Jump to content

Дијалог Римокатоличке Цркве и дохалкидонаца - документи

Оцени ову тему


Препоручена порука

Može, Ivane. Slobodno što novije informacije.  algabacaju

Evo dokumenti Zajedničke međunarodne komisije za teološki dijalog između Katoličke Crkve i pretkalcedonskih Crkava ("International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches") - u nekoliko nastavaka.

(slijede tekstovi dokumenata na engleskom jeziku)

Link to comment
Подели на овим сајтовима

REPORT

The First Meeting of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue

Between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches

Cairo, Egypt, 27-30 January 2004

Catholic and Oriental Orthodox representatives, delegated by their Churches, met 27-30 January 2004, as members of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, under the co-chairmanship of His Eminence Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

The meeting was held in Nasr City (Cairo, Egypt) at the Saint Mark Centre, hosted by H.H. Shenouda III, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark. Letters of invitation to this meeting, signed by both co-chairmen, were sent to the Heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches: the Coptic Orthodox Church, Syrian Orthodox Church, Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of all Armenians), Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of Cilicia), Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and Eritrean Orthodox Church. The same invitation was sent to the Catholic members through the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

In their opening address the co-chairmen underscore the importance of the meeting marking the beginning of a new official theological dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches as a family.

In the name of H.H. Pope Shenouda III, Metropolitan Bishoy welcomed the participants, who on Wednesday evening 28 January had the opportunity to take part at the weekly sermon of Pope Shenouda III at Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo. His Holiness greeted all delegation members and recommended the new dialogue to the prayers of the faithful. In response, H.E. Cardinal Walter Kasper conveyed the brotherly greetings and presented a gift of H.H. Pope John Paul II. The Cardinal confirmed that Catholic and Oriental Orthodox faithful are united in the same faith in the Triune God and in the Saviour Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word of God, that they venerate in common the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and that they share as common Fathers and Teachers of the Church Saint Athanasius and Saint Cyril of Alexandria. On Thursday afternoon 29 January, H.H. Pope Shenouda III came to Saint Mark Centre to greet and bless the Joint Commission, wishing full success for the dialogue and presented personal gifts to all participants.

The first part of the meeting was dedicated to a consideration of the many studies and activities which have taken place over the past thirty years. In this context were presented and discussed the following issues: (1) Unofficial Consultations held between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches (paper by Prof. Dr. Dietmar Winkler and presentation by H.E. Archbishop Dr. Mesrob Krikorian), (2) The official dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church (papers by H.E. Metropolitan Bishoy and Rev. Father Frans Bouwen); (3) The official dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (paper on the official dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church by Rev. Father Mathew Vellanickal; paper of Rev. Father John Mathews, read in his absence by H.E. Archbishop Dr. Mesrob Krikorian); (4) The official declarations made by the Catholic Church and any Oriental Orthodox Church (paper by Rev. Father Johan Bonny; presentations by H.E. Archbishop George Saliba, H.E. Archbishop Dr. Mesrob Krikorian, H.G. Bishop Nareg Alemezian). Rev. Father John Long distributed the booklet sponsored jointly by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches in the USA concerning various aspects of their dialogue. These papers and presentations showed that considerable work has been done, which may be helpful for the future dialogue of the commission.

In the second part of the meeting, the Workplan and Agenda for the Dialogue as established in the Preparatory Committee Report were considered. It was decided that the next meeting will deal with the first part of ecclesiology “Church as communion” (items 1-6 and 8). Item 7 of the first part of ecclesiology (Oriental Churches in communion with Rome, their ecclesial and canonical implications) will be studied in a later stage. From each side, one paper will be prepared on the following topics: (a) Understanding of communion, Constitutive elements of communion; (:cheesy: Particular and universal communion; Meaning of sister churches and of church families; © Full communion and degrees of communion, Common ecumenical goal.

Second Meeting of the Commission

1. Preparations for the second meeting will be undertaken under the leadership of the co-chairs;

2. This meeting will take place from 25 January (arrival) to 30 January (departure) 2005, with the option of spending the weekend at the venue; the members of the Oriental Orthodox delegation will arrive on 24 January;

3. H.E. Cardinal Walter Kasper extended an invitation to have the second meeting of the Commission in Rome;

4. Papers will be sent to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in the Vatican, by November 1st, 2004, for communication to the members of the Commission;

5. The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity will offer co-ordinating facilities for the work of the Commission.

The sessions of the first meeting were held in the context of daily morning and evening prayer, and in a very cordial atmosphere. Separate meetings of the members of the two delegations enabled the co-ordinated contribution to the dialogue and sharing other concerns.

The members expressed their gratitude to the Coptic Orthodox Church and to the Director and staff-members of the Saint Mark Centre for providing accommodation and hospitality.

The members of the Commission were:

Representatives of the Oriental Orthodox Churches

Coptic Orthodox Church: H.E. Amba Bishoy (co-chair), Metropolitan of Damiette, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church; H.G. Bishop Suriel, Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Melbourne (substitute of Mr. Yoftahe Dimetros, representative of the Eritrean Orthodox Church), Rev. Fr. Dr. Shenouda algabacaju Ishak;

Syrian Orthodox Church: H.E. Mor Theophilus George Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon, Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Syrian Orthodox Church; H.E. Thomas Themotheos, Metropolitan of Kottayam (India);

Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of all Armenians): H.E. Dr. Mesrob K. Krikorian, Archbishop of Vienna; Rev. Fr. Gabriel Sargsyan (substitute); Rev. Fr. Dajad Tsaturyan (observer);

Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of Cilicia): H.E. Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy in the U.S.A.; H.G. Bishop Nareg Alemezian, Ecumenical Officer of the Catholicosate of Cilicia;

Eritrean Orthodox Church: Rev. Fr. Kaleab Gebreselassie, Co-ordinator for Foreign Affairs; Mr. Yoftahe Dimetrios, General Director of the Eritrean Orthodox Church (prevented);

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church: H.E. Philipos Mar Eusebios, Metropolitan of Pathanamthitta (prevented), Rev. Dr. John Mathews (co-secretary), Secretary Committee on Inter-Church Relations (prevented).

Representatives of the Catholic Church

H.E. Cardinal Walter Kasper (co-chair), President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity;

H.E. Mons. Paul-Werner Scheele, Bishop-em of Würzburg (Germany);

H.E. Amba Kyrillos William, Coptic Catholic Bishop of Assiut, President of the Ecumenical Commission of the Catholic Church in Egypt;

H.E. Mons. Jules Mikhael Al-Jamil, Procurator of the Syrian Catholic Patriarchate to the Holy See and Apostolic Visitator in Europe (prevented);

H.E. Mons. Boutros Marayati, Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, President of the Ecumenical Commission of the Catholic Church in Syria;

H.E. Mons. Woldetensae Ghebreghiorghis, Apostolic Vicar of Harar (Ethiopia), President of the Ecumenical Commission of the Catholic Church in Ethiopia and Eritrea;

Rev. Fr. Mathew Vellanickal; Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Changanacherry (India);

Rev. Fr John Long SJ, Consultant to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; New York;

Rev. Fr. Frans Bouwen M.Afr.; Consultant to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Jerusalem;

Rev. Fr. Philippe Luisier SJ; Pontificio Istituto Orientale, Rome;

Rev. Fr. Mark Sheridan, OSB; Dean of the Faculty of Theology, Pontificio Ateneo S. Anselmo, Rome;

Rev. Fr. Boghos Levon Zekiyan; Pontificio Istituto Orientale, Rome;

Rev. Fr. Paul Rouhana, OLM; Universite Saint-Esprit, Kaslik, Jounieh;

Prof. Dietmar W. Winkler; School of Theology, Boston University, USA;

Secretariat: Mgr Johan Bonny (co-secretary), staff-member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Metropolitan Bishoy Cardinal Walter Kasper

Cairo, 30 January 2004

Link to comment
Подели на овим сајтовима

REPORT

The Second Meeting of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue

Between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches

Rome, Italy, 26-29 January 2005

Catholic and Oriental Orthodox representatives, delegated by their churches, held their second meeting from 26-29 January 2005, as members of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, under the co-chairmanship of H.E. Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and H.E. Metropolitan Amba Bishoy of Damiette, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

The meeting was held in Rome at the Domus Internationalis Paulus VI, hosted by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Delegates were present from the Catholic Church and from the following Oriental Orthodox Churches: the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Syrian Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of All Armenians), the Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of Cilicia), the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahido Church.

The representatives of the Oriental Orthodox Church held their separate preparatory meeting on Tuesday 25 January 2005. Both delegations held additional separate meetings during the dialogue. Each working day commenced with morning prayers and concluded with evening prayers and the meetings were conducted in a very cordial atmosphere.

The delegates were invited to attend the ecumenical vespers traditionally celebrated at the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul (25 January) at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, which were presided over by H.E. Cardinal Walter Kasper.

The members of the Commission were received in audience by H.H. Pope John Paul II on Friday 28 January 2005. On behalf of the Commission Metropolitan Amba Bishoy addressed the Pope conveying the greetings of the Heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and the Pope responded with a brief message of welcome and encouragement.

On Friday 28th January the Commission was invited to share in vespers and a meal with the Benedictine Community of Sant’ Anselmo.

As had been agreed upon at the first meeting of the International Joint Commission in Cairo in January 2004, the principal themes were: a) Understanding of Communion, Constitutive Elements of Communion; B) Particular and Universal Communion, Meaning of Sister Churches and of Church Families; c) Full Communion and Degrees of Communion, Common Ecumenical Goal.

During the course of the meeting papers were presented from the Catholic Church and Oriental Orthodox Churches on these themes: 1) “The Church as Communion in Early Christian Thought” (Fr. Mark Sheridan); 2) “Communion-Sister Churches-Church Families” (Archbishop Mesrob K. Krikorian); 3) “Full Communion and the Degrees of Communion, Common Ecumenical Goal” (Fr. Philippe Luisier); 4) “Full Communion and Degrees of Communion, Common Ecumenical Goal” (Metropolitan Amba Bishoy and Fr. Shenouda prst ka dole); 5) “Particular Church/Universal Church, Sister Churches, Ecclesial Families” (Fr. Paul Rouhana); 6) “Understanding Communion, Constitutive Elements of Communion” (Rev. Megabe Biluy Seife Selassie Yohannes and Lique Hiruyan Getachew Guadie).

