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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.

——————————————————————————

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).

——————————————————————————

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.

——————————————————————————

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.

——————————————————————————

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 .

——————————————————————————

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.”

——————————————————————————

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.

——————————————————————————

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.

——————————————————————————

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.

——————————————————————————

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 ……

——————————————————————————

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 ……

——————————————————————————

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

——————————————————————————

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.

Working Group of the Joint Commission for the Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches was held on November 24-25 2014 in Athens-Greece

COMMUNIQUE

Invited by the two Co-Chairmen, HE Metropolitan Emmanuel of France and HE Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette, of the Joint Theological Commission of the two families of the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and with the blessings and gracious hospitality of the Ecumenical Patriarch, His All Holiness Bartholomew, a working group of official delegates met in Athens, 24-25 November 2014, in order to lay down a road map for the future work of the Joint Commission.

The working group reviewed the achievements of the Joint Commission so far, in bringing together the two families of the Orthodox Churches on the basis of our common understanding of the Apostolic faith.

Co-Chairman HE Metropolitan Emmanuel of France in his opening speech pointed out the very high priority accorded by the Orthodox Church to the official Theological Dialogue with the Oriental Orthodox Churches. He underlined the common acceptance of the Christological teaching of our common Father St. Cyril of Alexandria and of our common patristic and ecclesiological tradition of the first five centuries as the decisive criterion.

He called for a systematic evaluation of all the theological critiques on the proposals of the Joint Commission and for a theological defense against all prejudices and polemical arguments. He emphasized that unity of the Church is an important dogma of faith and therefore the work of the Commission towards unity is of fundamental doctrinal significance. In order to communicate to the clergy and the people of our Churches the work of the Joint Commission, he suggested regular meetings of the primates of our Churches, exchange of professors, well-prepared meetings of monks from both families and all possible cooperation of Churches at regional level and the Diaspora. The use of print and electronic media to disseminate the efforts for unity was also strongly advocated by Metropolitan Emmanuel.

Co-Chairman HE Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette in his speech, gave an interpretation of the First Agreed Statement on Christology of the historic official dialogue between the two families held at St. Bishoy Monastery, Egypt, in 1989. Highlighting the Christological position of our common Father St. Cyril of Alexandria he pointed out the fact that the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Orthodox Church are expressing the same reality when they speak about one composite hypostasis of the incarnate Logos. He cited from the Chambesy Statement of the Joint Commission in 1990 saying ”that both families have always loyally maintained the same authentic Orthodox Christological faith, and the unbroken continuity of the Apostolic Tradition.” HE Metropolitan Bishoy also narrated the great efforts he made jointly with the former Co-Chairman HE Damaskinos of blessed memory to visit various local Orthodox Churches on both sides, in order to communicate personally to the local Churches’ leadership the good results of the Joint Commission’s work.

In the light of the presentations of the two Co-Chairmen, an intense and fruitful discussion followed. There were also separate meetings of the families to discuss the remaining issues from the perspective of each family as well as to find the common way forward.

Following are some of the proposals, recommendations and concerns expressed by the working group.

1. Gratefully acknowledging the guidance of the Holy Spirit so far in the work of the Joint Commission, the working group called for the continuation of the dialogue in all earnestness and for a formal meeting of the full Commission at an appropriate time at the earliest.

2. While acknowledging the good work of the Sub-Committees on theological, canonical, liturgical and pastoral issues, the working group recognized that some Churches raised some serious issues that require further clarification such as lifting of anathemas, common enumeration of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, mutual recognition of Saints and some questions on Christology. Some solutions to these issues have also been proposed in the Sub-Committees, but they need to be communicated effectively to the clergy, monks, schools of theology and people on both sides to arrive at a consensus.

The working group expressed deep concern over the situation of our Churches especially in the Middle East. It appealed to the international community and to all concerned for the release of the two abducted Bishops, Metropolitan Mor Gregorios Youhanna Ibrahim and Metropolitan Boulos Yasigi. The group felt that the situation of Christianity today urgently necessitates Orthodox unity and the promoting of a healthy interfaith dialogue.

