971
   o Chambesy 1985
   o Corinth 1987
   o Egypt 1989
   o Egypt 1990
   o Geneva 1990

4. Communiques
   o Aarhus 1964 
   o Bristol 1967
   o Geneva 1970
   o Addis Ababa 1971
   o Chambesy 1985
   o Corinth 1987
   o Egypt 1989
   o Egypt 1990
   o Geneva 1990

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1. PREFACE 
   ------- 

The following report on the recent efforts  for unity between the two families
of the Orthodox Church is divided into two parts.

The   first  part is    a synopsis  of   the Reports,  Agreed  Statements  and
Recommendations to the Churches, written by  the delegates at  these meetings.
It will provide the reader with a  basic  understanding of  the conclusions of
each of the conversations.

The second part is a full  print of the  official Communiques produced at each
meeting, including a list of participants.

The report covers the four unofficial conversations (1964,  1967, 1970, 1971),
the  three  meetings of  the  ``Joint Commission of   the Theological Dialogue
between the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox  Churches'' (1985, 1989,
1990), and two meetings of sub-committees (1987, 1990). The sources  for these
communiques are listed in the table of contents.

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2. INTRODUCTION
   ------------

Since 451, at the Council of Chalcedon,  there has been  a division within the
Orthopdox Church due to different Christological terminology. In recent times,
members  of the Chalcedonian  and non-Chalcedonian Orthodox Churches  have met
together   coming  to  a clear  understanding  that both  families have always
loyally maintained the same authentic  Orthodox  Christological faith, and the
unbroken  continuity of  the apostolic  tradition, though they  may have  used
Christological terms in different ways. It is this common faith and continuous
loyality to   the  apostolic  tradition  that has  been  the    basis  of  the
conversations held over the last two decades towards unity and communion.

In 1964 a fresh  dialogue began at  the University  of Aarhus in Denmark. This
was followed by meetings at Bristol in 1967, Geneva in 1970 and Addis Ababa in
1971. These were a series of non-official consultations which  served as steps
towards mutual understanding.

The official consultations in which concrete steps were taken began in 1985 at
Chambesy in Geneva. The second official consultation was held at the monastery
of Saint Bishoy  in Wadi-El-Natroun, Egypt  in June 1989. The  outcome of this
latter meeting was  of  historical dimensions, since in  this meeting  the two
families  of Orthodoxy were  able to agree on  a  Christological formula, thus
ending  the controversy regarding Christology which  had  lasted for more than
fifteen centuries.

In September  1990,  the two  families of  Orthodoxy signed  an   agreement on
Christology   and recommendations   were passed   to  the  different  Orthodox
Churches, to lift  the anathemas  and enmity of  the past, after  revising the
results of  the dialogues. If  both  agreements are  accepted by   the various
Orthodox  Churches, the restoration   of communion  will   be very easy at all
levels, even as far as sharing one table in the Eucharist.

``As  for  its  part,  the  Coptic  Orthodox Church   has agreed  to  lift the
anathemas, but this will  not  take  place unless it is performed bilaterally,
possibly  by   holding a   joint  ceremony.''  (H.E.    Metropolitan   Bishoy,
Metropolitan  of  Damiette and Secretary  of  the Holy Synod, Coptic  Orthodox
Church, and  Co-chairman of  the  Joint Commission  of the  Official Dialogue,
El-Kerasa English Magazine, May 1992, Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 8).

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3. SYNOPSIS
-----------

                                 AARHUS 1964

+ Over 3 days, 15 theologians from both families met in Aarhus in Denmark for
  informal conversations.  They recognised in each  other  the  one  orthodox
  faith.  

+ The well known phrase used by our common  father,  St. Cyril of  Alexandria
  ``the one nature of God's Word Incarnate''   was   at   the  centre  of the
  conversations.  Through  the  different  terminologies  used  by each side, 
  they saw the same truth  expressed.   On the essence of the  Christological 
  dogma they found themselves in full agreement.

+ As  for  the  Council  of  Chalcedon  (451)  both  families  agreed without
  reservation on rejecting the teaching of Eutyches as well as Nestorius, and
  thus the acceptance or non-acceptance of the Council of Chalcedon  does not
  entail the acceptance of either heresy. 

+ It  was  agreed  that  the significant role of political,  sociological and
  cultural factors in creating tension between factions  in  the last fifteen
  centuries  should  be  recognized and studied together.  They  should  not,
  however, continue to divide us. 

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                                 BRISTOL 1967 

The  Agreed  Statement from   the second   informal conversations in  Bristol,
England,  firstly  affirmed  new   areas  of agreement and then  discussed the
questions that still remained to be studied and settled.

                                  -- ONE --

+ Based  on the teachings of common fathers  of  the  universal  Church  they
  approached the Christological question from the perspective of salvation.

+ ``Thus He who is consubstantial with the Father became by  the  Incarnation 
  consubstantial also with us''. God became by nature man that man may attain
  to His uncreated glory.

+ Ever since the fifth century, we have used different formulae to confess our
  common faith in the One Lord Jesus Christ, perfect God and perfect Man. Some
  of us affirm two natures,  wills  and energies hypostatically united  in the 
  One Lord Jesus Christ.  Some of us  affirm one united  divine-human  nature, 
  will and energy in the same Christ.  But both sides speak of a union without
  confusion, without change, without division, without  separation.  The  four
  adverbs belong to our common tradition.  Both  affirm the dynamic permanence
  of the God-head and the Manhood,  with  all  their  natural  properties  and
  faculties, in the one Christ.  Those  who  speak  in terms of ``two'' do not
  thereby divide or separate.  Those  who  speak  in  terms of  ``one'' do not
  thereby commingle or confuse. 

+ They  discussed  also  the  continuity  of  doctrine  in the Councils of the
  Church,  and especially the mono-energistic and monothelete controversies of
  the seventh century. They agreed that the human will is neither absorbed nor
  suppressed by the divine will in the Incarnate Logos,  nor are they contrary
  one to the other.  

                                  -- TWO --

+ Secondly they began to  explore adequate steps to restore the full communion
  between our Churches.

+ They  recommended a joint declaration be drafted with a formula of agreement
  on the basic Christological faith in relation to the nature, will and energy 
  of our one Lord Jesus Christ,  for  formal and authoritative approval by the
  Churches.

+ They  saw  a  need  to  further   examine  the  canonical,   liturgical  and
  jurisdictional  problems  involved   (e.g.  anathemas,  acceptance  and  non
  acceptance  of  some  Councils,   and  agreements  necessary  before  formal
  restoration of communion.

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                       CENACLE, GENEVA 16-21 Aug 1970

The third unofficial conversations yielded a four part Summary of Conclusions:

                I.  REAFFIRMATION OF CHRISTOLOGICAL AGREEMENT

+ The  theologians  found that they were still in full and deep agreement with
  the universal tradition of the one undivided Church .

+ Through visits to each other,  and  through study of each other's liturgical
  traditions and theological  and spiritual writings,  they rediscovered other
  mutual  agreements  in  all  important matters:  liturgy  and  spirituality,
  doctrine and canonical practice.

+ They concluded by  saying `` Our mutual  agreement is  not merely  verbal or
  conceptual  it  is a  deep agreement that impels us to   beg our Churches to 
  consummate our union by bringing  together  again the two lines of tradition
  which have been separated from each other for historical reasons  for such a
  long time. We work in the hope that our  Lord  will  grant  us full unity so 
  that we can celebrate together  that unity in the Common Eucharist.  That is
  our strong desire and final goal''.

                            II. SOME DIFFERENCES 

+ Despite their agreement on the substance of the tradition,  the long  period
  of separation has brought about certain differences in the formal expression
  of  that  tradition.    These  differences  have  to  do  with  three  basic
  ecclesiological issues:

 (a) The meaning and place of certain Councils - 

     The Eastern Orthodox Church teaches that there  were  seven  ecumenical
     Councils  which have an inner coherence and continuity that make them a
     single indivisible complex.

     The  Oriental  Orthodox  Church  feels,  however,  that  the  authentic
     Christological tradition  has so far been held by them  on the basis of 
     the three ecumenical Councils.

 (b) The anathematization  or acclamation as Saints of certain controversial
     teachers -

     It may not be necessary formally to lift these anathemas, nor for these
     teachers to be recognised as  Saints  by the condemning side.   But the
     restoration of  Communion obviously  implies,  among other things, that
     formal anathemas and condemnation of revered teachers of the other side
     should be discontinued as in the case of Leo, Dioscorus,  Severus,  and
     others. 

 (c) The  jurisdictional questions related to uniting the Churches at local,
     regional and world levels -

     This  is  not  only  an administrative matter,  but it also touches the
     question of ecclesiology in some aspects. Most cities will need to have
     more than one bishop and more than one Eucharist,  but  it is important
     that the unity is expressed in Eucharistic Communion.

+ The universal  tradition of  the  Church does not  demand uniformity in  all
  details of doctrinal formulation,  forms of worship and canonical  practice.
  But the limits of variability need to be more clearly worked out.

                 III. TOWARDS A STATEMENT OF RECONCILIATION

+ They   reaffirmed the need for  an   official joint  commission to  draft an
  explanatory  statement  of  reconciliation which could then be the basis for
  unity.

+ They suggested that this  statement of common Christological agreement could
  make use of the theology of St. Cyril of Alexandria and John of Antioch, and
  that it be worded in unambiguous terminology that would make  it  clear that
  this explanation  has been held by both sides for centuries,  as is attested 
  by the liturgical and patristic documents.

                            IV. SOME PRACTICAL STEPS

+ There  had already  been visits  between the two  families on the  levels of
  heads of churches, bishops and theologians.

+ Some  Oriental  Orthodox  students have been studying  in  Eastern  Orthodox
  Theological Institutions and it was hope  that  there would be more exchange
  both ways at  the  level  of theological professors,  church dignitaries and
  students.

+ Although it was  realised that some  work could  be initiated at an informal
  level,  it  was  hoped  that  official actions would make further unofficial
  conversations unnecessary.

+ A special Executive Committee was formed to have the following functions:

 (a) Publish in the Greek Orthodox Theological Review a report on this meeting
     in Geneva.

 (b) Produce a resume of  the  three  unofficial  conversations,  which may be
     studied by the different churches

 (c) Publish   a   handbook   of   statistical,  historical,  and  theological
     information regarding the various Churches

 (d) Explore the possibility of an association of all the  Theological Schools 

 (e) Publish a periodical which will continue to provide information about the
     Churches and to pursue further discussions

 (f) Make available to the Churches the original sources for  an informed  and
     accurate study of developments 

 (g) Encourage theological consultations on contemporary problems 

 (h) Explore  the  possibilities of establishing a common research centre  for
     Orthodox theological and historical studies

 (i) Explore  the  possibility of common  teaching material  for children  and
     youth . 

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                               ADDIS ABABA 1971

+ The  informal  discussions  at  Addis Ababa  centered  around the lifting of
  anathemas and the recognition of Saints.

+ This was termed ``an indispensable step on the way to unity''. The delegates
  felt that such a step presupposes essential unity in the  faith  and thus as
  previously discussed  there  is a need for an official announcement of unity
  in faith first.

+ They agreed that once  the anathemas  against certain   persons cease to  be
  effective,  there is no need to require their recognition as saints by those
  who previously anathematized them.

+ They felt that the  lifting  of anathemas should  be prepared for by careful
  study of the teaching of these men,  the  accusations levelled against them, 
  the  circumstances  under  which  they  were  anathematized,  and  the  true
  intention of their teaching.  Such study should be sympathetic and motivated
  by the desire to understand and therefore to overlook minor errors.

+ There was also a request  for a study of how  anathemas have been  lifted in
  the past.   It was suggested that there may be no need for a formal ceremony
  but that it is much simpler gradually to drop these anathemas in a quiet way
  The  fact  that  these  anathemas  have  been  lifted  can  then be formally 
  announced at the time of union.

+ Another study suggested was ``Who is a Saint?''; a study of the criteria for
  sainthood and distinctions between universal, national and local saints.