Discussion in the plenary sessions on the papers allowed the participants to reach the following common affirmations:

1) The Church by its very nature is a communion, which finds its source and model in the communion of the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This communion finds its expression in conciliarity/collegiality. The question of primacy should be further studied.

2) The constitutive elements of communion include:

a. the Apostolic faith as lived in the Tradition and as expressed in the Holy Scriptures, the first three ecumenical councils, and the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed; we believe in Jesus Christ the Incarnate Word of God, the same being true God and true man; we venerate the Holy Virgin Mary as Mother of God;

b. the celebration of the seven sacraments (baptism, confirmation/ chrismation, eucharist, penance/reconciliation, ordination, matrimony, anointing of the sick); we consider baptism as essential for salvation; with regard to the Eucharist, we believe that it is the true Body and Blood of Jesus Christ;

c. the ordained ministry in Apostolic succession.

However, from a Catholic point of view, the question of the mutual recognition of baptism must be a point of further discussion,

3) Thanks to the many shared elements of communion, the Catholic Church uses the phrases “real though incomplete communion” and “degrees of communion”. However, from the point of view of the Oriental Orthodox Churches, these terms require further study.

4) The Oriental Orthodox Churches, being in full communion with each other in faith and sacraments, refer to their unity by the term “family of Churches”. However, from the point of view of the Catholic Church, this concept requires further study, since it is not a part of its tradition.

The next meeting of the International Joint Commission will be hosted by the Catholicosate of All Armenians at Holy Etchmiadzin, Armenia, from Wednesday 25 January (day of arrival) till Tuesday 31 January 2006 (day of departure). Both delegations will have separate meetings on Thursday 26 January. Friday 27, Saturday 28 and Monday 30 will be full meeting days for the Joint International Commission.

Three papers from each side will be prepared on the following issues:

1. Bishops in Apostolic Succession;

2. Primacy and Synodality/Conciliarity;

3. Synods, local and ecumenical (their ecclesiological meaning).

Papers will be sent to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in the Vatican, by November 15th , 2005, for communication to the members of the Commission, not later than December 1st, 2005.

The members of the International Joint Commission were:

Representatives of the Oriental Orthodox churches

Coptic Orthodox Church : H.E. Amba Bishoy (co-chair), Metropolitan of Damiette, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church; Rev. Fr. Dr. Shenouda maher Ishak (Rochester, U.S.A) ;

Syrian Orthodox Church : H.E. Mor Theophilus George Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon, Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Syrian Orthodox Church; H.G. Dr. Kuriakose Theophilose, M.S.O.T. Seminary, Vettickal, India;

Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of all Armenians): H.E. Dr. Mesrob K. Krikorian, Archbishop of Vienna; H.E. Khajag Barsamian, Archbishop of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America;

Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of Cilicia): H.E. Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy in the U.S.A.; H.G. Bishop Nareg Alemezian, Ecumenical Officer of the Catholicosate of Cilicia;

Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church: Rev. Megabe Biluy Seife Selassie Yohannes, Member of the Scholar Council of the Patriarchate; Lique Hiruyan Getachew Guadie; Head of Department of Foreign Relations;

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church: H.E. Philipos Mar Eusebios, Metropolitan of Pathanamthitta; Rev. Dr. John Mathews (co-secretary), Secretary of the Committee on Inter-Church Relations;

Eritrean Orthodox Tewahido Church: Rev. Fr. Kaleab Gebreselassie, Co-ordinator for Foreign Affairs; H.G. Bishop Abuna Shenouda Zeamanuel (Rome), substitute for Mr. Yoftahe Dimetrios, General Director of the Eritrean Orthodox Church (prevented).

Representatives of the Catholic Church

H.E. Cardinal Walter Kasper (co-chair), President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity;

H.E. Paul-Werner Scheele, Bishop em. of Würzburg, Germany;

H.E. Amba Kyrillos William, Coptic Catholic Bishop of Assiut, President of the Ecumenical Commission of the Catholic Church in Egypt;

H.E. Mons. Jules Mikhael Al-Jamil, Procurator of the Syrian Catholic Patriarchate to the Holy See and Apostolic Visitator in Europe;

H.E. Mons. Boutros Marayati, Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, President of the Ecumenical Commission of the Catholic Church in Syria;

H.E. Mons. Woldetensae Ghebreghiorghis, Apostolic Vicar of Harar (Ethiopia), President of the Ecumenical Commission of the Catholic Church in Ethiopia and Eritrea;

Rev. Fr. Mathew Vellanickal, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Changanacherry, India;

Rev. Fr. Ronald Roberson, Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, USA;

Rev. Fr. Frans Bouwen, M.Afr., Consultant to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Jerusalem;

Rev. Fr. Philippe Luisier, S.J., Pontificio Istituto Orientale, Rome;

Rev. Fr. Mark Sheridan, O.S.B., Dean of the Faculty of Theology, Pontificio Ateneo S. Anselmo, Rome;

Rev. Fr. Boghos Levon Zekiyan, Pontificio Istituto Orientale, Rome;

Rev. Fr. Paul Rouhana, O.L.M., Université Saint-Esprit, Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon;

Prof. Dietmar W. Winkler, School of Theology, Boston University, USA;

Msgr. Johan Bonny (co-secretary), staff-member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Metropolitan Bishoy Cardinal Walter Kasper

Rome, 29 January 2005

Link to comment
Подели на овим сајтовима

REPORT

The Third Meeting of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue

Between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches

Etchmiadzin, Armenia, 27 – 30 January 2006

Catholic and Oriental Orthodox representatives, delegated by their churches, met 27-30 January 2006, as members of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, under the co-chairmanship of His Eminence Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

The meeting was held in Holy Etchmiadzin, Armenia, at the Catholicosate of All Armenians, hosted by H.H. Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.  Delegates were present from the Catholic Church and from the following Oriental Orthodox Churches: the Coptic Orthodox Church, Syrian Orthodox Church, Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of All Armenians), Armenian Apostolic Church (Holy See of Cilicia), and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. Delegates from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Eritrean Orthodox Church were unable to attend.  The meeting was originally scheduled to begin on January 26, but was delayed one day because of severe prst ka dole weather.

Each working day began with morning prayers, and the sessions took place in a cordial atmosphere.  The Catholic and Oriental Orthodox members held separate meetings at various times during the dialogue.

The members of the international commission were received by H.H. Catholicos Karekin II on January 27.  He expressed his pleasure at being able to host this session of the dialogue, and encouraged its work.  There was an exchange of gifts between the two co-chairmen and himself.  The members were invited to attend a Divine Liturgy presided over by H.H. the Catholicos, and celebrated by His Grace Bishop Yeznik Petrossian, Ecumenical Officer of the Catholicosate of All Armenians, in the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin on Sunday January 29.  At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, there was a special requiem service for H.H. Baselius Mar Thoma Mathews II, the Catholicos of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, who entered into eternal life on January 27.

In accord with the plan for the dialogue that was adopted at the Preparatory Meeting in 2003, papers were presented during this session by Catholic and Oriental Orthodox members on three topics:  “Bishops in Apostolic Succession” (by Fr. Matthew Vellanickal/Fr Ronald Roberson, CSP and by Fr. John Panicker), “Primacy and Synodality/Conciliarity” (by Bishop Nareg Alemezian and by Prof. Dietmar Winkler), and “Synods, Local and Ecumenical” (by Archbishop George Saliba and by Fr Frans Bouwen).

After an in-depth discussion of the papers and the progress of the dialogue, the commission decided to further develop its methodology.  A drafting committee has been appointed that will study points of consensus and difference found in the papers presented at the dialogue so far, and produce a draft common text on these subjects for examination at the next meeting.  The drafting committee will be composed of Catholic members Fr. Frans Bouwen, Fr. Mark Sheridan, Msgr. Johan Bonny, and Prof. Dietmar Winkler, and Oriental Orthodox members Metropolitan Kuriakose Theophilose, Bishop Yeznik Petrossian, Bishop Nareg Alemezian, and Fr. John Panicker.  The next meeting will also include one paper from each side on “Mission, Witness Service, and the Problem of Proselytism.”

During the course of the meeting the international commission members attended a reception given by H.E. Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, the Apostolic Nuncio to Armenia, a dinner hosted by H.H. the Catholicos, and a Buffet dinner hosted by the Ambassadors of Egypt and Lebanon and the chargé d’affairs of Syria at the residence of the Egyptian Ambassador.  In addition, on the evening of January 28, the members attended a presentation of the life and work of Mekhitar of Sebastia, the founder of the Mekhitarist community.  On the evening of January 29 the members venerated the relics of Saint Gregory the Illuminator at the new cathedral in Yerevan dedicated to him.

The fourth meeting of the International Commission will take place from January 28 (day of arrival) until February 3, 2007 (day of departure).  On January 29 the Catholic and Oriental Orthodox members will meet separately.  January 30-31 and February 1-2 will be full working days.  The meeting will be hosted by the Catholic Church at a location to be determined.

The members of the Commission were:

Representatives of the Oriental Orthodox Churches (in alphabetical order)

Antiochian Syrian Orthodox Church: H.E. Mor Theophilus George Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon, Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Syrian Orthodox Church; H.E. Kuriakose Theophilose, Metropolitan of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kerala, India;

Armenian Apostolic Church: Catholicosate of all Armenians: H.E. Khajag Barsamian, Archbishop of the Eastern Diocese of the USA; hhhhhH.E. Mesrob K. Krikorian, Archbishop of Vienna (prevented; substituted by H.G. Bishop Yeznik Petrossian, Director of the Department for Interchurch Relations of the Catholicosate of All Armenians);

Armenian Apostolic Church: Holy See of Cilicia: H.E. Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy in the U.S.A.; H.G. Bishop Nareg Alemezian, Ecumenical Officer of the Catholicosate of Cilicia;

Coptic Orthodox Church: H.E. Anba Bishoy (co-chair), Metropolitan of Damiette, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church; Rev. Fr. Shenouda maher Ishak, West Henrietta, NY; Bishop Daniel of Sydney, Australia (observer);

Eritrean Orthodox Church: Rev. Fr. Kaleab Gebreselassie Gebru, Coordinator for Foreign Affairs (prevented);

Ethiopian Orthodox Church: Rev. Fr. Megabe Biluy Seife Selassie Yohannes (prevented); Lique Hiruyan Getachew Guadie (prevented);

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church: H.E. Philipos Mar Eusebios, Metropolitan of the diocese of Thumpamon; President of the Department of Ecumenical Relations; Rev. Dr. John Mathews (co-secretary), Secretary of the Committee on Inter-Church Relations (prevented; substituted by Rev. Fr. John Panicker).