It was noted that three local Churches from the Orthodox family (Alexandria, Antioch and Romania) and three Churches from the Oriental Orthodox family (Alexandria, Antioch and Malankara-India), had already declared their acceptance of the agreed statements and proposals from the Joint Commission. The working group that met in the 50th year of the first unofficial dialogue meeting between the Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox took place in Aarhus, Denmark, 1964. Hence, in the spirit of jubilee the group called for liberation from the misapprehensions and separations of the past, while praying for the joyful common celebration of our life together in Jesus Christ our Saviour in mutual forgiveness, reconciliation and communion in love and truth for the glory of the Triune God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

LIST OF PARTICIPANTS

ORTHODOX CHURCH

Ecumenical Patriarchate
His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel of France
7, rue Georges Bizet
75116 Paris, France
+ 33 1 47 20 82 35
metropolite.emmanuel@gmail.com

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria
Rev. Father Nikolaos Koulianopoulos
Pythias 49
11364 Athens, Greece
+30 69 36 57 71 00
sernickolas@hotmail.com

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East
His Eminence Metropolitan Basilyos of Arcadia
Archevêché Grec Orthodoxe
Halba – Ashichtaba, Lebanon
+ 961 3 228 922
baraketmakhoul@hotmail.com

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem
His Eminence Archbishop of Constantina Aristarchos
P.O. Box 14234
Jerusalem 91140, Israel
+ 97226274941office, +972522375702 mobile
aristarh@netvision.net.il

Rev. Archimandrite Damianos (accompanying)
Exarch of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem in Greece
Erehtheos 18
10556 Athens, Greece
+ 210 3225810
ejarxia@gmail.com

Russian Orthodox Church
Rev. Hieromonk Stefan Igumnov
Danilovsky val, 22
Moscow, Russia
+ 7 495 63 38 409
igumnov@mospatr.ru

Serbian Orthodox Church
His Grace Bishop David Perovic
Dositejeva 1
37000 Krusevac, Serbia
+381373501550
eparhijakrusevacka@gmail.com

Protodeacon Andrija Jelic (accompanying)
Dositejeva 1
37000 Krusevac, Serbia
jelandrija@gmail.com

Romanian Orthodox Church
His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of Western and Southern Europe
1, Bd. Du Général Leclerc
91470 Limours, France
+33 1 64 91 59 24
cabinet@mitropolia.eu

Church of Cyprus
His Excellence Bishop Christophoros of Karpasia
Iera Archiepiscopi Kyprou
P.O. Box 21130
1502 Levkosia, Cyprus
+ 357 22 55 46 03
karpasiasch1@iak.org.cy

Rev. Archimandrite Gregorios Ioannidis (accompanying)
Iera Mitropoli Trimithountos
P.O.Box 11001
2550 Idalion, Cyprus
+ 357 22 527 000
gregoriosilit@hotmail.com

Church of Greece
His Eminence Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Peristerion
Ethnikis Antistaseos 96 kai Khalkokondyli
12135 Peristeri, Greece
+ 30 210 57 19 777

Prof. Vlassios Pheidas
former co-secretary Joint Commission of the Theological Dialogue
Thassou 6
16672 Varkiza, Greece
+30 210 8973437

ORIENTAL ORTHODOX CHURCHES

Coptic Orthodox Church
His Eminence Metropolitan Anba Bishoy
Coptic Orthodox Cathedral of St. Mark
Ramses street – Abasia
Cairo, Egypt
+ 20 122 33 23 134 office, +201222108199 mobile
demiana@demiana.org

Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch
V. Rev. Fr. Roger-Youssef Akhrass
Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate
Bab Touma,
POBox: 22260 Bab Touma, Damascus, Syria
+963-11-5418100
Dayroger2002@hotmail.com
Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church – Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin
His Eminence Archbishop Yeznik Petrosyan
Catholicosate of all Armenians
Vagharshapat 1101, Amenia
+374 10 517 170

Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church – Holy See of Cilicia
His Eminence Archbishop of Tehran Sebouh Sarkissian
Holy See of Cilicia
Main Street,
Antelias, Lebanon
+ 961 4 410 001
sebouhss@hotmail.com

Rev. Archimandrite Housig Mardirossian (accompanying)
Holy See of Cilicia
Main Street
Antelias, Lebanon
+ 961 4 410 001/3
housig@yahoo.com
ecumcil@armenianorthodoxchurch.org

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
Rev. Father K. M. George
Catholicate Palace
Devalokam P.O.
Devalokam
Kottayam 686004
Kerala, India
+ 91 9447598671
frkmgeorge@hotmail.com

Secretariat

Rev. Father Maximos Pafilis
p.maximos@gmail.com

Mrs Catherine Tsavdaridou
catherine.tsavdaridou@gmail.com


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