Joint Commission Of The Theological Dialogue Between The Orthodox Church And The Oriental Orthodox Churches
Orthodox Center of Ecumenical Patriarchate
Chambesy (Geneva), Switzerland
After two decades of unofficial theological consultations and meetings (1964-85), 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 Center.
We hope that the faithful of our Churches will pray with us for the continuation and success of our work.
Prof. Dr. Chrysostomos Konstantinidis
Metropolitan of Myra
Coptic Orthodox Church