Representatives of the Catholic Church

His Eminence Cardinal Walter Kasper (co-chair), President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity;

Most Reverend Paul-Werner Scheele, Bishop Emeritus of Würzburg (Germany);

Most Reverend Amba Kyrillos William, Coptic Catholic Bishop of Assiut, President of the Ecumenical Commission of the Catholic Church in Egypt;

Most Reverend Jules Mikhael Al-Jamil, Procurator of the Syrian Catholic Patriarchate to the Holy See and Apostolic Visitator in Europe (prevented);

Most Reverend Boutros Marayati, Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, President of the Ecumenical Commission of the Catholic Church in Syria;

Most Reverend Woldetensae Ghebreghiorghis, Apostolic Vicar of Harar (Ethiopia), President of the Ecumenical Commission of the Catholic Church in Ethiopia and Eritrea;

Rev. Fr. Frans Bouwen M.Afr., Consultant to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Jerusalem;

Rev. Fr. Philippe Luisier SJ, Pontificio Istituto Orientale, Rome;

Rev. Fr. Ronald Roberson, CSP, Associate Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC.

Rev. Fr. Paul Rouhana, OLM, Universite Saint-Esprit, Kaslik, Jounieh;

Rev. Fr. Mark Sheridan, OSB, Rector, Pontificio Ateneo S. Anselmo, Rome;

Rev. Fr. Mathew Vellanickal, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Changanacherry (India);

Rev. Fr. Boghos Levon Zekiyan, Pontificio Istituto Orientale, Rome;

Prof. Dietmar W. Winkler, Paris Lodron Universität, Salzburg, Austria;

Secretariat: Msgr. Johan Bonny (co-secretary), staff-member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Etchmiadzin, 30 January 2006

Link to comment
Подели на овим сајтовима

REPORT

The Fourth Meeting of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue

Between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches

Rome, Italy, January 28 to February 3, 2007

The fourth meeting of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches took place in Rome from January 28 to February 3, 2007, under the co-chairmanship of His Eminence Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

The meeting was originally scheduled to take place in Lebanon at the kind invitation of His Beatitude Patriarch Nasrallah Pierre Sfeir of the Maronite Church. Regrettably, the political situation in that country did not allow the members to meet there at this time. Instead, the meeting was held in Rome at the new offices of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The members were hosted at the Domus Romana Sacerdotalis. Joining the delegates from the Catholic Church were representatives of the following Oriental Orthodox Churches: Coptic Orthodox Church, Syrian Orthodox Church, Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of All Armenians), Armenian Apostolic Church (Holy See of Cilicia), Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and Eritrean Orthodox Church.

The Oriental Orthodox delegation met separately on January 29 and 30 in order to discuss themes in ecclesiology. During the course of these meetings, they produced a draft report that was later given to the Catholic members. The Catholic delegation met separately on January 30. The full International Joint Commission met on three consecutive days, on January 31, February 1 and 2. Each day began with a brief prayer service using material that had been produced for this year’s Prayer for Christian Unity.

The members of the international commission were received in audience by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on February 1. His Eminence Anba Bishoy greeted His Holiness the Pope on behalf of the members of the dialogue and thanked him for his efforts to promote dialogue with the Oriental Orthodox. He also presented him with an icon hand painted by Coptic Orthodox nuns in Egypt. Addressing the group, Pope Benedict said, “Your meeting concerning the constitution and mission of the Church is of great importance for our common journey towards the restoration of full communion. The Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches share an ecclesial patrimony stemming from apostolic times and the first centuries of Christianity. This ‘heritage of experience’ should shape our future ‘guiding our common path towards the re-establishment of full communion’ (cf. Ut Unum Sint, 56).” The Pope also expressed his concern for the situation of Christians in the Middle East, calling upon them to be “courageous and steadfast in the power of the Spirit of Christ.”

Following the plan for the dialogue that was adopted at the Preparatory Meeting in 2003, the following papers were presented during the course of the meeting: “Mission, Witness, Service and the Problem of Proselytism,” by Archbishop Khajag Barsamian; “The Mission of the Church,” by Bishop Paul-Werner Scheele; “The Salvation of Non-Believers in the Patristic Period,” by Rev. Mark Sheridan, OSB; “The Church and the Salvation of Non-Christians in the Second Vatican Council and Afterwards,” by Msgr. Johan Bonny; “The Salvation of Non-Believers,” by Metropolitan Bishoy, “Marriage Between Catholics and Muslims: A Catholic Perspective,” by Archbishop Peter Marayati, and “Mixed Marriages With Non-Christians,” by Metropolitan Bishoy.

Because of technical difficulties, the drafting committee that had been named at the third meeting of the dialogue in Etchmiadzin, Armenia, was not able to meet. Its membership was modified, and is now composed of Catholic members Fr. Frans Bouwen, Fr. Mark Sheridan, Msgr. Johan Bonny, and Prof. Dietmar Winkler, and Oriental Orthodox members Metropolitan Bishoy, Metropolitan Theophilus George Saliba, Archbishop Mesrob Krikorian, and Bishop Nareg Alemezian. The drafting committee will meet in Rome on May 29 and 30, 2007.

On the evening of January 30, the members of the commission attended a Vespers service at the Church of the Transfiguration, a Catholic parish in Rome that also hosts a Coptic Orthodox community. The commission members later met with the parishioners and attended a festive meal provided by the parish. On the evening of February 1, His Eminence Cardinal Kasper hosted a meal at the Domus Sanctae Marthae in the Vatican to welcome the members to Rome. They were joined by a number of officials of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and other dicasteries of the Roman Curia. Metropolitan Bishoy thanked Cardinal Kasper and the staff of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity for hosting the meeting.

The fifth meeting of the International Commission will take place at Saint Ephrem Syrian Orthodox Monastery in Maarrat Saydnaya near Damascus, Syria, at the invitation of His Holiness Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch. The Oriental Orthodox delegation will plan to arrive on January 27, and the Catholics on January 28, 2008. The two delegations will meet separately, and have full joint sessions on January 30, 31, and February 1, with departure on February 2. At this meeting the text prepared by the drafting committee will be considered, and one paper from each side will be presented on the goal of the ecumenical dialogue.

The members of the Commission were:

Representatives of the Oriental Orthodox Churches (in alphabetical order)

Antiochian Syrian Orthodox Church: H.E. Mor Theophilus George Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon, Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Syrian Orthodox Church; H.E. Kuriakose Theophilose, Metropolitan of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kerala, India;

Armenian Apostolic Church: Catholicosate of all Armenians: hhhhhH.E. Mesrob K. Krikorian, Archbishop of Vienna and Patriarchal Delegate for Central Europe and Scandinavia; H.E. Khajag Barsamian, Archbishop of the Eastern Diocese of the USA;

Armenian Apostolic Church: Holy See of Cilicia: H.E. Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy in the U.S.A.; H.G. Bishop Nareg Alemezian, Ecumenical Officer of the Holy See of Cilicia;

Coptic Orthodox Church: H.E. Anba Bishoy (co-chair), Metropolitan of Damiette, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church; Rev. Fr. Shenouda prst ka dole Ishak, West Henrietta, NY;

Eritrean Orthodox Church: Rev. Fr. Kaleab Gebreselassie Gebru, Coordinator for Foreign Affairs;

Ethiopian Orthodox Church: Rev. Fr. Megabe Biluy Seife Selassie Yohannes, Lique Hiruyan Getachew Guadie (prevented);

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church: H.E. Philipos Mar Eusebios, Metropolitan of Pathanamthitta, Rev. Dr. John Mathews (co-secretary), Secretary of the Committee on Inter-Church Relations (prevented; substituted by Rev. Fr. Abraham Thomas, London).

Representatives of the Catholic Church

His Eminence Cardinal Walter Kasper (co-chair), President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity;

Most Reverend Paul-Werner Scheele, Bishop Emeritus of Würzburg (Germany);

Most Reverend Amba Kyrillos William, Coptic Catholic Bishop of Assiut, President of the Ecumenical Commission of the Catholic Church in Egypt;

Most Reverend Jules Mikhael Al-Jamil, Procurator of the Syrian Catholic Patriarchate to the Holy See and Apostolic Visitator in Europe;

Most Reverend Peter Marayati, Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, President of the Ecumenical Commission of the Catholic Church in Syria;

Most Reverend Woldetensae Ghebreghiorghis, Apostolic Vicar of Harar (Ethiopia), President of the Ecumenical Commission of the Catholic Church in Ethiopia and Eritrea;

Rev. Fr. Frans Bouwen M.Afr., Consultant to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Jerusalem;

Rev. Fr. Philippe Luisier SJ, Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome;

Rev. Fr. Ronald Roberson, CSP, Associate Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC;

Rev. Fr. Paul Rouhana, OLM, Université Saint-Esprit, Kaslik, Jounieh, Liban;

Rev. Fr. Mark Sheridan, OSB, Rector, Pontificio Ateneo S. Anselmo, Rome;

Rev. Fr. Mathew Vellanickal, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Changanacherry (India);

Rev. Fr. Boghos Levon Zekiyan, Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome;

Prof. Dietmar W. Winkler, Paris Lodron Universität, Salzburg, Austria;

Secretariat: Msgr. Johan Bonny (co-secretary), staff-member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Rome, February 2, 2007

Link to comment
Подели на овим сајтовима

REPORT

The Fifth Meeting of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue

Between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches

Maarrat Saydnaya, Syria, January 27 to February 2, 2008

The fifth meeting of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches took place at St Ephrem Syrian Orthodox Monastery in Maarrat Saydnaya, Syria, January 27 to February 2, 2008, at the kind invitation of His Holiness Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch and All the East. The meeting was chaired jointly by His Eminence Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Joining delegates from the Catholic Church were representatives of the following Oriental Orthodox Churches: the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Syrian Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of All Armenians), the Armenian Apostolic Church (Holy See of Cilicia), and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Representatives of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and the Eritrean Orthodox Church were unable to attend.

