Statement of the Romanian Orthodox Church on the Theological Dialogue
Decisions of the Holy Synod, Bucharest, Romania, 8-9 December 1994
Following the meeting in Bucharest on the 25th October 1994 of the two co-Presidents of the Joint Commission of the Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches with the members of the Commission of the Romanian Orthodox Church for the theological dialogue between the two families of Churches, the Holy Synod of our Church, in its session of 8-9 December 1994, analyzing the conclusions of that meeting, and based on the documents elaborated during the official meetings of the Joint Commission for the dialogue, has decided:
1. To take note of and to approve the conclusions of the dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, as the result of the talks held at the Patriarchal Residence in Bucharest by the members of the Commission of the Romanian Orthodox Church for the theological dialogue with the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the two co-Presidents of the Joint Commission of the dialogue;
2. To take into consideration, on the one hand, the special context in which the anathemas were pronounced, a context which was characterised by division, by the absence of a consensus in the formulation of the confession of the faith, as well as by the absence of fraternal charity, and on the other hand, the current context in which the lifting of anathemas is discussed, and which is characterised by a spirit of reconciliation, of mutual forgiveness and of the common confession of the same content of the common faith;
3. To consider that the equivalent of the canonical authority of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon can today be represented by the consenus of the Churches organised in Holy Local Councils (national, autocephalous and autonomous), belonging to the Byzantine Orthodox family as well as to the Oriental Orthodox family. Consequently, the possibility of the real lifting of the anathemas is to be studied, through the consensus of the Holy Local Councils expressed by the signatures placed on common agreed texts, and then, by a ceremonial concelebration and Eucharistic communion of the Primates of these Churches, gathered together in a joint Orthodox conference;
4. To give the professors of Universal Church History and Patristics of the Faculties of Theology of the Romanian Orthodox Patriarchate the task of studying the results of the theological dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches with a view to revising the chapters concerning the family of the Oriental Orthodox Churches;
5. To present the results of the dialogue between the two families of Orthodox Churches to gatherings of clergy in order to inform the priests and to contribute to the creation of a favourable opinion of these results within our Church.
6. To communicate all these decisions to the Secretariat of the Joint Commission for the International Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, in Geneva.
It is our hope that the decisions taken by the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church will help to advance us on the way which is opening before us and which leads ot the fulfillment of complete communion between the two families of Orthodox Churches.