+ An educational  programme for churches  was  suggested,  for both before and
  after  the  lifting  of  the  anathemas,   especially  where  anathemas  and
  condemnations  are  written  into the  liturgical texts and hymns.  Also the
  rewriting  of  Church  history,  text-books  and theological manuals will be
  necessary.  As this  is  a  time  consuming project,  we need not  await its
  completion  for  the  lifting  of  anathemas  or even for the restoration of
  Communion.

+ The Summary of Conclusions  of this fourth  unofficial meeting was submitted
  to the churches with the following closing note:   ``It is our hope that the
  work  done  at  an  informal  level  can  soon be taken up officially by the
  churches,  so  that  the  work of the Spirit in bringing us together can now
  find full ecclesiastical response.''

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                        CHAMBESY, GENEVA 10-15 Dec 1985

+ After two decades of unofficial theological consultations the first official
  dialogue  between the two families of  orthodoxy  finally  occurred  with  a
  delegation  that  was  called  the  ``Joint-Commission  of  the  Theological
  Dialogue   Between   the   Orthodox   Church   and   the  Oriental  Orthodox
  Non-Chalcedonian Churches''.

+ They set up a Joint Sub-Committee of six theologians to prepare common texts
  for  future  work.   The  aim  of  the next meetings would be to re-discover
  common grounds in Christology and Ecclesiology. The following main theme and
  subsequent sub-themes were agreed upon:

  ``Towards a common Christology''

  a) Problems of terminology
  b) Conciliar formulations
  c) Historical factors
  d) Interpretation of Christological dogmas today.

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                        CORINTH, GREECE 23-26 Sep 1987

+ This was  a meeting of the Joint  Sub-Committee to discuss the  problems  of
  terminology. They were convinced that though using some terms in a different
  sense, both sides express the same Orthodox theology.

+ The dialogue focused on the terms: Physis, Ousia, Hypostasis, Prosopon.

  Although these  terms  have  not been  used with   conformity  in  different
  traditions and by  different theologians of  the  same  tradition,  all  the
  delegates confirmed their agreement that the unique and wonderful union of
  the two natures of Christ is a hypostatic, natural and real unity.

+ In confessing Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God the Father, truly
  born of the Holy and Virgin Mary, our Churches have avoided and rejected the
  heretical teachings of both Nestorius and Eutyches.

+ The common denominator was the common doctrine of the two real births of the
  Logos. The Logos, the Only-begotten of the Father before the ages, became
  man through his second birth in time from the Virgin Mary.

+ The   discussion concluded  with  the  expression  of  the  faith   that the
  hypostatic  union  of  the  two  natures  of  Christ  was  necessary for the 
  salvation of the human kind. Only the Incarnate Logos, as perfect God and at
  the same time perfect man, could redeem man.

+ As discussed in Bristol in 1967, the Joint Sub-Committee concluded that the
  four  attributes  of  the wonderful union of the natures belong also to the
  common  tradition  since  both  sides  speak of it as  ``without confusion,
  without change,  without division, without separation''. And thus those who
  speak in terms of ``two'' don't thereby divide or separate. Those who speak
  in terms of ``one'' don't thereby co-mingle or confuse.

+ They affirmed  that the term  ``Theotokos'' used  for the Virgin  Mary, is a
  basic element of faith in our common tradition.

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                ANBA BISHOY MONASTERY, EGYPT 20-24 Jun 1989

+ This  was   the second  meeting  of  the  Joint Commission,  there   were 23
  participants representing 13 Churches.

+ The main item  for consideration was the report of the  Joint  Sub-Committee
  from Corinth on common Christological convictions.  An  Agreed Statement was
  approved  for  transmission  to   our  Churches  which  subsequently  gained
  widespread acceptance by everybody.

+ It  confessed  the  common  apostolic  faith  and tradition of the undivided
  church of the first centuries. This was best expressed in the formula of our
  common father,   St. Cyril of Alexandria'   ``the  one  nature of God's Word
  Incarnate''.

+ They  confirmed  that the Holy  Virgin is Theotokos and the  Holy Trinity is
  one True God, one ousia in three hypostases or three prosopa. 

+ They acknowledged the mystery of the  Incarnation when the  Logos, eternally
  consubstantial with the Father and the Holy Spirit in his  Divinity,  became
  incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Virgin Mary Theotokos, and thus
  became consubstantial with us in His humanity but without sin;  true God and
  true man at the same time.

+ It  is  not that  in  Him a divine  hypostasis  and a human  hypostasis came
  together,  but that the one eternal  hypostasis of the  Second Person of the
  Trinity  has  assumed  our created  human nature to form an inseparably  and
  unconfusedly united real divine-human being, the natures being distinguished
  from each other in contemplation only.

+ The agreed  condemnation of the Nestorian and  Eutychian heresies means that
  we neither separate nor divide the  human  nature in  Christ from His divine
  nature,  nor do we think that the former was absorbed in the latter and thus
  ceased to exist.

+ Again  the  four adverbs were used to qualify  the mystery of the hypostatic
  union:  without co-mingling,  without change, without separation and without
  division.

+ This  mutual agreement was not  limited to  Christology, but encompassed the
  whole faith of the one undivided church of the early centuries.

+ They included a  statement on the procession of   the Holy Spirit  from  the
  Father alone.

+ They then appointed a 10 person Joint Sub-Committee for Pastoral Problems to
  report  at  the  next  meeting  of  the  newly named Joint Commission of the
  Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches.

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               ANBA BISHOY MONASTERY, EGYPT 31 Jan-4 Feb 1990

+ This was  a meeting of the Joint  Sub-Committee for Pastoral  Problems. They
  found that  while the faith unifies us,  history keeps us distant because it
  creates ecclesiastical practical problems, which often are more difficult to
  rectify than the historical differences of theological expressions.

+ They recognised that although these problems do not have a deep  theological
  cause,  they  renew  the feelings  of suspicion and pain among us,  and will
  diminish  the  value  of  the  theological  fruits of our official dialogues
  unless  ties  of  love  and  common  sincere desire for unity complement our
  relations. 

They made proposals in two areas :

1 - The relation between the two Orthodox families:-

+ The first  step  must  be  official ecclesiastical acceptance  of the agreed
  statement on Christology.  From  there an education  programme  should begin
  with publications to acquaint congregations with the joint agreements,  with
  the churches  taking part in the dialogues,  a summary of the most important
  Christological terms together with a brief explanation based on the fathers'
  writings, and updates on the relations existing between us.

+ There   should be an  objective to  create ecclesiastical relations  through
  exchanging  the   theological  writings,  professors  and  students  of  the 
  Theological Institutes.

+ They  recommended the  clear  official acceptance   and  recognition of  the
  Baptism  performed  by  the two families  and  a  joint confrontation of the
  practical problems  in  the two families such  as the problems of marriage -
  divorce (consideration of the marriage as having taken place) etc.

2 - Our common relations with the rest of the Christian world:-

+ There were several recommendations for a joint front :

  - To adopt the same attitude in theological dialogues with the World Council
    of Churches and other ecumenical movements. 

  - To  issue  a  joint  communique  against  the modern conceptions which are
    completely in contradiction with our Apostolic tradition,  whether related
    to faith or  ecclesiastical issues,  such as the ordination of women,  and
    the moral issues. 

  - Common   work  in   neutralising  the   trends  of  proselytism   and  the
    confrontation of  religious  groups  who mislead believers from the faith,
    such as Jehovah's witnesses, Adventists, etc ...... 

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                      CHAMBESY, GENEVA 23-28 Sep 1990

+ Over  six days the third meeting  of  the Joint  Commission  was held at the
  Orthodox  Centre  of  the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  They produced a ``Second
  Agreed  Statement and  Recommendations to the  Churches'',  and  a four part
  appendix  related  to  the  report  of  the  Joint Sub-Committee on Pastoral
  Problems from their meeting at Anba Bishoy Monastery.

        I. Second Agreed Statement and Recommendations to the Churches

+ They  reaffirmed  our  common faith based  on the first  Agreed Statement on
  Christology.   Points  reiterated  were  the condemnation of the heresies of
  Eutyches  and Nestorius;  the Incarnation  of the Logos from the Holy Spirit 
  and the Virgin Mary Theotokos,  to become fully consubstantial with us;  the
  hypostatic union of  His divine and human natures with their proper energies
  and  wills naturally without confusion, without change, without division and
  without separation, being distinguished in thought alone;  the acceptance of
  the  first  three  ecumenical  councils  as  common  heritage  and  a mutual
  understanding of respective views on the four later councils; 
  the veneration of icons.

+ They stated  a clear understanding that  both families have  always  loyally
  maintained  the  same  authentic  Orthodox  Christological  faith,  and  the 
  unbroken continuity  of  the apostolic tradition,  though they may have used
  Christological  terms  in  different  ways.   It  is  this common faith  and
  continuous loyalty  to the  apostolic  tradition that should be the basis of 
  our unity and communion.

+ They recommended that all the anathemas and condemnations of the  past which
  now  divide  us  should  be lifted  by the  Churches  in order that the last
  obstacle to the full unity  and communion of our two families can be removed
  by the grace and power of God.   The manner in which the anathemas are to be
  lifted should be decided by the Churches individually.

                   II. Recommendations on Pastoral Issues

(A) Relations among our two families of Churches:

+ They felt that a period of intense  preparation of our people to participate
  in  the  restoration of  communion of our  Churches  is needed.  This should
  include an exchange of visits by our heads of Churches and prelates, priests
  and lay people of each one of our two families of Churches to the other; and
  further encouragement to the exchange of theological professors and students
  among theological institutions  of the two families for periods varying from
  one week to several years.

+ In localities where  Churches of the  two families co-exist,  they suggested
  that  the  congregations  should  organize participation in one  Eucharistic
  worship on a sunday or feast day.

+ Again  the  need for various  publications to reach the people  was  stated;
  these would include the key documents of the Joint Commission,  a summary of
  Christological terminology as it was used in history and in the light of our
  agreed statement on Christology,  a descriptive  book about all the Churches 
  of our two families,  brief books of  Church History  giving a more positive
  understanding of the divergencies of the fifth, sixth and seventh centuries.

+ They recognised  each others  baptism's and suggested  that where  conflicts
  arise between Churches of our two families over marriages,  annulments etc.,
  the  Churches involved should come to bilateral agreements on the procedure
  to be adopted until such problems are finally solved by our union.

(B) Relations of our Churches with other Christian Churches:

+ They  agreed with the Joint  Sub-Committee that  our common participation in
  the ecumenical movement needs better co-ordination to make it more effective
  and fruitful.

+ There was a suggestion for small joint consultations on issues like :

 (a) The position and role of the woman in the life of the Church / the
     ordination of women to the priesthood,

 (b) Pastoral care for mixed marriages between Orthodox and heterodox
     Christians, 

 (c) Marriages between Orthodox Christians and members of other religions,

 (d) The Orthodox position on annulment of marriage, divorce and separation of
     married couples,

 (e) Abortion, 

 (f) Proselytism,

 (g) The theology and practice of Uniatism in the Roman Catholic Church (as a
     prelude to a discussion with the Roman Catholic Church on this subject).

+ There was  found to be a need  for another joint consultation to co-ordinate
  the results of the several bilateral  conversations  now going on or held in
  the  past  by  the  Churches of  our  two families with other  Catholic  and
  Protestant Churches.

(C) Our common service to the world of suffering, need, injustice and
    conflicts:

+ They called for the co-ordination of our existing  schemes for promoting our
  humanitarian and philanthropic projects in the  socio-ethnic  context of our
  peoples and of the world at large.  This would entail our common approach to
  such problems as : hunger and poverty,  sickness  and suffering,  political,
  religious and social  discriminations,  refugees and victims of war,  youth,
  drugs and unemployment, the mentally and physically handicapped, the aged.

(D) Our co-operation in the propagation of the Christian Faith:

+ This includes mutual co-operation  in the work of our  inner mission to  our
  people, and also collaborating with each other and with the other Christians 
  in the Christian mission to the world.

4. COMMUNIQUES
--------------

                                 AARHUS  1964
                               AGREED STATEMENT

Ever since the second  decade of our  century representatives of  our Orthodox
Churches, some accepting seven Ecumenical Councils and others accepting three,
have often met in ecumenical gatherings. The desire to know  each other and to
restore our  unity  in the one  Church  of Christ has  been growing all  these
years.  Our meeting together in Ithodos at the Pan-Orthodox Conference of 1961
confirmed this desire.