The two delegations met separately before the first plenary session, which took place on January 29. The bulk of the meeting was devoted to the examination of a draft document produced by the drafting committee, entitled “Nature, Constitution and Mission of the Church.” There was broad agreement about the main lines of the draft document. The drafting committee will elaborate the document in the light of the discussion at this plenary session and present a revised text at the next meeting. The document mentions points for further study and discussion that will be taken up in future meetings.

In addition, papers were presented by His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian and by Rev. Fr. Frans Bouwen on the goal of our dialogue. Each day began with a prayer service using material that had been produced for the 2008 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Special prayers were offered for the repose of the soul of His Beatitude Archbishop Christodoulos of the Orthodox Church of Greece who passed away on January 28.

On the morning of January 30, His Holiness Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas invited the other two Patriarchs living in Damascus to meet the dialogue members. These were His Beatitude Ignatius IV Hazim, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and His Beatitude Gregory III Laham, Greek Catholic Melkite Patriarch of Antioch and All the East. His Excellency the Apostolic Nuncio to Syria, Archbishop Giovanni Battista Morandini, was also present. During this encounter the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch spoke about the new ecumenical relationship that has existed between Catholics and Oriental Orthodox in recent decades, and pointed in particular to the Joint Statement on Pastoral Issues signed by himself and His Holiness Pope John Paul II in 1984, noting that the agreement provided for cooperation saying that “by cooperating in priestly formation, that is, by sharing facilities in regard to the education of the clergy and having the service of professors of theology from either church, we hope that we will be able to understand each other better and that would help to bring us much closer. Now, with the formation of the official Catholic-Oriental Orthodox Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue, I believe that the way has been cleared for better relationships between the Roman Catholic Church and not only my Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch, but the whole family of the Oriental Orthodox Churches. And may the prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ, ‘that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in us,’ (St. John 17:21) be fulfilled in all of us.”

On the morning of January 31, His Holiness the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch and His Eminence Walter Cardinal Kasper were received by His Excellency Dr. Bashar Al-Assad, President of the Syrian Arab Republic. His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy was unable to attend for health reasons. The Patriarch and Cardinal were kindly received, and the President expressed a lively interest in promoting good relations between Christians and Muslims, and fraternal relations and cooperation among the various Christian churches. The importance of the Christian presence in the Middle East was emphasized. The Patriarch and the Cardinal expressed their gratitude for Syria’s reception of many refugees from Iraq, and for promoting conditions in which Christians can live in religious freedom in this country.

On the evening of January 31, the members of the commission attended a concert in the patriarchal cathedral. The program was presented by the Damascus Symphony Orchestra and the combined choirs of St. Ephrem’s Seminary in Maarrat Saydnaya and the patriarchal church in Damascus. The event was followed by a banquet in the seminary that was attended by government officials as well as Muslim and other Christian leaders.

The members of the International Dialogue were most grateful to His Holiness the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch for his very generous hospitality during the meeting at St. Ephrem Monastery, and to the members of the monastic community, the nuns and the patriarch’s staff for doing so much to promote a cordial atmosphere for the meeting.

The sixth meeting of the International Commission will be hosted by the Catholic Church in Rome in January 2009. The day of arrival will be January 24 or 25, enabling the members to take part in the Vespers Service at St. Paul’s Outside the Walls Basilica for the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The two delegations will meet separately on Monday January 26. January 27, 28, 29 and 30 will be set aside for plenary sessions, with departures on Saturday January 31. At this session work will continue on the common statement on ecclesiology, and each side will present one paper “The Exercise of Communion Among the Churches in the First Five Centuries” and another paper “Reception of Councils in the First Five Centuries.”

* * *

The members of the Commission are:

Representatives of the Oriental Orthodox Churches

(in alphabetical order)

Antiochian Syrian Orthodox Church: H.E. Mor Theophilus George Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon, Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Syrian Orthodox Church; H.E. Kuriakose Theophilose, Metropolitan of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kerala, India;

Armenian Apostolic Church: Catholicosate of all Armenians: H.E. Mesrob K. Krikorian, Archbishop of Vienna and Patriarchal Delegate for Central Europe and Scandinavia; H.E. Khajag Barsamian, Archbishop of the Eastern Diocese of the USA;

Armenian Apostolic Church: Holy See of Cilicia: H.E. Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy in the U.S.A.; H.G. Bishop Nareg Alemezian, Ecumenical Officer of the Holy See of Cilicia;

Coptic Orthodox Church: H.E. Anba Bishoy (co-chair), Metropolitan of Damiette, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church; Rev. Fr. Shenouda bendoff Ishak, West Henrietta, NY; H.G. Bishop Daniel of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Sydney, Australia (observer);

Eritrean Orthodox Church: Rev. Fr. Kaleab Gebreselassie Gebru, Coordinator for Foreign Affairs (unable to attend);

Ethiopian Orthodox Church: Rev. Fr. Megabe Biluy Seife Selassie Yohannes, Lique Hiruyan Getachew Guadie (unable to attend);

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church: H.E. Philipos Mar Eusebios, Metropolitan of Pathanamthitta (unable to attend), Rev. Dr. John Mathews (co-secretary), Secretary of the Committee on Inter-Church Relations (unable to attend).

* * *

Representatives of the Catholic Church

His Eminence Cardinal Walter Kasper (co-chair), President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity;

Most Reverend Paul-Werner Scheele, Bishop Emeritus of Würzburg (Germany);

Most Reverend Amba Kyrillos William, Coptic Catholic Bishop of Assiut, President of the Ecumenical Commission of the Catholic Church in Egypt;

Most Reverend Jules Mikhael Al-Jamil, Procurator of the Syrian Catholic Patriarchate to the Holy See and Apostolic Visitator in Europe;

Most Reverend Peter Marayati, Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, President of the Ecumenical Commission of the Catholic Church in Syria;

Most Reverend Woldetensae Ghebreghiorghis, Apostolic Vicar of Harar (Ethiopia), President of the Ecumenical Commission of the Catholic Church in Ethiopia and Eritrea;

Rev. Fr. Frans Bouwen M.Afr., Consultant to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Jerusalem;

Rev. Fr. Philippe Luisier SJ, Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome;

Rev. Fr. Ronald Roberson, CSP, Associate Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC;

Rev. Fr. Paul Rouhana, OLM, Université Saint-Esprit, Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon (unable to attend);

Rev. Fr. Mark Sheridan, OSB, Rector, Pontificio Ateneo S. Anselmo, Rome;

Rev. Fr. Mathew Vellanickal, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Changanacherry (India);

Rev. Fr. Boghos Levon Zekiyan, Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome;

Prof. Dietmar W. Winkler, Paris Lodron Universität, Salzburg, Austria;

Secretariat: Msgr. Johan Bonny (co-secretary), staff-member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Maarrat Saydnaya, Syria, February 2, 2008

Link to comment
Подели на овим сајтовима

INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION FOR THEOLOGICAL DIALOGUE

BETWEEN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE ORIENTAL ORTHODOX CHURCHES

REPORT

The Sixth Meeting

Rome, Italy, January 26 to 30, 2009

The sixth meeting of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches took place in Rome from January 26 to 30, 2009. The meeting was chaired jointly by His Eminence Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Joining delegates from the Catholic Church were representatives of the following Oriental Orthodox Churches: the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Syrian Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of All Armenians), the Armenian Apostolic Church (Holy See of Cilicia), the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahido Church.

As the members gathered for the meeting, they learned with great sadness that His Grace Philipos Mar Eusebius, Metropolitan of Thumpamon, India, a representative of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church since the inception of the dialogue, had passed away only a few days earlier, on January 21. They expressed their condolences to the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.

Most of the members attended the Vespers Service presided over by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI at the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls on the evening of January 25 for the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

The two delegations met separately on January 26, and held plenary sessions each day from January 27 to January 30. The first part of the meeting was devoted to the examination and approval of a common document entitled “Nature, Constitution and Mission of the Church.” The document describes broad areas of consensus regarding fundamental ecclesiological principles, and outlines areas that require further study. This common document of our dialogue is a major achievement and will be submitted to the authorities of our churches for their consideration and action. It is also recommended to all the faithful of our churches so that they also can participate in the growing understanding between us.

In line with the 2003 Agenda of the dialogue, the members of the commission also heard four papers regarding the nature of the communion our churches shared in the first half of the first millennium. These papers were “The First Three Ecumenical Councils and Their Significance for the Armenian Church” by Archbishop Mesrob Krikorian (read in his absence), “Reception of Councils in the First Five Centuries” by Prof. Dietmar W. Winkler, “The Exercise of Communion Among the Churches in the First Five Centuries” by Fr. Frans Bouwen, and “The Exercise of Communion Among the Churches and the Reception of Ecclesiastical Councils in the First Five Centuries” by Fr. Shenouda bendoff Ishak.

On Tuesday evening January 27, Cardinal Kasper hosted a dinner for the members at the Domus Sancta Martha in the Vatican. Each day began with a prayer service in which the members asked for the Lord’s blessings on their work. The members also signed a letter expressing their best wishes to Most Reverend Johan Bonny who, before he was consecrated Bishop of Antwerp, Belgium, earlier this month, had staffed the dialogue on behalf of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity since it began. The two chairpersons also sent a congratulatory letter to Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad on his election as Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia in the name of the members of the Commission.

