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Statement of the Orthodox Church of Antioch on the Relations between the Eastern and Syrian Orthodox Churches

Statement of the Orthodox Church of Antioch on the Relations between the Eastern and Syrian Orthodox Churches
November 12, 1991

http://sor.cua.edu/Ecumenism/19911112SOCRumOrthStmt.html

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Communique of Geneva 1985

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

Communique

Orthodox Center of Ecumenical Patriarchate
Chambesy (Geneva), Switzerland
December 10-15,1985

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
Ecumenical Patriarchate

Bishop Bishoy
Coptic Orthodox Church

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

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

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Pastoral Agreement between the Coptic Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Patriarchates of Alexandria

Pastoral Agreement between the Coptic Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Patriarchates of Alexandria

Pastoral Agreement of 2001 between the Coptic Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Patriarchates of Alexandria (PDF)

Since the Holy Synods of both the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa have already accepted the outcome of the official dialogue on Christology between the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, including the two official agreements: the first on Christology signed in June 1989 in Egypt and the second also on Christology and on the lifting of anathemas and restoration of full communion signed in Geneva 1990, in which it is stated that “In the light of our agreed statement on Christology…, we have now clearly understood that both families have always loyally maintained the same authentic Orthodox Christological faith, and the unbroken continuity of Apostolic tradition”. It was agreed to have mutual recognition of the sacrament of Baptism, based on what St Paul wrote, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph 4:5)

But since up until now we are waiting for the responses of the Holy Synods of some other churches in both families, the restoration of full communion is not yet reached between the two sides of the bi-lateral dialogue. And due to the pastoral consequences and implications caued by mixed Christian marriages between the members of the two Patriarchates of Alexandria, having the majority of their people living in the same countries. Those marriages being difficult to perform in both Churches at the same time or in concelebration. The result is that mant sensitivities are created between the two families of the partners of such marriage. Those sensitivities which can extend even after the marriage and may affect the relation between the two communities of churches.

For those mentioned reasons, the Holy Synods of both Patriarchates have agreed to accept the sacrament of marriage which is conducted in either Church with the condition that it is conducted for two partners not belonging to the same Patriarchate of the other Church from their origin. Both the Bride and the Groom should carry a valid certificate from his/her own Patriarchate that he/she has a permit of marriage and indicating the details of his/her marriage status up to date.

Each of the two Patriarchates shall also accept to perform all of its other sacraments to that new family of Mixed Christian Marriage.

It is agreed that the Patriarchate which shall perform the marriage shall be responsible for any marriage problems that may happen concerning this certain marriage, taking into consideration the unified marriage laws signed by the heads of Churches in Egypt in the year 1999.

Each Patriarchate shall preserve its right not to give its sacraments to any persons whom she does not find fulfilling its canons according to the Apostolic Tradition.

 

Petros VII
Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa
Shenouda III
Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St Mark

 

Pastoral Agreement of 2001 between the Coptic Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Patriarchates of Alexandria (PDF)

Second Statement of the Russian Orthodox Church on the Theological Dialogue

Second Statement of the Russian Orthodox Church on the Theological Dialogue
Decisions of the Holy Synod, Moscow, Russia, December 1997

Having heard the report of the Synodal Theological Commission of the Russian Orthodox Church presented by His Eminence Metropolitan Filaret of Minsk and Slutsk, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus, on the history and theological pre-conditions for participation in the work of international Christian organizations and in bi-lateral dialogues between the Orthodox Church and the Oriental [non-Chalcedonian] Orthodox Churches, the blessed Bishops’ Council decided:

1. To approve the report of the Synodal Theological Commission;

[…]

4. Having considered the information on the dialogue between the Orthodox and the Oriental [non-Chalcedonian] Orthodox Churches, to welcome the spirit of fraternity, mutual understanding and common aspiration to be faithful to the Apostolic and Patristic Tradition expressed by the Joint Commission of the theological dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches in “The Second Agreed Statement and Recommendations ot the Churches” [Chambesy, Switzerland, 1990].

“The Statement” should not be regarded as a final document sufficient for the restoration of full communion between the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches as it contains ambiguities in some Christological formulations. To express hope in this regard that Christological formulations should be clarified in the course of studying the questions pertaining to the restoration of church communion between the two families of Churches of the Orthodox tradition of the Orthodox Churches.

5. To note that the Russian Orthodox Church has special historical and ecclesiastical reasons and grounds to promote the success of the dialogue with the Oriental Orthodox Churches. Our Church throughout her history has protected and defended the Orthodox East. An obvious example are the activities of the Imperial Palestine Society and of the Russian Orthodox Mission in Jerusalem, the works of Bishop Kyrill Naumov and Archimandrite Antonin Kapustin, the activities of Bishop Porfiry Uspensky in the cause of the reunion with the Coptic Church, of Prof. V. Bolotov of reunion with the Urmi Assyrian Nestorians, and of Prof. B. Turaev on the rapprochment with the Ethiopian Church.

6. To entrust the Holy Synod and udner its guidance the Department for External Church Relations, the Education Committee, the Department for Religious Education and Catechization, the Department for Mission and the Publications Board to develop a plan of scholarly conferences and symposiums, of the publication of theological and historical and informative nature which would help introduce clergymen and faithful of our Church to the problems and development of the theological dialogue with the Oriental Orthodox Churches.