Out of this has come  about our unofficial gathering  of  fifteen  theologians
from both sides, for three days of informal  conversations, in connection with
the meeting of the Faith and Order Commission in Aarhus, Denmark.

We have  spoken   to  each  other in  the  openness of  charity and  with  the
conviction of  truth. All of us  have learned from each  other.  Our inherited
misunderstandings have begun to clear up.  We recognize in  each other the one
orthodox faith of the Church.  Fifteen centuries of alienation have not led us
astray from the faith of our fathers.

In our common study of the Council of Chalcedon, the well known phrase used by
our common  father in Christ,  St. Cyril of  Alexandria,  mia physis  (or  mia
hypostasis) lou Theou Logou sesarkomene (the one physis or hypostasis of God's
Word Incarnate) with its implications, was at the centre of our conversations.
On   the  essence of  the  Christological   dogma   we found ourselves in full
agreement. Through the different terminologies  used by each side,  we saw the
same  truth expressed.  Since  we agree in   rejecting without reservation the
teaching of Eutyches as well as of Nestorius, the acceptance or non-acceptance
of the Council of Chalcedon  does not entail the acceptance  of either heresy.
Both sides  found  themselves   fundamentally  following  the   Christological
teaching of the one undivided Church as expressed by St. Cyril.

The Council of   Chalcedon  (451),  we  realize,  can  only be understood   as
reaffirming the decisions of Ephesus (431),  and  best understood in the light
of   the later  Council  of Constantinople  (553).    All  councils,   we have
recognized,  have to be   seen as  stages  in an  integral development  and no
council or dent should be studied in isolation.

The significant  role  of political, sociological   and  cultural  factors  in
creating tension between factions in the past should be recognized and studied
together. They should not, however, continue to divide us.

We see the need to  move forward together.  The  issue at stake is  of crucial
importance to all churches in the East and West alike and for the unity of the
whole Church of Jesus Christ.

The  Holy Spirit,  Who indwells   the Church  of Jesus  Christ,  will lead  us
together  to the fullness of  truth  and of love. To  that end we respectfully
submit to our churches the fruit  of our common  work  of three days together.
Many practical problems remain, but the same Spirit Who  led us  together here
will, we believe, continue to lead our churches to a common solution of these.

Eastern Orthodox                          Oriental Orthodox
----------------                          -----------------
Bishop Emilianos,                         Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan,
Ecumenical Patriarchate                   Armenian Apostlotic Church 

The Very Rev. Prof. G. Florovsky,         Bishop Karein Sarkissian, 
Ecumenical Patriarchate                   Armenian Apostlotic Church

The Very Rev. Prof. J.S. Romanides        Archbishop Mar Severius Zakka Iwas 
Ecumenical Patriarchate                   Syrian Orthodox Church 

The Very Rev. Prof. Vitaly Borovoy        Metropolitan  Mar Thoma Dionysius
Russian Orthodox Church                   Orthodox Syrian Church of the East

The Rev. Prof. J. Meyendorff              The Rev. Father Dr. N.J. Thomas
Russian Orthodox Greek                    Orthodox Syrian Church of the East
Catholic Church of North America

Prof. J.N. Karmiris                       Like Siltanat Habte Mariam Worqineh
Church of Greece                          Ethiopian Orthodox Church

Prof G. Konidaris                         The Rev. Prof. V.C.Sammuel
Church of Greece                          Orthodox Syrian Church of the East

Dr. K.N. Khella 
Coptic Orthodox Church 

Dr. Getachew Haile 
Ethiopian Orthodox Church

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                  BRISTOL 1967
                                AGREED STATEMENT

1.  We give thanks  to God that we  have  been able  to  come together for the
second time as  a study group, with  the  blessing of  the authorities of  our
respective Churches. In Aarhus we  discovered much common  ground  for seeking
closer ties among our Churches. In Bristol we have found  several new areas of
agreement. Many questions still remain to be  studied and settled. But we wish
to make a few common affirmations.

                                   -- ONE --

2. God's infinite love for mankind, by which He has both created and saved us,
is our  starting point  for apprehending the  mystery of the union  of perfect
Godhead and perfect manhood in our Lord Jesus Christ. It  is for our salvation
that God the Word became one  of us.   Thus He who  is consubstantial with the
Father became by the Incarnation consubstantial also with us.  By His infinite
grace God has called us to attain to His uncreated glory. God became by nature
man that man may become by grace God. The manhood  of Christ thus  reveals and
realizes the true  vocation of man. God draws   us into fullness  of communion
with Himself in the Body of Christ, that we  may be transfigured from glory to
glory. It is in this  soteriological perspective that  we  have approached the
Christological question.

3. We were reminded again of our common fathers in the universal  Church - St.
lgnatius and St.  Irenaeus, St. Anthony and St.  Athanasius, St. Basil and St.
Gregory of Nyssa and St. John Chrysostom, St.  Ephraim Syrus and  St. Cyril of
Alexandria and many others  of venerable memory.  Based on  their teaching, we
see the  integral relation between  Christology and  soteriology and  also the
close relation of both to the doctrine of God  and  to the doctrine of man, to
ecclesiology and  to spirituality, and  to  the whole  liturgical life of  the
Church.

4. Ever since the fifth century,  we  have used different  formulae to confess
our common  faith in the One Lord  Jesus Christ,  perfect God and perfect Man.
Some of us affirm two natures, wills and energies hypostatically united in the
One Lord Jesus Christ. Some of us affirm one united  divine-human nature, will
and energy in the  same Christ.  But  both  sides  speak of  a  union  without
confusion, without   change, without division,  without  separation.  The four
adverbs belong to our common tradition.  Both affirm the dynamic permanence of
the God- head   and the Manhood,  with   all  their   natural  properties  and
faculties, in  the one  Christ. Those who  speak  in terms of ``two''   do not
thereby divide or separate. Those who speak in terms of ``one'' do not thereby
commingle or  confuse. The  ``without division, without  separation'' of those
who  say ``two,'' and the ``without  change, without confusion'' of  those who
say ``one'' need to  be specially underlined, in order  that we may understand
each other.

5. In this  spirit, we have discussed also  the  continuity of doctrine in the
Councils of  the Church, and   especially  the  monenergistic and  monothelete
controversies of the seventh century. All of us agree  that the human  will is
neither absorbed nor suppressed by the divine will in the Incarnate Logos, nor
are they contrary one  to the  other. The  uncreated and created natures, with
the fullness of their natural  properties  and  faculties, were united without
confusion  or separation, and   continue to  operate in  the  one Christ,  our
Saviour. The position of those who wish to speak of one  divine-human will and
energy united without confusion or separation does  not appear therefore to be
incompatible  with the  decision  of the Council of  Constantinople  (680-81),
which affirms  two natural wills   and two natural energies  in  Him  existing
indivisibly, inconvertibly, inseparably, inconfusedly.

6.  We have sought  to formulate several questions  which  need further  study
before the full communion  between our Churches  can be  restored. But we  are
encouraged by the common mind we have on some fundamental issues to pursue our
task of common   study  in the hope   that  despite the difficulties we   have
encountered the Holy Spirit will lead us on into full agreement.

                               -- TWO --

7. Our mutual contacts in the recent past have convinced us that it is a first
priority for our Churches  to explore with a great  sense of  urgency adequate
steps to restore the full communion between our Churches, which has been sadly
interrupted for  centuries  now. Our conversations  at Aarhus in  1964  and at
Bristol in 1967 have shown us that, in order to achieve this end  by the grace
of God, our Churches need to pursue certain preliminary actions.

8. The remarkable measure of agreement so far reached among the theologians on
the   Christological teaching   of    our Churches should   soon   lead to the
formulation of a joint  declaration in which we  express  together in the same
formula our common faith in the One Lord Jesus Christ whom we  all acknowledge
to be  perfect God and perfect  Man.  This formula,  which  will  not have the
status of a confession of faith or of a creed,  should be drawn up by  a group
of theologians officially  commissioned by the  Churches, and submitted to the
Churches  for   formal and authoritative   approval,  or  for  suggestions for
modifications which will  have to be  considered   by the commission before  a
final text is approved by the Churches.

9. In addition to proposing a formula of agreement on the basic Christological
faith in relation to the nature, will and energy of our one Lord Jesus Christ,
the joint  theological  commission  will also  have to examine  the canonical,
liturgical and jurisdictional problems involved - e.g anathemas and liturgical
deprecations by some Churches of theologians regarded by others as doctors and
saints of the Church, the acceptance  and nonacceptance  of some Councils, and
the   jurisdictional   assurances  and   agreements  necessary before   formal
restoration of communion.

10. We submit  this agreed statement  to the  authorities  and peoples of  our
Churches with great  humility  and deep respect.  We  see our task  as a study
group only  in terms of  exploring together  common  possibilities  which will
facilitate action by the Churches. Much work  still needs to  be done, both by
us and by the Churches, in order that the unity for which our  Lord prayed may
become real in the life of the Churches.

Eastern Orthodox                          Oriental Orthodox
----------------                          -----------------
Metropolitan Emilianos                    Vardapet Arsen Berberian
Ecumenical Patriarchate                   Armenian Apostolic Church

The Very Rev. Prof. G. Florovsky          Dr. K.N. Khella
Ecumenical Patriarchate                   Coptic Orthodox Church

The Very Rev. Prof. J.S. Romanides        Vardapet Dr. M.K.Krekorian
Ecumenical Patriarchate                   Armenian Apostolic Church

Archpriest V. Borovoy                     Ato G.E. Mikre Selassie
Russian Orthodox Church                   Ethiopian Orthodox Church

The Rev. Prof. J. Meyendorff              Metropolitan Theophilos Philippos
Russian Orthodox Greek                    Orthodox Syrian Church of the East
Catholic Church of North America

Archimandrite D. Papandreou               Bishop Samuel
Church of Greece                          Coptic Orthodox Church

Prof. G. Konidaris                        The Rev. Prof. V.C. Samuel
Church of Greece                          Orthodox Syrian Church of the East

Prof N.A. Nissiotis                       Rev. Fr. P. Verghese
Church of Greece                          Orthodox Syrian Church of the East 

Prof. N. Chitescu
Romanian Orthodox Church

Metropolitan Nikodim Sliven
Bulgarian Orthodox Church

Prof. E. Tsonievsky
Bulgarian Orthodox Church

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                GENEVA 1970

                       1. SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS

1.  The third unofficial consultation between  the theologians of the Oriental
Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox Churches was held from August 16-21, 1970 at the
Cenacle, Geneva, in an atmosphere of openness and  trust which has  been built
up thanks   to the two  previous conversations   at Aarhus (1964) and  Bristol
(1967).

                  REAFFIRMATION OF CHRISTOLOGICAL AGREEMENT

2.  We have reaffirmed our agreements at Aarhus and Bristol  on  the substance
of our common Christology. On the essence of the  Christological dogma our two
traditions, despite fifteen centuries  of separation, still find themselves in
full and deep  agreement with  the universal  tradition of  the  one undivided
Church. It is the teaching of the blessed Cyril on the hypostatic union of the
two natures in Christ  that   we  both affirm,  though we may   use  differing
terminology  to   explain this  teaching.  We  both teach    that  He  who  is
consubstantial with the Father according to Godhead became consubstantial also
with us according to humanity in  the Incarnation, that He who  was before all
ages  begotten from the  Father,  was in these last days  for us  and  for our
salvation born of the blessed Virgin Mary, and that in Him the two natures are
united in the  one hypostasis of the Divine  Logos, without confusion, without
change, without division, without separation. Jesus Christ is perfect  God and
perfect man, with all the properties and  faculties that belong to Godhead and
to humanity.

3.  The human will and energy of Christ are neither absorbed nor suppressed by
His divine will and energy, nor are the former  opposed to the latter, but are
united together in perfect concord without division or confusion; He who wills
and   acts is  always  the One  hypostasis  of   the Logos Incarnate.   One is
Emmanuel, God and Man, Our Lord and Saviour, Whom we adore and worship and who
yet is one of us.