On Friday January 30, the members of the Joint Commission were received in audience by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. Metropolitan Bishoy extended the greetings of the commission members to the Holy Father, and presented him with an icon of the Blessed Virgin Saint Mary “Mother of God” painted by Coptic nuns in Egypt. In his response, the Pope said, “The world needs a visible sign of the mystery of unity that binds the three divine Persons and, that two thousand years ago, with the Incarnation of the Son of God, was revealed to us. The tangibility of the Gospel message is conveyed perfectly by John, when he declares his intention to express what he has heard and his eyes have seen and his hands have touched, so that all may have fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Jn 1:1-4). Our communion through the grace of the Holy Spirit in the life that unites the Father and the Son has a perceptible dimension within the Church, the Body of Christ, ‘the fullness of him who fills all in all’ (Eph 1:23), and we all have a duty to work for the manifestation of that essential dimension of the Church to the world. Your sixth meeting has taken important steps precisely in the study of the Church as communion. The very fact that the dialogue has continued over time and is hosted each year by one of the several Churches you represent is itself a sign of hope and encouragement.”

The seventh meeting of the International Commission will take place at the Catholicosate of the Armenian Apostolic Church – Holy See of Cilicia, Antelias – Lebanon, at the invitation of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I. Arrival will be Sunday January 24, with separate meetings on Monday January 25, commission meetings Tuesday through Friday January 26 through January 29, with departures on Saturday, January 30, 2010. At this meeting more papers will be presented exploring the ways in which the churches expressed their full communion with one another during the first five centuries with particular emphasis on the churches of Alexandria, Antioch, Armenia, Persia and India. The session concluded with a prayer asking the Lord’s blessing upon the continuation of the dialogue's work.

* * *

The members of the Commission are:

Representatives of the Oriental Orthodox Churches

(in alphabetical order)

Antiochian Syrian Orthodox Church: H.E. Mor Theophilus George Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon, Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Syrian Orthodox Church, Beirut, Lebanon; H.E. Kuriakose Theophilose, Metropolitan of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Theological Seminary, Ernakulam, India;

Armenian Apostolic Church: Catholicosate of all Armenians: H.E. Khajag Barsamian, Archbishop of the Eastern Diocese of the USA, New York; hhhhhH.E. Archbishop Yeznik Petrossian, General Secretary of Inter-Church Affairs of the Holy See of Etchmiadzin, Armenia;

Armenian Apostolic Church: Holy See of Cilicia: H.E. Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy in the USA, New York; H.G. Bishop Nareg Alemezian, Ecumenical Officer of the Holy See of Cilicia, Antelias, Lebanon;

Coptic Orthodox Church: H.E. Anba Bishoy (co-chair), Metropolitan of Damiette, Egypt, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church; Rev. Fr. Shenouda :( Ishak, West Henrietta, New York, USA; H.G. Bishop Daniel of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Sydney, Australia (observer);

Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church: Rev. Fr. Kaleab Gebreselassie Gebru, Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Patriarchate, Asmara, Eritrea (unable to attend); H.G. Bishop Atnatyos Sibhatlaab of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church in Europe (observer); Rev. Fr. Ephrem Ghirmay, Administrator of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church of Milan, Italy (observer);

Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church: Rev. Fr. Megabe Biluy Seife Selassie Yohannes, Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate, Addis Ababa; Lique Hiruyan Getachew Guadie, Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate, Addis Ababa (unable to attend);

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church: H.G. Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Metropolitan of Bombay Diocese, India; Rev. Dr. John Mathews (co-secretary), Secretary of the Committee on Inter-Church Relations, Kottayam, India.

Representatives of the Catholic Church

His Eminence Cardinal Walter Kasper (co-chair), President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity;

Most Reverend Paul-Werner Scheele, Bishop Emeritus of Würzburg, Germany;

Most Reverend Youhanna Golta, Patriarchal Auxiliary Bishop of the Coptic Catholic Patriarchate, Cairo, Egypt;

Most Reverend Jules Mikhael Al-Jamil, Procurator of the Syrian Catholic Patriarchate to the Holy See and Apostolic Visitator in Europe, Rome;

Most Reverend Peter Marayati, Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, Syria;

Most Reverend Woldetensae Ghebreghiorghis, Apostolic Vicar of Harar, Ethiopia, President of the Ecumenical Commission of the Catholic Church in Ethiopia and Eritrea;

Rev. Fr. Frans Bouwen M.Afr., Consultant to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Jerusalem;

Rev. Fr. Philippe Luisier SJ, Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome;

Rev. Fr. Ronald G. Roberson, CSP, Associate Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC, USA;

Rev. Fr. Paul Rouhana, OLM, Université Saint-Esprit, Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon;

Rev. Fr. Mark Sheridan, OSB, Rector, Pontificio Ateneo S. Anselmo, Rome;

Rev. Fr. Mathew Vellanickal, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Changanacherry, India;

Rev. Fr. Boghos Levon Zekiyan, Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome;

Prof. Dietmar W. Winkler, Paris Lodron Universität, Salzburg, Austria.

Rome, January 30, 2009

Link to comment
Подели на овим сајтовима

Ovaj dokument koji se spominje u tekstu (podebljanim slovima istaknuto) ću također donijeti.

Malo je duži, ali najvažniji od svih.

Preostao je još i izvještaj sa ovogodišnjeg zasjedanja komisije.

Nastavak slijedi - ne jutros.  :(

Treba malo vremena...

bendoff

Link to comment
Подели на овим сајтовима

INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION FOR THEOLOGICAL DIALOGUE

BETWEEN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE ORIENTAL ORTHODOX CHURCHES

NATURE, CONSTITUTION AND MISSION OF THE CHURCH

INTRODUCTION

1. The International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches has been created by the highest authorities of the Churches concerned. The partners in this dialogue are, on the one side the Catholic Church, and on the other the family of Oriental Orthodox Churches, which comprises the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Syrian Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of all Armenians, Holy Etchmiadzin), the Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of Cilicia, Antelias), the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahido Church.

2. The agenda of the Joint Commission was established by a Preparatory Commission, which met in Rome (2003). The first meeting of the Joint Commission took place in Cairo (2004); it was devoted to the important ecumenical work achieved between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches during the last decennia, at different levels of official and non-official dialogue. Particular attention was given to the Joint Declarations signed or commonly agreed upon by the Bishops of Rome and the Heads of particular Oriental Orthodox Churches in this period. The members of the Joint Commission also examined the materials and the conclusions made available over the years by a number of academic conferences and unofficial dialogues, such as those promoted by the World Council of Churches, the Middle East Council of Churches and the Pro Oriente Foundation. Basic elements of these resources were selected to be examined for further deepening and development.

3. In a first phase, the Joint Commission has focused its activities on issues related to the nature, the constitution and the mission of the Church. The present document is a synthesis of some basic insights and conclusions, as they emerged from the dialogue meetings, particularly from the meetings that were held on the “Church as Communion” in Rome (2005), on “Authority in the Church” in Holy Etchmiadzin (2006) and on the “Mission of the Church” in Rome (2007). Some further issues related to ecclesiology that figure on the agenda of the Joint Commission have not yet been studied and discussed; they will be dealt with at a future stage.

4. The members of the Joint Commission give thanks to the authorities of their respective Churches for the mandate they received and they are honoured to submit in the present document some results of their shared activities. It is their fervent hope and prayer that this document may become a helpful instrument and also a promising step forward along the way towards the restoration of full communion by achieving complete unity in faith.

I. THE MYSTERY OF THE CHURCH

5. The Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Church share the following constitutive elements of communion: they confess the Apostolic faith as lived in the Tradition and as expressed in the Holy Scriptures, the first three Ecumenical Councils (Nicaea 325 – Constantinople 381 – Ephesus 431) and the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed[1]; they believe in Jesus Christ the Incarnate Word of God, the same being true God and true man at the same time; they venerate the Holy Virgin Mary as Mother of God (Theotokos); they celebrate the seven sacraments (baptism, confirmation/chrismation, Eucharist, penance/reconciliation, ordination, matrimony, and anointing of the sick); they consider baptism as essential for salvation; with regard to the Eucharist, they believe that bread and wine become the true Body and Blood of Jesus Christ; they believe that the ordained ministry is transmitted through the bishops in apostolic succession; regarding the true nature of the Church, they confess together their belief in the “one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church”, according to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.

I. A THE HOLY TRINITY AND THE CHURCH AS COMMUNION

6. The word “Church” (ekklesia) relates to the assembly of faithful convened by God the Father in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. The intimate relation between the faithful and the Holy Trinity and also among the faithful themselves is expressed in New Testament Greek by the term koinonia, which means “communion”. St John declares to his readers “that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have communion (koinonia) with us; and our communion (koinonia) is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 Jn 1:3). St Paul blesses the Corinthians with the prayer that “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion (koinonia) of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor 13:14).[2]

7. The term koinonia comprises two essential dimensions: (1) the vertical-transcendent communion of all the faithful with God the Father in the Lord Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit and (2) the horizontal communion of all the faithful in all time and all space with each other, a special aspect of which is the communion of the one Church on earth and in 0110_hahaha. Without either of these dimensions the Church would not be the Church.

8. The Johannine imagery of the vine and branches illustrates beautifully both these vertical and horizontal dimensions of ecclesial communion. The communion between the members of the Church has as its source and model their communion with Jesus: “Abide in me, and I in you” (Jn 15:4). At the same time, this communion takes the form of love, and has as its source and model the communion that exists between the Father and Jesus: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love” (Jn 15:9).

9. The ecclesial community has its origin in God the Father, from whom “every good endowment and every perfect gift” is coming (James 1:17). He calls the people of God together by means of the Holy Covenant. In this way, he has established a relationship both with his people and among the people. The mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit for the Church is rooted in the Father. It is the Father who sends his only-begotten Son and the Holy Spirit into the world. The Son prays to the Father for the unity of his disciples in the image of his own unity with the Father: “as you Father are in me and I am in you” (Jn 17:21b). Everything in the life and mission of the Church is directed to the glorification of the Father so that in the end, “God may be everything to every one” (1 Cor 15:28).

10. The intimate communion between the faithful and the Holy Trinity and also between the faithful themselves is the fruit of the reconciliation brought about by Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross: “for he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end” (Eph 2:14-16).

11. The image of the Church as the body of Christ casts light on the intimate bond between Christ and the members of the Church. Christ is the head of the Church, which is his body. As her head, he loves and gives himself up for her; he nourishes and tenderly cares for her (cf. Eph 5:22-30). His members are “in him” and he is “in them” (Gal 2:20); they are baptized “into him” (1 Cor 12:13). They suffer “with him”, so that they may also be glorified “with him” (Rom 8:17). He is the source of authority, which the whole body must honour and obey (cf. Col 2:10). He is also “the head over all things for the Church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all” (Eph 1:22-23).

12. The ecclesiology of communion has been further developed by the Fathers of the Church in both East and West. Many of them relate the unity of the Church to the unity of the divine Persons, to the unity of the body of Christ and to the Eucharist. St Cyril of Alexandria (+444), for example, writes about the unity of Christ’s members that “by means of one body he (Christ) blesses those who believe in him and incorporates them in himself and in each other; and that body is his own. And who can divide and remove them from this mutual union […] when they have been bound together in unity with Christ by means of that one holy body? We all partake of one bread, and so we are all made into one body: for Christ cannot be divided. Therefore the Church is called the ‘Body of Christ, of which each individual is a member’ as Paul understands. For we are all united to the one Christ, by means of his holy body, since we take him, the one and indivisible, in our own bodies […] If we are all incorporated with one another in Christ, not only with one another but also with him who comes within us by means of his own flesh, then surely it is clear that we are all of us one, both with one another and in Christ. For Christ is the bond of unity, since he is God and man in one and the same person”.[3]

13. The Holy Spirit, sent by Christ from the Father (Jn 15:26), gives life, unity and movement to the one and whole body of Christ (cf. Gal 4:6). The Fathers of the Church therefore compared his task in the Church to that which is exercised by the life-giving principle of the soul in the human body.[4] Dwelling in those who believe and ruling over the Church as a whole, the Spirit also is the principle of the unity of the Church. He works in many ways to build up the whole Body in charity, assuring the unity of the Church in the diversity of her members and ministries.

I.B THE ATTRIBUTES OF THE CHURCH

14. The Church is one because of her origin in the three Persons of the one God, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Church is one also because of her founder, Jesus Christ, who has founded one Church and not many (cf. Mt 16:18), who has one single flock (cf. Jn 10:16; 21:15), who has one Body (cf. Rom 12:5; 1 Cor 12:27, Col 1:18; Eph 1:23) and one Bride (cf. Eph 5:27). The Church is one, finally, because she is the Temple of the one Holy Spirit, who builds, animates and sanctifies the Church. As Gregory of Datev (1346-1409) wrote, “The Church is called one not because she is in one place, but she is one in faith and in her calling in one hope, in one mother, and in her birth from the womb of the one baptismal font, in one food of the divine books, in one body and blood of the Saviour, in one head and crown and cloth that we put on: Christ”.[5]

15. The essential bonds of unity in the Church are assured by the profession of one faith received from the apostles, the common celebration of the sacraments and the apostolic succession through the sacrament of Holy Orders. Fraternal concord in the Church is maintained by charity, which “binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Col 3:12-14) and by the sharing of one hope (cf. Eph 4:4).

16. The Church never lost the unity that is of her essence even if Christians have been divided by many ruptures, and their understanding of that unity may be different. Christians should therefore be committed to respond adequately to the prayer of the Lord Jesus “that they all may be one” (Jn 17:21) and to repair the broken bonds of communion between them.

17. The Church is holy because Christ loves the Church as his Bride and gave Himself up for her “that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the Church to himself in splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Eph 5:25-27). The Church is holy also because of the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of holiness who dwells in her, for the glory of God.

18. The holiness of the Church is a gift of God, related to the faith and the doctrinal teaching of the Church, to the celebration of the sacraments and to the apostolic ministry, even if the subjective or personal holiness of the individual members is not perfect and something yet to be acquired. The Church gathers sinners caught up in Christ’s salvation but still on the way to personal holiness. St Paul therefore addresses those who are “God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints” (Rom 1:7); he salutes the Corinthians as “those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints” (1 Cor 1:2); while recognizing the community of Corinth as holy, he condemns sins committed by some of its members (cf. 1 Cor 5:6).

19. The Church is catholic because Christ is present in her and because she has been sent out by Christ on a mission to the whole of humanity. Catholicity therefore means according to the totality or in keeping with the whole. According to St Cyril of Jerusalem “the Church is called ‘Catholic’ because it extends through all the world, from one end of the earth to another. Also because it teaches universally and without omission all the doctrines which ought to come to man’s knowledge, about things both visible and invisible, heavenly and earthly; and because it brings under the sway of true religion all classes of men, rulers and subjects, learned and ignorant; and because it universally treats and cures every type of sin, committed by means of soul and body and possesses in itself every kind of virtue which can be named, in deeds and words, and spiritual gifts of every kind”[6]. In the words Yovhan of Otzoun (650-728), “the Church is called catholic because it gathers all the people of the whole world in obedience illuminated by the baptism of the font and conceived and born in the inheritance of God by the sanctifying Holy Spirit”.[7]

20. The 0110_hahaha of catholicity does not by any means signify a type of bland uniformity. Rather, putting down roots in a variety of cultural, social and human terrains, the Church takes on different theological expressions of the same faith and different appearances in ecclesiastical disciplines, liturgical rites and spiritual heritages in each part of the world. This richness shows all the more resplendently the catholicity of the one Church.

21. The Church is apostolic because she is founded on the “the foundation of the apostles”, the witnesses chosen and sent on mission by Christ himself (cf. Eph 2:20; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor 9:1; 15:7-8; Gal 1:1). With the help of the Holy Spirit dwelling in her, the Church keeps and hands on the teaching she has received from the apostles (cf. Acts 2:42; 2 Tim 1:13-14). All are urged by St Paul to “stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter” (2 Thes 2:15). The Church continues to be taught and guided by the apostles through bishops ordained in the apostolic succession, priests and deacons.

22. The fact that the ordained ministers have their authority from the apostles and the apostles from Christ was strongly emphasised by St Clement of Rome, before the end of the first century.[8] Since the earliest times, indeed, the sacred order of bishops was held to create a historical link between the Church of the apostolic times and the Church of today. The Church therefore teaches that ordination in the apostolic succession is both a means and a guarantee for the apostolic continuation in pastoral office and in the transmission of grace.

I.C GROWING TOWARDS FULL COMMUNION

23. Full communion comprises and requires unity in faith, in sacramental life and in apostolic ministry. The unity of the Church should be assured, therefore, by visible bonds of communion, which include the profession of the faith received from the apostles, the common celebration of the sacraments, especially of the Eucharist, and the exercise of apostolic ministry.

24. Eucharistic communion and ecclesial communion are intrinsically related to one another. Therefore, as long as fundamental disagreements in matters of faith persist and the bonds of communion are not fully restored, celebrating together the one Eucharist of the Lord is not possible. Fortunately, through ecumenical dialogue, significant progress has been made between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches toward a common understanding of the constitutive elements of faith, particularly in the area of Christology. Though the full consensus in matters of faith, which would allow a common celebration of the Eucharist, has not yet been reached, these developments in doctrinal understanding hold the promise of further convergence and deserve appropriate attention.

25. All agree that the present division among Christians is a scandal to the world and wounds the God-given unity of Christ’s Church. The search for Christian unity is a response to the Lord’s call “that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (Jn 17:21). All Christians have a God-given responsibility to promote the restoration of full and visible unity among them. The Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches continue to pray for Christian unity in their prayer services and also in their liturgical celebrations. The ecclesial patrimony stemming especially from the apostolic times and the first centuries of Christianity, which they largely share with one another, should enlighten and inspire their common path towards the restoration of full communion by achieving complete unity in faith.

I.D POINTS FOR FURTHER STUDY AND DISCUSSION

26. The Catholic Church, because of the many shared ecclesial elements with other Christians, uses the phrases “real though incomplete communion,” and “degrees of communion” in reference to them. These ecclesiological expressions need further explanation for the Oriental Orthodox. The Oriental Orthodox Churches, being in full communion with each other in faith and sacraments, refer to their unity by the term “family of churches.” The content of this way of thinking about the communion of churches will require further explanation for Catholics. Full communion is the ultimate goal of the ecumenical work of all our churches.

27. Where full communion is still unattainable for historical or canonical reasons, advanced convergence in matters of faith should allow further theological and pastoral agreements to be made between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, particularly in answering to the urgent needs of their communities, where they live together. In this effort, our Churches will have to address the questions of mutual recognition of baptism and mixed Christian marriages.

II. BISHOPS IN APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION

II.A BISHOPS

28. Our understanding of bishops and apostolic succession is founded on the college of the apostles in the New Testament. Our Lord Jesus Christ chose his apostles to be authorized witnesses to his life, mission and resurrection (cf. Lk 24:46-48; Acts1:21, 3:15). They were to continue his ministry and mission in the world (cf. Jn 20:21; Acts1:8), and as such they constitute the foundations of the Church (cf. Eph 2:20). He sent them to proclaim the Good News to all the nations of the world (cf. Mt 28:19) and gave them authority “to bind” and “to loose” (Mt 18:18). Theirs was a unique ministry that ended with the demise of the last apostle. At the same time, the apostles took care that the mission entrusted to them by Christ be continued after their departure by their immediate co-workers and by proven persons.[9]

29. Pastoral service and authority in the apostolic time was exercised through a variety of charisms and ministries (cf. Rom 12:4-8; Eph 4:11; Phil 1:1; Heb 13:7; Tit 1:5-8). This variety gradually converged into the threefold ministry of bishops, presbyters (priests) and deacons. At the beginning of the second century, St Ignatius of Antioch gives evidence of this threefold ministry, which he considers irreplaceable for the Church.[10] The Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches have maintained the threefold order of bishops, presbyters (priests) and deacons as essential to the apostolic structure and the ministry of ordained priesthood in the Church.