4.  We have become convinced that our agreement extends  beyond Christological
doctrine to embrace other aspects also of  the authentic  tradition, though we
have not discussed  all matters in detail. But  through visits to  each other,
and through study of each  other's  liturgical traditions  and theological and
spiritual writings, we have rediscovered,  with a sense  of  gratitude to God,
our   mutual agreement in the  common  tradition  of  the   One Church  in all
important  matters liturgy and  spirituality, doctrine and canonical practice,
in our understanding of  the Holy  Trinity,  of the Incarnation, of the Person
and Work of the Holy Spirit, on the nature of  the  Church as the Communion of
Saints with its ministry and Sacraments, and on the life of  the world to come
when our Lord and Saviour shall come in all his glory.

5.  We pray that the Holy Spirit may continue to draw us  together to find our
full unity  in the  one Body  of Christ. Our  mutual   agreement is not merely
verbal or conceptual it is a deep agreement that impels us to beg our Churches
to consummate our union by bringing together again the  two lines of tradition
which have been separated  from each other  for historical reasons for such  a
long time. We work in the hope that our Lord will grant us full unity  so that
we can celebrate together  that unity in   the Common  Eucharist. That is  our
strong desire and final goal.

                                SOME DIFFERENCES

6.  Despite our agreement on the substance of  the tradition, the  long period
of separation has brought about  certain differences  in the formal expression
of   that   tradition.  These  differences    have  to   do with three   basic
ecclesiological issues - (a) the meaning and place of certain councils  in the
life of the  Church, (b)  the anathematization   or acclamation  as  Saints of
certain  controversial  teachers in the  Church,  and  (c)  the jurisdictional
questions related to manifestation   of  the unity  of the  Church  at  local,
regional and world levels.

(a) Theologians from the Eastern Orthodox Church have drawn  attention  to the
fact that for them the Church teaches that the seven ecumenical councils which
they acknowledge have  an inner  coherence  and  continuity that  make them  a
single  indivisible  complex  to be  viewed   in  its   entirety  of  dogmatic
definition. Theologians from the  Oriental Orthodox Church feel, however, that
the authentic Christological tradition  has so far been  held  by  them on the
basis of the  three ecumenical councils,  supplemented  by  the liturgical and
patristic tradition of the Church. It is our hope that further study will lead
to the solution of this problem by the decision of our Churches.

As for the   Councils and their  authority for   the tradition, we  all  agree
that the  Councils should be seen as  charismatic  events in  the life of  the
Church  rather  than as an authority over  the Church; where some Councils are
acknowledged  as true Councils,  whether as  ecumenical or  as  local,  by the
Church's tradition,  their authority is  to  be seen as coming from   the Holy
Spirit. Distinction is to be  made  not only between the doctrinal definitions
and canonical legislations of  a Council, but also  between the true intention
of the dogmatic  definition of a  Council and  the  particular terminology  in
which it is expressed,  which latter has less  authority than  the  intention.

(b) The  reuniting  of  the  two  traditions  which  have their  own  separate
continuity poses certain problems  in relation to  certain revered teachers of
one  family being condemned   or anathematized  by the other.   It may  not be
necessary formally to  lift these  anathemas,   nor for these  teachers to  be
recognised as Saints by the condemning side.  But the restoration of Communion
obviously implies, among other  things, that formal anathemas and condemnation
of revered teachers of the other side should be discontinued as in the case of
Leo, Dioscurus, Severus, and others.

(c)  It is recognised that jurisdiction  is  not  to  be regarded  only  as an
administrative matter, but that  it also touches the  question of ecclesiology
in some   aspects.   The  traditional pattern  of  territorial   autonomy   or
autocephaly has its own pragmatic, as well as theological, justification.  The
manifestation of local unity in the early  centuries was to  have  one bishop,
with one college of presbyters united in one  Eucharist. In more  recent times
pragmatic considerations, however, have  made it  necessary  in some cases  to
have more than one bishop and one Eucharist in one city,  but  it is important
that the norm required by the nature of the Church be safe guarded at least in
principle   and  expressed  in  Eucharistic Communion   and in local conciliar
structures.

7.  The universal tradition of  the Church does  not demand uniformity  in all
details of doctrinal formulation, forms of worship and canonical practice. But
the limits of pluralistic variability  need to be more  clearly worked out, in
the areas of the forms of worship, in terminology of expressing  the faith, in
spirituality,   in canonical  practice,  in administrative  or  jurisdictional
patterns, and in   the other  structural or  formal expressions  of tradition,
including the names of teachers and Saints in the Church.

                    TOWARDS A STATEMENT OF RECONCILIATION

8.  We reaffirm the  suggestion made by the  Bristol consultation that  one of
the next steps is for the Churches of our two families  to appoint an official
joint commission to examine those things which  have separated us in the past,
to discuss our mutual agreements and disagreements and to see if the degree of
agreement is adequate to justify the  drafting of an explanatory  statement of
reconciliation, which will not have the  status of a  confession of faith or a
dogmatic definition, but can be the basis on  which our  Churches can take the
steps necessary for our being united in a common Eucharist.

We have given attention to  some  of the  issues  that  need to be  officially
decided in such a statement  of  reconciliation. Its  basic  content would  of
course be the common  Christological agreement; it  should be made  clear that
this is not an innovation on either side, but an  explanation of what has been
held  on both  sides for  centuries, as  is  attested  by  the liturgical  and
patristic   documents.  The common  understanding    of   Christology  is  the
fundamental  basis   for   the life,  orthodoxy and   unity   of  the  Church.

Such a statement of reconciliation could make use of the theology of St. Cyril
of Alexandria as well as  expressions  used in the Formula  of Concord  of 433
between St. Cyril and John of Antioch, the terminology used in  the four later
Councils   and in the   patristic and liturgical  texts on   both  sides. Such
terminology should  not  be  used   in an  ambiguous  way  to cover  up   real
disagreement, but  should help to  make manifest   the agreement that   really
exists.

                              SOME PRACTICAL STEPS

9.  Contacts  between Churches of the two  families have developed  at  a pace
that is encouraging. Visits to each other, in some cases at the level of heads
of Churches, and in others at episcopal level or at the  level  of theologians
have helped  to mark further progress  in the growing degree  of mutual trust,
understanding and agreement.  Theological students from the  Oriental Orthodox
Churches have been studying in institutions  of the  Eastern Orthodox Churches
for some  time  now; special  efforts  should  be made now  to  encourage more
students  from the Eastern  Orthodox  Churches to  study  in Oriental Orthodox
institutions.  There   should  be more exchange at   the level of  theological
professors and church dignitaries.

It is our hope and prayer that  more official action  on  the part of  the two
families of  Churches will make the continuation  of this series of unofficial
conversations no longer necessary. But much work still needs to be  done, some
of which can be initiated at an informal level.

10.  With this in  mind this third  unofficial meeting of theologians from the
two families constitutes:

(a)  a   Continuation Committee of   which  all the participants  of the three
conversations at  Aarhus, Bristol and Geneva  would be  corresponding members,
and

(b) a Special Executive Committee of this Continuation Committee consisting of
the  following  members, and who  shall  have  the functions  detailed further
below:

 1. Metropolitan Emilianos of Calabria
 2. Archpriest Vitaly Borovoy
 3. Vardapet Mesrob Krikorian
 4. Professor Nikos Nissiotis
 5. Father Paul Verghese

Functions:

(a)  To  edit, publish and transmit  to the  Churches a report   of this third
series of conversations, through the Greek Orthodox Theological Review.

(b) To produce, on the basis of a common statement of  which  the substance is
agreed upon in   this meeting,  a resume of   the   main points of  the  three
unofficial conversations in a form  which can be discussed, studied  and acted
upon by the different autocephalous Churches;

(c) To publish a handbook containing  statistical, historical, theological and
other information regarding the various autocephalous Churches;

(d) To explore the possibility  of constituting  an association of Theological
Schools, in which  all the seminaries, academies  and theological faculties of
the various autocephalous Churches of both families can be members;

(e) To publish a periodical which will  continue to  provide information about
the  autocephalous Churches and  to pursue further  discussion of theological,
historical and ecclesiological issues;

(f) To make available to the Churches the original sources for an informed and
accurate study  of  the historical   developments  in the common  theology and
spirituality as well as the mutual relations of our Churches;

(g) To sponsor or encourage  theological consultations  on  local, regional or
world levels, with a view to deepening our  own understanding of, and approach
to, contemporary problems especially  in relation to  our participation in the
ecumenical movement;

(h) To explore the possibilities of and to carry out the preliminary steps for
the establishment of one or more common research centres where theological and
historical  studies in  relation to the  universal  orthodox  tradition can be
further developed;

(i) To explore the possibility of producing materials  on  a common  basis for
the  instruction  of our believers    including children  and  youth and  also
theological text-books.

Eastern Orthodox                          Oriental Orthodox
----------------                          -----------------

Dr. A. Arvanitis                          Kahali Alemu C.
Church of Greece                          Ethiopian Orthodox Church

Archpriest V. Borovoy                     The Very Rev. N. Bozabalian
Russian Orthodox Church                   Armenian Apostolic Church

Prof. N. Chitescu                         Abba G.E. Degou
Romanian Orthodox Church                  Ethiopian Orthodox Church

Metropolitan Emilianos                    Bishop Gregorius
Ecumenical Patriarchate                   Coptic Orthodox Church

The Very Rev. Prof. G. Florovsky          Metropolitan Severius Zakka Iwas
Ecumenical Patriarchate                   Syrian Orthodox Church of India

Metropolitan Georges                      The Rev. Dr. K.C. Joseph
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch    Syrian Orthodox Church of India

Prof. J.Karmiris                          Dr. M.K.Krekorian
Church of Greece                          Armenian Apostolic Church

Prof. G. Konidaris                        Metropolitan Theophilos Philippos
Church of Alexandria                      Syrian Orthodox Church of India

The Rev. Prof. J. Meyendorff              Rev. Fr. P. Verghese
Orthodox Church in America                Syrian Orthodox Church of India

Metropolitan Nikodim                      Liqe Seltanat Habte Mariam Worqneh
Bulgarian Orthodox Church                 Ethiopian Orthodox Church

Prof N.A. Nissiotis 
Church of Greece

Archimandrite D. Papandreou
Church of Greece 

Prof. B. Piperov
Bulgarian Orthodox Church

The Very Rev. Prof. J.S. Romanides
Church of Greece

Prof. L. Voronov
Russian Orthodox Church

Dr. J.D. Zizioulas
Church of Greece

Prof. I. Zonewski
Bulgarian Orthodox Church

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                             ADDIS ABABA 1971
                       l. SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS

The following  conclusions  and questions   have arisen  out of  our  informal
discussions in Addis Ababa about the lifting of anathemas and  the recognition
of Saints:

l.  We agree that the lifting of the anathemas  pronounced by one side against
those regarded   as saints  and  teachers  by the  other  side seems to be  an
indispensable step on the way to unity between our two traditions,

2.  We are also agreed that the lifting of the anathemas would be with  a view
to  restoring  communion between our   two traditions, and   therefore that it
presupposes  essential unity  in  the faith  between  our two traditions.  The
official announcement by both sides that there is in fact such essential unity
in faith, a basis for which is already provided by the  reports of our earlier
conversations at Aarhus, Bristol and Geneva, would thus appear to be essential
for the lifting of anathemas.

3.  We agree further that once the anathemas against  certain persons cease to
be effective, there is no need to require their recognition as saints by those
who  previously anathematized   them. Different  autocephalous churches   have
differing liturgical calendars and lists of Saints. There is no need to impose
uniformity  in  this matter. The place of  these persons in the future  united
church can be discussed and decided after the union.

4.  Should there be  a formal declaration or  ceremony  in which the anathemas
are lifted? Many of  us felt  that it is much simpler  gradually to drop these
anathemas  in a quiet  way as some  churches have already  begun  to  do. Each
church should choose the way most suited to its situation. The fact that these
anathemas have been   lifted can then be   formally announced at  the time  of
union.

5.   Who has the authority   to lift these anathemas?  We  are agreed that the
Church has been given authority by her Lord both  to  bind  and to  loose. The
Church which imposed the anathemas for pastoral or other reasons of that time,
has also the power to lift them for the same pastoral  or other reasons of our
time. This is part of the stewardship or Oikonomia of the Church.