30. Bishops are the successors of the apostles in exercising pastoral care over the churches. As such, they are responsible to give witness to and safeguard within their churches the Apostolic Tradition by preserving communion in the apostolic faith and by fidelity to the demands of Christian life, as taught by the apostles.

31. Bishops receive their ministry through the sacrament of orders by prayer and the laying on of hands within the Eucharistic community. By his ordination, a bishop is made the head of a local/diocesan church and also the representative of that local/diocesan church in the universal communion of churches. As a norm, at least three bishops should participate in the consecration of a new bishop, with the consent of the highest authority of their Church.[11] This is to ensure that the new bishop is ordained in the apostolic succession and to illustrate that he is introduced into the college of bishops, which is the continuation of the college of apostles. The office of the bishop in the Church is collegial by nature.

32. The ministry of the bishop (episkopos) is one of oversight (episkopé) and consists in teaching, sanctifying and governing the community of the faithful. St. Peter, in his first epistle, wrote about the Lord Jesus Christ that you “have now returned to the Shepherd and Guardian (Episkopos, Overseer) of your souls” (I Peter 2:25). It is our common understanding that the source of the priesthood of the bishop is the priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Great High Priest (cf. Hebr 4,14-16). The bishop is the icon of Christ the servant among his brethren. In the power of the Holy Spirit, he continues to preach the Gospel, to administer the sacraments and to lead the Christian community into growing communion with God. It is in presiding over the Eucharistic assembly that this multiple role of the bishop finds its full expression.

33. The ministry of the bishop, as the Head of his diocese, is essential for the Church’s life and structure and for her unity. It is, among all charisms and ministries that the Holy Spirit raises up, a ministry of presiding for gathering the community in unity. According to St Ignatius of Antioch, the bishop and the community of faithful essentially belong together; he admonished the Smyrnaens that “you must all follow the bishop, as Jesus Christ followed the Father, and follow the presbytery as you would the apostles; respect the deacons as the commandment of God. Let no one do anything that has to do with the church without the bishop. Only that Eucharist which is under the authority of the bishop (or whomever he himself designates) is to be considered valid. Wherever the bishop appears, there let the congregation be; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the catholic church”.[12] The local church is centred around the bishop, who builds up the unity of all and who guarantees the presence of the fullness of the Church in it. Particularly when gathered around her bishop for the celebration of the Eucharist, the local church makes manifest the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church of Christ.

II.B APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION

34. The apostolic succession of bishops finds its meaning within the mystery of the Church as communion. The apostolic succession of bishops, therefore, cannot be limited to a question of individual ministers, seen in isolation from the community of faithful. Every ministry in the Church is originally founded on the apostolic ministry, that is, on the vocation and the authority of the eyewitnesses of the risen Christ. The bishops, ordained by the laying on of hands, are the sign and instrument of the apostolic succession, which is conceived mainly as standing in fidelity to the apostolic faith and practice handed down by the apostles.

35. In each local church, the bishop is the first guarantor of apostolicity. Through his ordination, he becomes in his church a successor of the apostles, whatever the rank or prerogatives of his church among the other churches may be. His task is to pass on the teaching of the apostles in matters of faith and Christian life, and to model his whole life to them.[13] Through the Holy Spirit, he has to preserve the faith of the apostles and to guide his church in giving witness to it.

36. The apostolic succession of bishops has both a historical and an eschatological significance, connecting each community to both the original community and the eschatological community of faithful. From the historical perspective, bishops ordained in apostolic succession are a guarantee that the Church remains faithful to the apostolic heritage, to what the apostles have transmitted about what Jesus did and taught (cf. Eph 2:20). From the eschatological perspective, they represent the apostles as the indivisible college surrounding Christ in his glory, representing the final convocation of all nations and peoples into the new Jerusalem, the community of the last days (cf. Mt 19:28; Rv 21:14). A full understanding of the apostolic succession of bishops implies both the historical and the eschatological perspective, as they converge in the liturgical celebration of the sacraments of the Church, particularly in the celebration of the Eucharist.

37. Because bishops are successors of the ‘apostles’, inheriting the apostleship of “the Twelve”, episcopal ministry in the Church is collegial by its nature. The Lord Jesus called and commissioned “the Twelve” as a unit, as a symbol of the new people of God grouped around the Messiah, as a remnant gathered from the twelve tribes, as the beginning of the new Israel that was to remain for ever. Each individual member of the apostolic college has significance only as constituting the group of “the Twelve” together with the others.

38. The apostles guaranteed the bond of unity between the local churches scattered over various cities and regions. This became most visible at the council of Jerusalem (cf. Acts 15). Consequently, an essential part of the exercise of collegial authority of the bishops is the preservation of and the search for unity in the Church.

III. SYNODALITY/COLLEGIALITY AND PRIMACIES

III. A LOCAL/ DIOCESAN CHURCHES AND THEIR BISHOPS

39. The Church as the people of God, the body of Christ and the temple of the Holy Spirit is called to live in worship (leiturgia), witness (martyria) and service (diakonia). For that mission, the Church implores and receives from the Holy Trinity all necessary means of grace through reading the Holy Scriptures, celebrating the Sacraments and remaining in the living Tradition of the Church. All these gifts and duties are enacted in the local/diocesan church. Through baptism in a local/diocesan church, each faithful is initiated into the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. Particularly when gathered for the celebration of the Eucharistic, under the presidency of her own bishop, each local/diocesan church is truly and fully church.

40. Each local/diocesan church in communion with her own bishop is a concrete realization of the mystery of the Church, endowed with all the qualities that Christ gives to his Church, through the Holy Spirit. Through her own bishop, each local/diocesan church also remains in communion with the bishops and the faithful of all other local/diocesan churches, both synchronically with all churches of today and diachronically with the churches of all ages. No local/diocesan church, indeed, can exist in and by itself. Only in communion with all other local/diocesan churches can it constitute the fullness of the one ecclesial body of Christ.

41. In the course of history, communion among bishops has been expressed sacramentally through the common celebration of Eucharist and the attendance of one another’s episcopal consecration, as well as fraternally through the exchange of letters, the visits of one church to another and the gathering of episcopal synods/councils. The whole history of the Church has been punctuated by councils and synods that concretely shaped communion among bishops at the local, regional and universal levels.

42. Communion of faith and sacramental life among local/diocesan churches requires and preserves the maintenance of their particular character. The unity we envisage in no way means absorption of one church by the other or domination by one church over the other. This unity is at the service of each to help each live better the proper gifts it has received from the Holy Spirit.

III. B RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SYNODALITY/CONCILIARITY AND PRIMACIES

43. Communion among bishops is expressed and realised through the exercise of both synodality/conciliarity and primacies in the Church. From the first centuries onwards a distinction and hierarchy has been established between churches of earlier foundation and churches of more recent foundation, between mother and daughter churches, between churches of capital cities and churches of rural areas. For some geographical areas, this distinction and hierarchy has found a canonical expression in the canons defined by the early councils.[14] Canonical regulations assigned to bishops occupying certain metropolitan or major sees a place and prerogatives recognized in the organization of the synodal life of the Church. Thus appeared in the course of history the sees of archbishops, metropolitans, primates, and catholicoi or patriarchs, endowed with a particular primacy among the bishops of their region.[15]

44. Synodality/conciliarity and primacies are essentially related to one another. This inter-relatedness is well expressed in the common tradition of the Church, for example by the 34th Apostolic Canon: “The bishops of each province should know the first among them (protos) and recognize him as the head, and do nothing that exceeds their authority without his consideration. Each should carry out only that which relates to his own diocese and to areas belonging to it. But the first among them should also do nothing without the consideration of all, for so there will be unanimity and God will be glorified through the Lord in the Holy Spirit”.[16] This canon indicates both the collegial and hierarchical interrelation between the bishops of a region and the one who is the “first” (protos) among them. Canon 6 of the Council of Nicaea illustrates this interrelation.[17]

45. Bishops who are “primates” in their region are endowed with an executive, supervisory and jurisdictional role among their fellow bishops for the sake of unity. Their role is essentially required for the preservation and promotion of unity among the local/diocesan churches of a region and among their bishops. No “primate” however should act as an isolated leader, somehow independent of the larger body of bishops and faithful to which he belongs. He is a part of the people of God and a part of the synod over which he presides.

46. Synodality/conciliarity and primacies are expressed in different ways on the different levels in the life of the Church. These ways and levels have been articulated differently in the Catholic and in the Oriental Orthodox traditions, both in the past and in the present.

III.C ECCLESIOLOGICAL MEANING OF SYNODS/COUNCILS

47. Synods/councils have deep roots in the New Testament (e.g. Acts 15) and in the life of the early Christian communities. They flow from the very essence of the Church as a communion. Synodality/collegiality is a permanent dimension of the life of the Church, even during periods when synods/councils are not being held. Always and everywhere the Church should exist as a living communion of local churches with their leaders embracing one another in faith and charity.

48. Synods/councils are signs of the dynamic presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church. At the end of the council of Jerusalem, the apostles wrote in their letter to the Christians in Antioch that “it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things” (Acts 15:28). Whenever bishops come together in synods/councils to deliberate and to legislate as responsible shepherds, they manifest the nature of the Church, which is built up by the Holy Spirit as a communion. However, as synods/councils also have a human dimension, they require practical rules for convoking, organizing and presiding over them.

49. The synodal/conciliar dimension of episcopal activity manifested itself especially in questions which interested several local churches or all local churches as a whole. Since earliest times, different types of local and regional synods/councils were organised in each region. They could be convoked for different reasons and in different circumstances; their forms could change according to different places and times. More recently in the Catholic Church conferences of bishops have been organised on the national and regional levels. The guiding principle however always was the same, namely to make efficacious the mystery of the Church as a communion by joint action among the bishops, under the presidency of the one whom they recognized as the first among them.

50. Synods/councils (local, regional and universal) aim at safeguarding the faith of the Church and at building the Church as a communion at all levels and in all fields (faith, discipline, sacraments, liturgy, theology, proclamation and diakonia). They also assure consensus in teaching and in discipline. This consensus has two dimensions: diachronically with the uninterrupted tradition of the Church and synchronically with the community of all churches at a given moment.