6.  Does the lifting of an anathema imposed by an  ecumenical council  call in
question the infallibility of the Church? Are we by such actions implying that
a  Council was  essentially mistaken    and therefore  fallible? What are  the
specific   limits within which   the   infallibility  of the  Church  with her
divine-human nature operates? We are agreed that the  lifting of the anathemas
is fully  within the  authority  of the Church and    does not  compromise her
infallibility in essential matters of the faith. There was some question as to
whether only another ecumenical council could lift  the anathema imposed by an
ecumenical council. There  was general agreement that a  Council is but one of
the  principal elements expressing  the authority of the Church,  and that the
Church has always   the authority to  clarify   the decisions of a  Council in
accordance with its true intention. No decision of a  Council can be separated
from  the total  tradition   of the Church.  Each   council  brings   forth or
emphasizes some special aspect of the one truth, and should therefore  be seen
as  stages  on the way  to a  fuller articulation of the truth.  The  dogmatic
definitions of  each council  are to be  understood and  made more explicit in
terms of subsequent conciliar decisions and definitions.

7. The  lifting of anathemas  should be  prepared for by careful study  of the
teaching   of these    men,  the  accusations    levelled  against  them,  the
circumstances under which they were anathematized,  and the true  intention of
their teaching.  Such study should be sympathetic  and motivated by the desire
to   understand and   therefore  to overlook  minor  errors.  An  accurate and
complete list of the  persons on both sides to  be  so studied should  also be
prepared.  The study should also   make a survey of   how anathemas have  been
lifted  in the   past.  It would appear  that  in  many instances in the  past
anathemas have been lifted without any formal action beyond the mere reception
of each other  by the  estranged parties on the basis  of their  common faith.
Such a  study would bring  out the variety  of  ways in which   anathemas were
imposed and lifted.

8. There has also to be a process of education in the churches both before and
after   the  lifting  of  the   anathemas,   especially  where  anathemas  and
condemnations are written into the liturgical texts and hymnody of the church.
The worshipping  people have to  be prepared to accept the  revised texts  and
hymns  purged  of  the condemnations. Each   church  should make  use   of its
ecclesiastical journals and  other media for the  pastoral preparation of  the
people.

9. Another important   element of such education   is the rewriting  of Church
history,   text-books,  theological   manuals     and catechetical  materials.
Especially  in Church history, there has  been a  temptation on  both sides to
interpret the sources on a  partisan basis. Common study  of the sources  with
fresh objectivity and an eirenic attitude can produce common  texts for use in
both our families. Since this  is a difficult  and time consuming  project, we
need  not await its completion  for the lifting  of anathemas or even  for the
restoration of Communion.

10. The editing of liturgical texts and hymns to  eliminate  the condemnations
is but part of the task of liturgical renewal. We need also to make use of the
infinite variety  and  richness of our  liturgical   traditions, so that  each
church can be enriched by the heritage of others.

11. There seems to exist some  need for a  deeper study of the question: ``Who
is a  Saint?''  Neither   the criteria for  sainthood   nor the processes  for
declaring  a person as  a  Saint  are  the  same  in  the  Eastern and Western
traditions. A study of the distinctions between  universal, national and local
saints, as well as of the processes  by which they  came to be acknowledged as
such, could be undertaken by Church historians and theologians. The lifting of
anathemas need not await the results  of such a study, but  may merely provide
the occasion for a necessary clarification of the tradition in relation to the
concept of sainthood.

12.  Perhaps we should conclude this statement with the observation  that this
is  now the fourth of  these unofficial  conversations  in  a period of  seven
years. It is  our hope that the work  done  at an  informal  level can soon be
taken  up   officially by the churches, so   that  the  work of  the Spirit in
bringing us together can now  find  full ecclesiastical response. In that hope
we submit this fourth report to the churches.

Eastern Orthodox                          Oriental Orthodox
----------------                          -----------------
Metropolitan Parthenion                   Bishop Samuel
Patriarchate of Alexandria                Coptic Orthodox Church

Metropolitan Nikodim                      Bishop K. Sarkissian 
Moscow Patriarchate                       Armenian Apostolic Church

Metropolitan Nikodim                      Rev. Fr. P. Verghese
Church of Greece                          Syrian Orthodox Church of India

Metropolitan Mathodios                    Dr. V.C. Samuel
Patriarchate of Alexandria                Syrian Orthodox Church of India

Archpriest L. Voronov                     Like Seltanat Habte Mariam Workineh
Moscow Patriarchate                       Ethiopian Orthodox Church

Prof. S. Agourides                        Prof. M. Selassie Gebre Ammanuel
Church of Greece                          Ethiopian Orthodox Church

Prof. N.A. Nissiotis                      Archimandrite N. Bozabalian
Church of Greece                          Armenian Apostolic Church

Prof. T. Sabev                            Archimandrite S. Kasparian
Church of Bulgaria                        Armenian Apostolic Church

Archpriest V. Borovoy                     Dr. K.M. Simon
Russian Orthodox Church                   Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate 

Prof. P. Fouyas                           Ato Abebaw Yigzaw
Church of Greece                          Ethiopian Orthodox Church

Dr. A. Mitsides                           Ato Adamu Amare
Church of Cyprus                          Ethiopian Orthodox Church

Fr. S. Hackel                             Ato Aberra Bekele
Russian Orthodox Church                   Ethiopian Orthodox Church 

Fr. N. Osolin                             Ato Wolde Selassie
Russian Orthodox Church                   Ethiopian Orthodox Church

                                          Ato Ayele Gulte
                                          Ethiopian Orthodox Church

                                          Archpriest Memher Ketsela 
                                          Ethiopian Orthodox Church

                                          Melakem Berhanat Tesfa 
                                          Ethiopian Orthodox Church

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                       CHAMBESY, 10-15 December, 1985

 Joint-Commission of the Theological Dialogue Between the Orthodox Church
            and the Oriental Orthodox Non-Chalcedonian Churches

After two  decades  of   unofficial theological   consultations   and meetings
(1964-1985), moved forward  by the reconciling  grace of the Holy Spirit,  we,
the representatives  of  the two  families of  the  Orthodox  tradition,  were
delegated by our Churches in their faithfulness  to the Holy  Trinity, and out
of their  concern for the unity of  the  Body of Jesus  Christ to take  up our
theological dialogue on an official level.

We thank God, the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son  and the Holy  Spirit, for
granting us the fraternal spirit of the love and understanding which dominated
our meeting throughout.

The first part  of  our discussions centered on  the   appellation of  the two
families  in   our dialogue. Some discussion   was  also  devoted to  the four
unofficial consultations of Aarhus (1964), Bristol (1967), Geneva  (1970), and
Addis Ababa (1971). It was thought that the  studies and ``agreed statements''
of these unofficial consultations  as well as the  studies of  our theologians
could provide useful material for our official dialogue.

A concrete form of methodology to be followed in our  dialogue  was adopted by
the Joint-Commission.  A Joint  Sub-Committee of six  theologians was  set up,
three from each side, with the mandate to prepare common  texts for our future
work.

For the next meetings, whose aim would be to re-discover our common grounds in
Christology and  Ecclesiology,    the following  main   theme  and  subsequent
sub-themes were agreed upon:

Towards a common Christology

 a) Problems of terminology
 b) Conciliar formulations
 c) Historical factors
 d) Interpretation of Christological dogmas today.

Special thanks  were expressed to  the Ecumenical Patriarchate   for convening
this official dialogue, as well as for the services  and facilities which were
offered for our first  meeting  here   in Chambesy,  Geneva,  at  the Orthodox
Centre.

We hope  that  the   faithful  of our   Churches will  pray with us   for  the
continuation and success of our work.

Prof. Dr. Chrysostomos Konstantinidis     Bishop Bishoy
Metropolitan of Myra                      Coptic Orthodox Church
Ecumenical Patriarchate                   Co-President of the Commission
                                          Co-President of the Commission

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                    CORINTH, 23rd to 26th September, 1987

        Meeting of the Joint Sub-Committee of the Joint-Commission
                     of the Theological Dialogue between
   the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox non-Chalcedonian Churches

We, a group of theologians forming and representing the Joint Sub-Committee of
the Joint-Commission of the theological  Dialogue  between the Orthodox Church
and the {\bf Oriental Orthodox non-Chalcedonian  Churches}, met at Corinth, in
Greece, from  23rd to 26th   September 1987 in  order  to  discuss problems of
terminology as decided by the first  Plenary Session (Chambesy, 10-15 December
1985).

Although  not all official members  of  the Joint Sub-Committee  were  able to
participate in this meeting  for different  reasons,  the group  however could
accomplish its mandate in preparing a common text for the future work.

We discuss the main problems of christological terminology and  were convinced
that though using some terms in different nuances or sense, both sides express
the same Orthodox  theology.  We  focused our dialogue  on  the terms: physis,
ousia, hypostasis,  prosopon,} and attested that they  have not been used with
conformity  in different traditions and  by different theologians  of the same
tradition. Following  St. Cyril who in  his key  phrase  sometimes used  ``mia
physis (tou theou Logou sesarkomeni)''  and  sometimes ``mia hypostasis'', the
non-Chalcedonians pay special attention to the formula  ``mia physis'', and at
the same time they confess  the ``mia hypostasis''  of Jesus Christ,  where as
the  Chalcedonians  stress  specially  the term ``hypostasis'' to  express the
unity of both the divine and human natures in Christ. Yet we all confirmed our
agreement that the unique and wonderful union of the two  natures of Christ is
a "hypostatic", natural and real unity.

We  affirmed that the term  "Theotokos" used for  the Virgin Mary,  is a basic
element of faith in our common tradition. In this connection  for the solution
of the terminological problems of Christology could be  helpful the confession
of St. Cyril of Alexandria, our common father:

``Almost the whole of our struggle is con central in order to assure that Holy
Virgin is "Theotokos" ''}, (Ep. 39, PG 77, 177).

``Therefore it is sufficient for the confession of our true and irreproachable
faith to say and to confess that the Holy Virgin is  ``Theotokos'',  (Hom. 15,
PG 77, 1093). 

We were convinced therefore, in confessing Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son
of God the Father, truly born of  the Holy and  Virgin Mary, our Churches have
avoided and rejected the heretical teachings  of both Nestorius  and Eutyches.
Both lines of terminological development produced  the same true faith through
different  terms, because both   condemned  Nestorianism and Eutychianism. The
common denominator of these two interpretations was the common doctrine of the
two  real births of  the Logos. The  Logos, the   Only-begotten  of the Father
before the ages, became man through His second  birth in  time from the Virgin
Mary. Both interpretations accepted the two real births of the  Logos, whereas
Nestorianism denied his second birth -  ``for that  which is born  of flesh is
flesh''. Every theologian who accepted the two  real births of  the Logos, was
to be considered orthodox, regardless to every terminological differentiation.

We concluded our discussions expressing our faith that the hypostatic union of
the two natures of Christ was necessary for  the salvation of  the human kind.
Only the Incarnate  Logos, as  perfect God  and at the  same time perfect man,
could redeem man and peoples from sin and condemnation.

The four attributes of the  wonderful union of  the natures belong also to the
common tradition of the  Chalcedonian  and non-Chalcedonian Christology, since
both  sides speak   of it as ``without  confusion,   without  change,  without
division, without separation''.  Both affirm  the  dynamic  permanence of  the
Godhead and the Manhood  with  all their natural properties and  faculties, in
the one Christ. Those who speak in terms  of ``two'',  don't thereby divide or
separate. Those  who speak  in terms  of  ``one'', don't thereby  co-mingle or
confuse. The ``without division, without separation'' of those who say ``two''
and the ``without change, without confusion'' of those who say``one'', need to
be specially  underlined, in order that   we  may understand  and  accept each
other.

Heart-felt thanks were expressed  to His Eminence Panteleimon, Metropolitan of
Corinth and  president of the Commission  of Interorthodox Relations, for  his
friendly and generous hospitality  as well as for  the services and facilities
offered for our meeting in Corinth.

We hope    that  the faithful  of  our Churches  will  pray  with  us  for the
continuation and success of our dialogue.

Elias                                     Bishoy 
Metropolitan of Beirut                    Bishop of Damiette

Chrysostomos                              Dr. Mesrob K. Krikorian
Metropolitan of Peristerion               Patriarchal Delegate for Central
Europe and Sweden

Prof. Vlassios Phidas                     Father Tadros Y. Malaty
Canada                                    Coptic Orthodox Church

                                          Secretary: Dr. M.K.Krikorian,
                                          Kolonitzgasse 11/11, 1030 Vienna,
                                          Austria

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                         EGYPT, 20-24 June, 1989

                Anba Bishoy Monastery - Wadi El-Natroun

         Joint Commision of the Theological Dialogue between
        the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches

The second meeting of the Joint Commission of the Theological Dialogue between
the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches took place at  the Anba
Bishoy Monastery in Wadi-El-Natroun, Egypt from June 20th to 24th, 1989.

The official representatives of the two families of  the Orthodox Churches met
in an atmosphere of warm cordiality and Christian brotherhood for four days at
the guest house of the Patriarchal Residence at the Monastery, and experienced
the gracious   hospitality and   kindness of  the Coptic  Orthodox   Pope  and
Patriarch of Alexandria and his Church.

His Holiness Pope and Patriarch Shenouda addressed  the opening session of the
meeting and appealed  to the participants to  find a way  to restore communion
between the two families of Churches. The participants also travelled to Cairo
to listen to the weekly address of Pope  Shenouda to thousands of the faithful
in the Great Cathedral of Cairo. Pope Shenouda also  received the participants
at his residence later.

The twenty three participants came from  thirteen countries and represented 13
Churches.  The  main  item for  consideration was  the   report   of the Joint
Sub-Committee   of six  theologians   on   the  problems   of  terminology and
interpretation of Christological dogmas today. The meetings were co-chaired by
his  Eminence Metropolitan  Damaskinos of  Switzerland  and his  Grace  Bishop
Bishoy of Damiette. In his response to Pope  Shenouda  Metropolitan Damaskinos
appealed  to  the  participants   to overcome   the difficulties caused     by
differences of formulation. Words should serve and  express the essence, which
is our common search for restoration of full communion. `` This division is an
anomaly, a bleeding wound  in the body  of Christ, a  wound which according to
His will that we humbly serve, must be healed.''

A small drafting  group composed  of Metropolitan Paulos  Mar Gregorios of New
Delhi, Professor Vlassios Phidas, Prof. Fr. John Romanides,  Prof.  Dimitroff,
and Mr. Joseph Moris Faltas produced a brief  statement of faith  based on the
report   of  the  Joint Sub-Committee, in    which the  common  Christological
convictions  of the  two sides were  expressed.  This statement, after certain
modifications, was  adopted by  the Joint  Commission for  transmission to our
churches, for their approval and as an expression for our common faith, on the
way to restoration of full communion between the two families of Churches. The
statement follows :

                            Agreed Statement

We  have inherited from our  fathers in   Christ the one  apostolic faith  and
tradition,  though  as churches we  have been  separated  from  each other for
centuries. As two  families of Orthodox  Churches  long out of communion  with
each other we now pray and trust in God to restore that communion on the basis
of common apostolic faith of the undivided church of the first centuries which
we confess in our common creed.   What follows is  a simple reverent statement
of  what we do  believe, on our  way  to restore  communion  between   our two
families of Orthodox Churches.

Throughout our discussions we have  found our common ground  in the formula of
our  common  father, St. Cyril, of  Alexandria : mia   physis (hypostasis) tou
Theou Logou sesarkomene, and his  dictum   that `` it   is sufficient for  the
confession of our true and irreproachable faith to say and to confess that the
Holy Virgin is Theotokos (Hom : 15, cf. Ep. 39) ''.

Great indeed is the wonderful mystery of the Father, Son and  Holy Spirit, one
True God, one ousia in three hypostases or three prosopa.  Blessed be the Name
of the Lord our God, for ever and ever.

Great indeed  is also  the ineffable mystery  of the  Incarnation of  our Lord
Jesus Christ, for us and for our salvation.

The Logos, eternally consubstantial with the Father and the Holy Spirit in his
Divinity, has in  these last days,  become incarnate   of the Holy Spirit  and
Blessed Virgin Mary Theotokos, and thus became  man, consubstantial with us in
His humanity but without sin. He  is true God  and true  man at the same time,
perfect in His Divinity, perfect in His humanity. Because the  One she bore in
her womb was at the same time fully God as well as fully human we call her the
Blessed Virgin Theotokos.

When we speak of  the one composite  (synthetos)  hypostasis of our Lord Jesus
Christ, we do not say that in  Him a divine hypostasis  and a human hypostasis
came together. It is that the one  eternal hypostasis  of the Second Person of
the Trinity has assumed our  created human nature  in that act uniting it with
His own uncreated  divine  nature, to  form  an  inseparably  and unconfusedly
united real  divine-human  being,  the natures  being distinguished from  each
other in contemplation (theotia) only.

The  hypostasis of the   Logos before  the incarnation, even  with  His divine
nature, is of course  not  composite. The same   hypostasis, as distinct  from
nature, of the Incarnate Logos, is not composite either.  The unique theandric
person (prosopon) of Jesus Christ is one  eternal  hypostasis  who has assumed
human nature by the  Incarnation.  So  we call  that hypostasis  composite, on
account of the natures which are united to form one composite unity. It is not
the case  that our fathers used physis   and hypostasis always interchangeably
and confused the one with the other. The term hypostasis can be used to denote
both the person as distinct from nature, and also the person  with the nature,
for a hypostasis never in fact exists without a nature.

It  is the  same  hypostasis of the Second   Person of the  Trinity, eternally
begotten from the Father who in these last  days became a human  being and was
born  of the Blessed  Virgin. This is  the mystery of  the hypostatic union we
confess in humble  adoration - the  real union of  the  divine with the human,
with  all the  properties  and  functions  of  the  uncreated  divine  nature,
including natural will and natural energy, inseparably and unconfusedly united
with the created human nature with all its properties and functions, including
natural will and natural energy. It is the  Logos Incarnate who is the subject
of all the willing and acting of Jesus Christ.

We  agree  in  condemning the Nestorian   and  Eutychian heresies.  We neither
separate nor divide the human nature in Christ from His  divine nature, nor do
we think that the former was absorbed in the latter  and thus ceased to exist.

The four adverbs used to qualify the mystery of the hypostatic union belong to
our common    tradition - without  co-mingling (or   confusion) (asyngchytos),
without  change   (atreptos), without separation   (achoristos)   and  without
division (adiairetos). Those among us  who speak of two  natures in Christ, do
not thereby deny  their inseparable, indivisible  union;   those among  us who
speak of one  united divine-human nature  in  Christ do not  thereby deny  the
continuing dynamic presence in  Christ of the divine  and the  human,  without
change, without confusion.

Our mutual agreement is not limited to Christology,  but encompasses the whole
faith of the one undivided church of the  early centuries.  We are agreed also
in our  understanding  of the  Person and Work   of God  the  Holy Spirit, who
proceeds from the Father alone, and is always  adored with the  Father and the
Son.

The Joint Commission    also appointed  a Joint  Sub-Committee  for   Pastoral
Problems between  churches of the two  families, composed of the following ten
persons.

- Metropolitan Damaskinos, Co-President, Ex officio
- Bishop Bishoy, Co-President, Ex officio
- Prof. Vlassios Phidas, Co-Secretary, Ex officio
- Bishop Mesrob Krikorian, Co-Secretary, Ex officio
- Metropolitan Georges Khordr of Mt Liban
- Metropolitan Petros of Axum
- Prof. Gosevic (Serbia)
- Prof. Dr. K. M. George (India)
- A nominee of Patriarch Ignatius Zaka Iwas of Syria
- Metropolitan Gregorios of Shoa

This Joint Sub-Committee will have its first meeting from December 5th  to 9th
in Anba Bishoy Monastery and will prepare a report for the next meeting of the
Joint Commission.

It was also   decided  that  the next meeting  of the  Joint Commission  would
be held in September 1990 at Chambesy, Geneva, to consider :

a) The report of the Joint Sub-Committee on Pastoral Problems.
b) Conciliar formulations   and anathemas.   (Rev.   Prof. John S.  Romanides,
   H. E. Dr. Paulos Mar Gregorios).
c) Historical factors. (Prof. Vlassios Phidas, Rev. Father Tadros Y. Malaty).
d) Interpretation of Christological dogmas today. (Metropolitan Georges Khodr 
   of Mt Liban, Bishop Mesrob Krikorian, and Mr. Joseph Moris).
e) Future steps.

It  was  also decide  that  the  name of  the Joint Commission  would be Joint
Commission of the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches.

Eastern Orthodox                          Oriental Orthodox

Metropolitan Damaskinos Papandreouy       Bishop Bishoy 
Metropolitan of Switzerland               Bishop of Damiette

Orthodox Co-president of the Joint        General Secretary Holy Synod
Commission.                               Coptic Orthodox Church and 
                                          Orient. Orth. Co-president of 
                                          the Joint Commission.

Prof. Vlassios Phidas                     Dr. Paulos Mar Gregorios
Co-Secretary                              Metropolitan of Delhi 
Sec. to Synod for Inter Ch. Relations  
                                          Mr. Joseph Moris Faltas
                                          Dipl. Theol. Assistant Co-Secretary

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                     EGYPT, 31 January - 4 February, 1990
                    Anba Bishoy Monastery - Wadi El-Natroun

        Report of the Joint Sub-Committee about the Pastoral Problems

I-   The General Committee of    the Joint Theological  Dialogue between   the
Orthodox  Church  and  the Eastern   Orthodox  Churches, met   at  Anba Bishoy
Monastery   - Wadi El-Natroun,    during the period 31/1   -   4/2/1990. In an
atmosphere of   hearty love  and   Christian  brotherhood,  both His  Eminence
Metropolitan Damaskinos, Bishop of Switzerland and His Grace  Bishop Bishoy of
Damiette, chaired the works of the Committee.

At the inaugural session His Holiness Pope Shenouda III welcomed and addressed
the members, focussing on the importance of the joint agreement concerning the
issue of Christology, the text of which was signed by the Joint Commission for
the  Theological Dialogue in  its meeting in  summer 1989. He also pin pointed
the widespread acceptance of this agreement by everybody.

Moreover, he showed  great interest  in  the joint  work between  our churches
taking part  in the dialogue,  to overcome our pastoral problems. Furthermore,
he drew the attention of the Committee to the importance of mutual recognition
of Baptism, and taking into consideration marriage, divorce, etc .......

Both of the two Secretaries of the Committee  Professor Vlassios Vidas and Mr.
Joseph Morris Faltas, recorded the outcomes of  these discussions and then put
them down in the present text of the Report, which expresses the spirit of the
discussions and the  final proposals of the Joint   Sub-Committee for Pastoral
Affairs.

II- The Orthodox Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches have a clear feeling
that they live in,  and confess Jesus  Christ in the  same faith,  that is fed
continuously  and  uninterruptedly from the fatherly  apostolic  source of the
early  centuries.   The lack of   mutual understanding of  the  Christological
explanations and  expressions, did not affect  the substance  of the faith, in
the humanity at its fullness and the divinity at its fullness of the Incarnate
Logos Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God (Monogenis Eiou Oheou).

This  common feeling did  not  only  yield  many fruits,  in the  attempts  of
brotherhood and theological initiatives and discussions,  but also yielded the
common spiritual experience of the believers.

The greatest criterion of the fatherly apostolic tradition is  that  it formed
the  teachings,  worship of   God,  the  conception   of asceticism,   and the
ecclesiastic life in general. It  also identified  in the past, and even  more
today, the deep  meaning  of  brotherhood  and  spiritual approach between the
Orthodox Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

In this respect,  it is  worth confirming that  while   the faith unifies  us,
history  keeps us distant,  or isolates  brotherly  believers from each other.
This is because it creates ecclesiastical  practical problems, which often are
more difficult in its outcomes than those of the  historical difference, which
are caused by theological expressions or dogmatic explanations.

In fact, the start of the  official theological  dialogue between the Orthodox
Church and  the Oriental Orthodox Churches always  indicates the wealthy faith
and tradition that we possess, and the common basis  of  our faith through the
common theological texts.   However,  this alone does not  automatically solve
the problems of our ecclesiastical relations existing since many centuries.

And although these problems do  not have  a deep theological cause, they renew
the feelings of  suspicion and  pain among us,  and will diminish the value of
the theological fruits of our official dialogue that we started together.

Our assessment of the historical  theological problems through our theological
dialogue differs from  our assessment  of these problems through our practical
ecclesiastical   relations. This  does  not express  our  commitment as in the
theological  dialogue  we all    express   our agreement  of  our   overcoming
approximately   fifteen centuries  on  one hand,  and   in  our ecclesiastical
relations we still abide to the preservations of the past on the other.

In this case, we give  a perception  that  either the theological  dialogue is
theoretical and will remain without practical outcomes in the  liturgical life
of the Church, or that the actual liturgical practical life of the Church does
not interact with its theological reality.

Only love and common sincere  desire in unity  are able to complement what  is
lacking in our relations through the common faith and ties of love.

The reaction in  the Christian world  regarding the fruits of  our theological
dialogue, proves the importance of the effort exerted.

Today the approaching  and common  work  between the  Orthodox Church and  the
Oriental Orthodox Churches,  is  increasing  continuously, not only due to our
feeling of the same spirit,  but also due  to the need of  the Christian world
for the dogmatic and moral principles.

Denial of  the  divinity of Jesus Christ, authenticity  of the Holy Bible, the
problem of ordination of  women  to priesthood,  and  the problems  facing the
spiritual  life, impose on  us a  common witness, not  only in the area of the
Ecumenical Movement, but also to the civilised world of today.

The things  that separate us can be  overcome by the  spirit  of love,  mutual
understanding, and through our common witness to the whole world.

The proposals of the  Sub-Committee for Pastoral  Affairs can be identified in
two areas :-

  1- The relation of the two Orthodox Families.
  2- Our common relations with the rest of the Christian world.

1 - In the area of the relation between the two Orthodox families:-

a) The  official   ecclesiastical   acceptance  by the  two    parties of  the
theological agreement  related  to the Christology  and the  joint theological
text signed by the joint Committee for the dialogue,  as this will  also apply
to the ecclesiastical relations.

b) The clear official acceptance and recognition  of  the Baptism performed by
the two families through the spirit  of our common tradition and  the unity of
the mysteries and its distinctions as  regards the gifts granted on  one hand,
and on the other, we can  not separate Christ of the  mysteries from Christ of
the faith.

c) Regular attempts in our joint theological work to benefit of  the fruits of
our theological dialogue in the writings and publications of each  of  the two
families, towards a farther objective to create ecclesiastical relations. This
can be  realised through  exchanging the  theological writings, professors and
students of the Theological Institutes.

d) Preparation of publications to the congregation  of the two  families to be
acquainted with  what is taking place  in  the theological  dialogue,  and the
relations existing between us.

e) Joint confrontation of the  practical problems in the  two families such as
the problems of marriage -  divorce  (consideration of the marriage  as having
taken place) etc .  ....

f) Preparation of a book containing information about the churches taking part
in the dialogue.

g) A summary of the most important Christological terms together  with a brief
explanation and analysis, based upon the fathers' theology and writings.

h) Preparation and publication  in different languages  of a separate pamphlet
comprising the joint text agreed upon in the meeting of the committee  held in
July 1989,  related to  our  agreement on the   issue of Christology,  and its
necessity for the unity of the Church.

2 - Regarding our relation with the external world :-

The following is of utmost importance from the practical point of view :

a) Serious  joint  work of  the two  families  to adopt  the same  attitude in
relation to the theological dialogue within the framework of the World Council
of  Churches (WCC) and with   the countries  of  the whole  world  through the
ecumenical movement.

b)  To issue a  joint communique   against the  modern conceptions,  which are
completely in  contradiction  with   our  Apostolic tradition,  whether  those
related  to the faith  and the campaigns  of  suspicion, or  those related  to
ecclesiastical issues, such as the ordination of women, and the moral issues.

c) As regards the issue of the  woman's  position  in the church  and also not
allowing her to be ordained as  a priest, the attitude of  our churches is the
same.  Also the  joint  General  Committee   for  the Dialogue    can issue  a
declaration indicating  the importance  of the theological   basis, which will
depend upon the outcomes of  the World Orthodox Summit Meeting  held in Rhodos
in 1988, as well  as the address of  H.H. Pope Shenouda  III to the meeting of
the Anglican Churches held at Lambeth 1988, and other sources.

d) The common work in view of neutralising the trends of proselytism among the
churches.

e) The joint  work  to  confront  the  religious  groups who use  twisted  and
dangerous  means  to mislead  believers  from  the  faith,  such as  Jehovah's
witnesses, Adventists, etc ......

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                     GENEVA, September 23 - 28, 1990
         Orthodox Centre of Ecumenical Patriarchate - Chambesy

         Joint-Commission of the Theological Dialogue between
        the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches

INTRODUCTION

The third meeting of the Joint Commission of the  Theological Dialogue between
the Orthodox  Church  and the  Oriental Orthodox Churches  took place  at  the
Orthodox Centre   of  the Ecumenical    Patriarchate, Chambesy,  Geneva,  from
September 23rd to 28th, 1990.

The official representatives of the two families of  the Orthodox Churches and
their advisors met  in  an atmosphere of prayerful  waiting on the Holy Spirit
and warm, cordial, Christian brotherly affection. We  experienced the gracious
and generous hospitality  of  His Holiness Patriarch  Dimitrios I, through His
Eminence Metropolitan Damaskinos of Switzerland  in the Orthodox Centre of the
Ecumenical Patriarchate.  We were also received  two grand receptions,  one at
the residence of Metropolitan Damaskinos and the other at the residence of His
Excellency Mr.  Kerkinos, the Ambassador of  Greece to the United Nations, and
Mrs Kerkinos.

The 34 participants  (see list of  participants) came from Austria,  Bulgaria,
Cyprus,  Czechoslovakia,  Egypt,  Ethiopia,  Finland, Greece,  India, Lebanon,
Poland, Switzerland, Syria, U.K., U.S.A., U.S.S.R.  (Russian  Church, Georgian
Church and Armenian  Church), and Yugoslavia. The   six days of  meetings were
co-chaired by His Eminence  Metropolitan  Damaskinos of  Switzerland and   His
Grace Metropolitan  Bishoy of Damiette.  His Eminence  Metropolitan Damaskinos
in his inaugural address  exhorted the participants to ``work  in a  spirit of
humility, brotherly love and mutual  recognition'' so that  ``the  Lord of the
Faith and   Head of His  Church''  will  guide us by the  Holy  Spirit  on the
speedier way towards unity and communion.

The meeting  received  two reports,  one from its   Theological Sub-Committee,
which met at the Orthodox Centre,  Chambesy (20-22, 1990), and  the other from
its  Sub-Committee   on  Pastoral Relations,  which  met  at the  Anba  Bishoy
Monastery, Egypt (Jan 31 - Feb 4, 1990). The  following  papers which had been
presented    to  the Theological   Sub-Committee  were    distributed  to  the
participants:

1. ``Dogmatic Formulations and Anathemas by Local and Ecumenical Synods within
their Social Context'', Rev. Prof. John S. Romanides, Church of Greece.

2.  ``Anathemas  and  Conciliar Decisions   - Two   Issues to be  settled  for
Restoration   of  Communion   among  Oriental  Orthodox  and Eastern  Orthodox
Churches'', Dr.  Paulos Mar Gregorios, Metropolitan  of Delhi, Orthodox Syrian
Church of the East.

3. ``Historical Factors and the  Council of Chalcedon'', Rev. Fr.  T.Y.Malaty,
Coptic Orthodox Church.

4. ``Historical Factors and the Terminology of the Synod of Chalcedon (451)'',
Prof.  Dr. Vlassios Phidas, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria.

5. ``Interpretation of  Christological   Dogmas Today'',   Metropolitan George
Khodr, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch.

6. ``Interpretation of Christological Dogmas Today'', Bishop Mesrob Krikorian,
Armenian Apostolic Church of Etchmiadzin.

The six papers and the two Sub-Committee reports, along with the  ``Summary of
Conclusions'' of the  Fourth Unofficial Conversations   at  Addis Ababa (1971)
which was appended to the reports of the Theological Sub-Committee, formed the
basis of our intensive and friendly discussion on the issues and actions to be
taken. A    drafting   committee  composed   of  Metropolitan   George  Khodr,
Metropolitan Paulos  Mar Gregorios,  Archbishop Kashishian, Archbishop Garima,
Rev. Prof. John Romanides, Metropolitan  Matta Mar Eustathius  (Syria),  Prof.
Ivan Dimitrov (Bulgaria)  with Prof.   V.  Phidas  and  Bishop  Krikorian   as
co-secretaries, produced the  draft    for the  Second  Agreed  Statement  and
Recommendations to Churches.   Another  drafting  committee  composed of Prof.
Papavassiliou   (Cyprus),  Bishop Christoforos  (Czechoslovakia), Metropolitan
Paulos Mar  Gregorios and Liqaselttanat Habtemariam   (Ethiopia), with Fr. Dr.
George  Dragas as secretary, produced  the draft  for the   Recommendations on
Pastoral Issues.

The following   is the text   of the  unanimously  approved  Second Agreed and
Recommendations.

         SECOND AGREED STATEMENT AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE CHURCHES

The  first Agreed  Statement  on  Christology (Annex 1)  adopted by the  Joint
Commission of the Theological Dialogue between the  Orthodox and  the Oriental
Orthodox Churches,   at our historic  meeting  at  the Anba  Bishoy Monastery,
Egypt, from 20th to  24th June,  1989, forms  the basis of this  Second Agreed
Statement on the following affirmations of our common faith and understanding,
and recommendations on steps to be taken for the communion of our two families
of Churches in Jesus Christ our Lord, who prayed ``that they all may be one''.

1. Both  families  agreed in  condemning  the Eutychian heresy. Both  families
confess that the Logos, the Second Person  of the Holy  Trinity, only begotten
of the Father before the ages  and consubstantial with  Him, was incarnate and
was born from the Virgin Mary Theotokos; fully consubstantial with us, perfect
man with soul, body and mind  ($  \nu o  \upsilon \zeta $); He  was crucified,
died, was  buried and rose  from the dead on  the third day, ascended   to the
Heavenly Father, where He sits on the right hand of the Father as  Lord of all
creation. At  Pentecost, by the coming of  the  Holy Spirit He  manifested the
Church as His Body. We look forward to His coming again in the fullness of His
glory, according to the Scriptures.

2. Both  families condemn the  Nestorian heresy and the crypto-Nestorianism of
Theodoret of  Cyrus. They agree that it  is not sufficient merely  to say that
Christ is consubstantial both with His Father  and with us, by  nature God and
by nature man; it is necessary to affirm also that the Logos, Who is by nature
God,  became by  nature   man, by His  incarnation  in the fullness  of  time.

3. Both families agree  that the Hypostasis of the  Logos became  composite by
uniting to His divine uncreated nature with its natural will and energy, which
He has  in common with  the Father and  the Holy Spirit, created human nature,
which He assumed  at the Incarnation  and made  His own, with its natural will
and energy.

4. Both families agree  that the natures  with their proper energies and wills
are united hypostatically and  naturally   without confusion, without  change,
without  division and without separation,  and that they are distinguished  in
thought alone.

5. Both families agree that He who wills and acts is always the one Hypostasis
of the Logos Incarnate.

6. Both families agree in  rejecting interpretations of  Councils which do not
fully agree  with the Horos  of the Third  Ecumenical  Council  and the letter
(433) of Cyril of Alexandria to John of Antioch.

7. The  Orthodox  agree that the Oriental Orthodox  will  continue to maintain
their traditional   Cyrillian terminology  of ``One nature  of   the Incarnate
Logos'', since  they   acknowledge the double consubstantiality   of the Logos
which Eutyches denied. The  Orthodox also  use this terminology.  The Oriental
Orthodox agree that the Orthodox are justified in their use of the two-natures
formula, since    they   acknowledge that  the   distinction   is ``in thought
alone''.   Cyril interpreted  correctly  this  use in  his letter  to  John of
Antioch and his  letters  to Acacius  of Melitene (pages  77, 184-201), and to
Eulogius (pages 77, 224-228) and to Succensus ((pages 77, 228-245).

8. Both families  accept the first  three  ecumenical councils, which form our
common  heritage.   In relation  to the four  later councils of  the  Orthodox
Church,  the Orthodox   state that  for  them the   above  points 1-7  are the
teachings also of the four later  councils of the  Orthodox  Church, while the
Oriental  Orthodox   consider this  statement  of    the  Orthodox   as  their
interpretation.  With this understanding, the Oriental  Orthodox respond to it
positively.

In relation to the teaching of the  Seventh Ecumenical Council of the Orthodox
Church, the  Oriental Orthodox  agree  that the theology   and practice of the
veneration  of icons taught by  the  council  are in basic  agreement with the
teaching and practice of the Oriental Orthodox from ancient times, long before
the convening of the council, and that we have no disagreement in this regard.

9. In the light of our Agreed Statement  on Christology  as well as  the above
common  affirmations,  we have now  clearly understood that both families have
always loyally maintained  the  same authentic Orthodox Christological  faith,
and the unbroken continuity of the apostolic  tradition, though they  may have
used Christological terms   in different  ways.  It  is this  common faith and
continuous loyalty to the apostolic tradition that should be  the basis of our
unity and communion.

10. Both families agree that all the anathemas and  condemnations of  the past
which now divide us should  be lifted by the Churches  in  order that the last
obstacle to the full unity and communion of our two families can be removed by
the grace and power of God.  Both families agree that the lifting of anathemas
and condemnations will be consummated on  the basis that  the councils and the
fathers previously anathematised or condemned are not heretical.

We therefore recommend to our Churches the following practical steps:

A.  The Orthodox  should  lift all  anathemas  and condemnations  against  all
Oriental Orthodox councils and  fathers    whom  they have  anathematised   or
condemned in the past.

B. The  Oriental Orthodox  should at  the  same time  lift all   anathemas and
condemnations against  all  Orthodox  councils and   fathers  whom  they  have
anathematised or condemned in the past.

C. The manner in which the anathemas are to be lifted should be decided by the
Churches individually.

Trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, Unity and Love,
we submit this Agreed Statement and Recommendations to  our venerable Churches
for their consideration and action, praying that the same  Spirit will lead us
to that unity for which our Lord prayed and prays.

Signatures of the Second Agreed Statement and Recommendations to the Churches-
Chambesy, 28 September 1990,

Eastern Orthodox                         Oriental Orthodox

Metropolitan Damaskinos                  Metropolitan Bishoy
Co-President                             Co-President
(Ecumenical Patriarchate)                (Coptic Orthodox Church)

Prof. Vlassios Phidas                    Bishop Dr. Mesrob Krikorian
Co-Secretary                             Co-Secretary
(Greek Orth. Patr. Alexandria)           (Armenian Church of Etchmiadzin)

Prof. Athanasios Arvanitis               Metropolitan Dr. Paulos Mar Gregorios
(Ecumenical Patriarchate)                (Orth. Syrian Church of the East)

Metropolitan Chrysostomos                Dr. Joseph M. Faltas
of Peristerion                           Assistant Co-Secretary 
(Ecumenical Patriarchate)                (Coptic Orthodox Church)

Ecumenical Patriarchate                  Coptic Orthodox Church
Prof. Father George Dragas               Bishop Serapion

Greek Orth. Patr. Alexandria             Coptic Orthodox Church
Metropolitan Petros of Aksum             Father Tadros Y. Malaty 

Greek Orth. Patr. Antioch                Syrian Orth. Patr. Antioch
Metropolitan George Khodr                Metropolitan Eustathius Matta Rouhm
Metropolitan Damaskinos

Russian Patriarchate                     Armenian Church of Etchmiadzin
Mr. Nikolai Zabolotski                   (see co-secretary)

Russian patriarchate                     Catholicosate of Cilicia
Mr. Grigorij Skobej                      Archbishop Aram Keshishian

Serbian Patriarchate                     Catholicosate of Cilicia 
Prof. Stojan Gosevic                     Archbishop Mestrob Ashdjian 

Bulgarian Patriarchate                   Orth. Syrian Church of the East
Dr. Ivan Zhelev Dimitrov                 Father George Kondortha

Gregorian Patriarchate                   Ethiopian Orthodox Church
Metropolitan David of Sukhum             Archbishop Abba Gerima of Eluvabur

Gregorian Patriarchate                   Ethiopian Orthodox Church
Mr. Boris Gagua                          Rev. Habte Mariam Warkineh

Church of Cyprus
Horepiskopos Barnabas of Salamis

Church of Cyprus
Prof. Andreas Papavasiliou

Church of Greece
Metropolitan Meletios of Nikopolis

Church of Greece
Prof. Father John Romanides

Polish Orthodox Church
Bishop Jeremiasz of Wroclaw
per 
Metropolitan Damaskinos

Orthodox Church of Czechoslovakia
Bishop Christoforos of Olomouc

Orthodox Church of Czechoslovakia
Father Joseph Hauser

Finish Orthodox Church
Father Heikki Huttunen
per
Metropolitan Damaskinos 

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                     GENEVA, September 23 - 28, 1990
          Orthodox Centre of Ecumenical Patriarchate - Chambesy

           Joint-Commission of the Theological Dialogue between
          the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches

                     RECOMMENDATIONS ON PASTORAL ISSUES

1. The  Joint-Commission  of  the  theological dialogue between   the Orthodox
Church and the  Oriental  Orthodox Churches, at  its  meeting at the  Orthodox
Centre of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in Chambesy, Geneva from September 23rd
to 28th, 1990, received  a report from  its Joint Pastoral Sub-Committee which
had met at   the Anba Bishoy  Monastery in  Egypt from  31st January   to  4th
February 1990. The report was the starting point for an extended discussion of
four types of pastoral issues:

  I. Relations among our two families of Churches, and our preparation for
     unity.

 II. Relations of our Churches with other Christian Churches and our common
     participation in the ecumenical movement.

III. Our common service to the world of suffering, need, injustice and
     conflicts.

 IV. Our cooperation in the propagation of our common faith and tradition.

               I. Relations among our two families of Churches

We feel as a Joint Theological Commission that a period of intense preparation
of our people to participate in the implementation  of our recommendations and
in the restoration of  communion of our  Churches is  needed.   To this end we
propose the following practical procedure.

2. It is important to plan an exchange of visits by our heads  of Churches and
prelates, priests and lay people of  each one of our  two families of Churches
to the other.

3. It is important  to  give further  encouragement to exchange of theological
professors and students among theological institutions of the two families for
periods varying from one week to several years.

4.  In  localities  where  Churches   of  the  two   families  co-exist,   the
congregations  should organize  participation of one group   of  people - men,
women,  youth  and   children,   including  priests, where possible  from  one
congregation of  one family to a  congregation of the other to  attend  in the
latter's eucharistic worship on sundays and feast days.

5. Publications: 

(a) We need to  publish, in the  various  languages  of our Churches, the  key
documents of this Joint Commission with explanatory  notes, in small pamphlets
to be sold at a reasonable price in all our congregations.

(b) It will be useful also to have brief pamphlets  explaining in simple terms
the meaning of the Christological  terminology and interpreting the variety of
terminology taken by various  persons and groups  in the course of  history in
the light of our agreed statement on Christology.

(c)  We  need  a  book which  gives  some brief  account,  both historical and
descriptive, of  all the  Churches of our  two families.  This  should also be
produced    in the various   languages   of   our  peoples,  with pictures and
photographs as much as possible.

(d) We  need to promote brief  books of Church   History by specialist authors
giving a  more positive understanding of the  divergencies of the fifth, sixth
and seventh centuries.

6. Churches  of  both  families should  agree  that  they will not  re-baptize
members of each other, for recognition of  the  baptism of the Churches of our
two families, if they have not already done so.

7. Churches should initiate bilateral negotiations for facilitating each other
in using each other's  church premises in special  cases where any  of them is
deprived of such means.

8.  Where conflicts  arise between  Churches  of our   two  families, e.g. (a)
marriages  consecrated in one Church  annulled by a bishop of  another Church;
(b)  marriages  between members of our two  families, being celebrated  in one
church  over against  the other;  (c) or children   from such  marriages being
forced to join the one church against  the other; the Churches involved should
come  to  bilateral  agreements on the  procedure  to  be   adopted until such
problems are finally solved by our union.

9.  The Churches  of  both  families should be    encouraged to look  into the
theological curriculum and books used in their institutions and make necessary
additions and changes in them with the view to  promoting better understanding
of the other family  of Churches. They  may  also profitably devise programmes
for instructing  the pastors and people  in  our congregations  on  the issues
related to the union of the two families.  

   II. Relations of our Churches with other Christian Churches in the world

Our common participation in the ecumenical movement and our involvement in the
World Council of Churches needs better co-ordination to make it more effective
and fruitful for the promotion  of the faith  which was once delivered to  the
saints in the context of the ecumenical movement.  We could have a preliminary
discussion of  this question at the  Seventh Assembly of  the WCC at Canberra,
Australia, in February 1991 as well as in  regional  and national  councils of
Churches and work  out an appropriate  scheme for more effective co-ordination
of our efforts.

11. There are crucial issues in which our two families agree fundamentally and
have disagreements with the  Roman Catholic and  Protestant Churches. We could
organize small joint consultations on issues like :

(a) the position  and role  of  the woman  in the life of  the Church  and our
common  Orthodox response  to   the contemporary  problem  of  other Christian
communities concerning the ordination of women to the priesthood,

(b) pastoral care  for   mixed  marriages    between  Orthodox  and  heterodox
Christians,

(c) marriages between Orthodox Christians and members of other religions,

(d) the Orthodox position on dissolution or annulment of marriage, divorce and
separation of married couples,

(e) abortion.

12. A joint consultation should be held on the burning problem of Proselytism,
vis-a-vis religious freedom  to draw the  framework of an agreement with other
Churches, for  the procedure to  be followed  when  an  Orthodox  or  Oriental
Orthodox person or   family wants to join another   (Catholic  or  Protestant)
Church or vice-versa.

13. A special joint consultation should be held on  the theology  and practice
of Uniatism in the  Roman Catholic Church,  as a  prelude to a discussion with
the Roman Catholic Church on this subject.

14. We need to have another  joint consultation to co-ordinate  the results of
the several bilateral conversations now going on  or held in  the past  by the
Churches of our two families with other Catholic and Protestant Churches.

             III. Our common service to the world of suffering, 
                        need, injustice and conflicts

15.  We need to  think  together  how best we  could  co-ordinate our existing
schemes for promoting   our  humanitarian and  philanthropic   projects in the
socio-ethnic  context of our peoples  and of the   world at  large. This would
entail our common approach to such problems as : 

(a) hunger and poverty,
(b) sickness and suffering,
(c) political, religious and social discriminations,
(d) refugees and victims of war,
(e) youth, drugs and unemployment,
(f) the mentally and physically handicapped,
(g) the old and the aged.

         IV. Our co-operation in the propagation of the Christian Faith

16. We need to encourage and promote mutual co-operation as far as possible in
the work of our inner mission to our  people, i.e. in instructing them  in the
faith,  and how    to  cope with  modern   dangers arising  from  contemporary
secularism, including cults,  ideologies, materialism,  aids,  homo-sexuality,
the permissive society, consumerism, etc.

17. We also need to  find a proper  way for  collaborating with each other and
with  the other Christians  in  the Christian mission  to  the  world  without
undermining the authority and integrity of the local Orthodox Churches.

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  _|_    This article is one  of many more articles  about the  Coptic Orthodox
   |     Church, the Christian Apostolic Church of Egypt. These articles can be
   |     obtained electronically from Copt-Net Repository,  using anonymous FTP
COP|NET  from pharos.bu.edu:CN.  Please mail inquiries to CN-request@cs.bu.edu.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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