51. Synods/councils are mainly gatherings of bishops. The bishop who presides at the celebration of the Eucharist also presides over the life of the local community and therefore represents his church in the meeting of synods/councils. Priests, deacons and lay persons can play their specific role in the synodical/conciliar life of the Church and in the process of decision making. The final decisions however belong to the bishops, who approve the acts of the synods/councils.

52. In ecumenical councils, convened in the Holy Spirit in times of crisis, bishops have decided together about questions of faith and discipline. They issued canons to affirm the Tradition of the apostles in circumstances that threatened the faith, unity or sanctifying work of the whole Church, and put at risk the very existence of the Church and her fidelity to Jesus Christ. Our Churches agree on the supreme authority of ecumenical councils. They represent a final instance in decision making and teaching in matters of faith and discipline.

III.D POINTS FOR FURTHER STUDY AND DISCUSSION

53. While our Churches are in basic agreement concerning the functioning of primacy and synodality/conciliarity at the local and regional levels, they differ on the way these concepts can be applied at the universal level. The Catholic Church upholds the need for a Petrine ministry in the Church, exercised by the Bishop of Rome for the sake of ensuring the communion of the particular churches throughout the world. The Oriental Orthodox Churches, on the other hand, do not have a single centre of universal communion, but function on the basis of an independent and universal, with common doctrinal faith model. Our commission intends to examine these two paradigms more fully in order to determine what we have in common and what differences must still be resolved.

54. The Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches conjointly accept the definitions and decrees of the first three Ecumenical Councils (Nicaea 325 – Constantinople 381 – Ephesus 431). Some doctrinal definitions or disciplinary decrees of later councils from both sides belong in point of fact to the common teaching of our Churches (e.g. condemnation of the Eutychian heresy), others do not. On some conciliar definitions that traditionally divided our Churches, common agreements have been signed in recent times between the Catholic Church and individual Oriental Orthodox Churches.[18] In order to clarify questions related to the ecumenical councils, our commission plans further study on issues such as the criteria for identifying ecumenical councils, the number of ecumenical councils, the authority of councils for Churches that did not take part in them, the binding character of canons and anathemas stemming from the early councils (including local and regional councils), the way to resolve points of disagreement regarding conciliar definitions that traditionally divided us.

55. The reception of conciliar decisions is part of the synodical/conciliar process that aims at associating the entire Christian community in the consensus building. Reception of decisions and definitions makes this process complete, though bishops gathered in synods/councils are recognised to teach with authority, in virtue of their apostolic mission and authority, even before the reception process is completed. The reception process cannot be accomplished by individuals or authorities in isolation; it must be an act of communion, including the whole Christian community together with its pastors. Our commission envisages further reflection and discussion on questions related to the concept of reception. Can a difference be made, in the process of reception, between the essence of faith and its expressions by varying ecclesial traditions and schools of theology, between dogma and theologoumena? How can we define and receive together our common faith, understood as “what has been believed everywhere, always, by all”, according to the rule of Vincent of Lérins?[19] What about the role of the Holy Spirit in the process of reception?

IV. THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH

56. The Church is missionary by her very nature. Her mission flows from the command with which St. Matthew’s Gospel closes: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19). As the Lord Jesus Christ was sent to proclaim and realise the kingdom of God, he has sent the Church to proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God among all peoples. The Lord himself, who abides with his followers, works with them and through them (Cf. Mk 16:20) for the fulfilment of his mission among all peoples until the end of the world.

57. At the heart of the Lord’s command is the mandate to baptise “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19). Through faith and baptism a Christian is initiated into the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection: “we were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:4). What begins in baptism is gradually developed in and through the celebration of the other sacraments of the Church. They further confer the grace of the Holy Spirit to the individual faithful and also to the whole community of believers.

58. All the members of the Church are called to take part in the mission that God has entrusted to her, in accord with the condition proper to each. Though the official proclamation of the Gospel is entrusted to the bishops, priests and deacons, all Christians are called upon to cooperate with them in this mission. Christian lay people have a particular responsibility in giving witness to Christ in their family life, in their social or professional commitment, in their cultural or political endeavours.

59. The liturgical life of the Church too is directed towards the proclamation and spreading of the kingdom of God. The Church serves the kingdom not least by her intercession, since the kingdom by its very nature is God’s gift, as we are reminded by the parables and by the prayer which Jesus taught us (cf. Mt 6:10).

60. Just as the Lord Jesus Christ washed the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper, so also liturgy and service belong together. He demands of all his disciples that they follow his example: “for I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you” (Jn 13:15). The Lord placed a variety of activities under service, such as giving food and drink, extending shelter, providing clothes and visiting the sick and prisoners. The notion of service embraces the full sense of active Christian love for others: “truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40). Without these acts of service and charity there can be no proclaiming of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

61. Notwithstanding the joy inherent in proclaiming the Gospel, there is often pain and suffering in witnessing, as signified by the very word martyria. The Lord Jesus Christ was clear about the cost of discipleship when he charged his disciples to bear witness to him (cf. Mt 10:16-42). Not only in remote but also in recent times, Christians throughout the world have lived through most dramatic circumstances, giving their lives for Christ, even to the shedding of their blood. The history of many Churches has been written in the red colour of martyrdom. The radiance of martyrdom not only gives proof of God’s victory over the forces of hate and evil, it also carries the promise of new life and fruitfulness for the Church as a whole. Martyria receives its power from the Cross of Christ, since “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (Jn 12:24). The martyrs of all times and places, standing before the throne of the Lamb, will also be the glory of the Church in God’s eternal Kingdom (cf. Rev 7:13-17).

62. The ecumenical commitment essentially belongs to the mission of the whole Church, including all her members. The fact that the Good News of reconciliation is preached by Christians who are still divided among themselves weakens their witness. Working for Christian unity is urgent, so that our Christian witness and missionary activity can be more effective. Moreover, efforts towards unity are themselves a sign of the work of reconciliation that God is bringing about in our midst. Christians should therefore persevere in finding new ways and means of closer cooperation in carrying out their common mission of evangelisation, as circumstances of time, place and culture permit.

63. It is regrettable that proselytism has wounded the Christian mission. Instead of witnessing the love of God to all peoples according to the missionary mandate, attempts have been made to recruit other Christians by means that are antithetical to love. Instead of strengthening Christian solidarity, proselytism damages it by using dishonest means to urge members of other Churches to transfer allegiance. Instead of becoming a reality and being constantly enhanced, common witness is endangered and distorted. “We reject all forms of proselytism, in the sense of acts by which persons seek to disturb each other’s communities by recruiting new members from each other through methods, or because of attitudes of mind, which are opposed to the exigencies of Christian love or to what should characterize the relationships between Churches. Let it cease, where it may exist. Catholics and Orthodox should strive to deepen charity and cultivate mutual consultation, reflection and cooperation in the social and intellectual fields”.[20]

64. The missionary activity of the Church presupposes the right of all persons to follow their conscience and enjoy religious freedom understood as “the right of all persons to pursue the truth and to witness to that truth according to their conscience. It includes the freedom to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and the freedom of Christians to witness to their faith in him by word and deed. Religious freedom involves the right to freely adopt or change one’s religion and to “manifest it in teaching, practice, worship and observance”, without any coercion which would impair such freedom”.[21]

65. If a Christian, for reasons of conscience, convinced of truth and free of any pressure, asks to enter into full communion with another Church, this is to be respected, as an expression of religious freedom. In such a case, it would not necessarily be a question of proselytism in the negative sense of the word, which should always be rejected. The notion of religious freedom, however, should not be abused to justify activities of proselytism.

66. It is not enough to denounce proselytism. The pastors and faithful members of our Churches need to continue to prepare themselves for genuine common Christian witness through common prayer, shared religious education, respect for one another in religious discourse, coordinated pastoral activities and a common service (diakonia) in humanitarian and social matters. It is particularly important therefore that there be frequent and regular contacts between Catholic bishops and other religious superiors, and those of the Oriental Orthodox Churches.

CONCLUSION

67. The members of the Joint Commission are grateful to God for having been able to prepare this document, which displays a large base of agreement in fundamental matters of ecclesiology between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. It is their expectation and commitment that on the firm ground of this document further study and discussion will be possible on remaining questions that are on the agenda of the commission (refer to the agenda). Some of these questions figure in the original working plan of the Joint Commission; others have been specified in the document at hand. The Commission intends to continue its work on the whole of these questions in an order that will best facilitate the deepening of mutual understanding and common witness on our way towards full communion by achieving complete unity in faith. We rely on the grace of God in this endeavour, and submit this document to the authorities of our Churches for their consideration and action.

Rome

January 29, 2009

[1] In the original Greek version.

[2] Biblical citations are mostly taken from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Collins, 1973. The RSV translates the original Greek term “koinonia” as “fellowship”.

[3] Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on St John, 17:20-21; Book 11, chapter 11.

[4] Augustine, Serm. 268, 2; John Chrysostom In Eph. Hom 9, 3; Didymus the Blind, Trin, 2, 1.

[5] Gregory of Datev, Book of Questions, “Why the Church is one?”, St. James Printing House, Jerusalem, 1993, p. 533.

[6] St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 18:23.

[7]Yovhan of Otzoun, Armenian Classical Authors, Volume VII, Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia, Antelias, Lebanon 2007, p. 96.

[8] Cf. 1 Clement 44.

[9] Cf. Acts 20:28; The Letter of the Romans to the Corinthians (1 Clement), 42-44.

[10] “Similarly, let everyone respect the deacons as Jesus Christ, just as they should respect the bishop, who is a model of the Father, and the presbyters as God’s council and as the band of the apostles. Without these no group can be called a church”; in: Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Trallians, 3,1; English translation from The Apostolic Fathers, ed. by Michael W. Holmes, Baker Books, 1999, p. 161.

[11] First Council of Nicaea, can. 4: “It is by all means desirable that a bishop should be appointed by all the bishops of the province. But if this is difficult because of some pressing necessity or the length of the journey involved, let at least three come together and perform the ordination, but only after the absent bishops have taken part in the vote and given their written consent. But in each province the right of confirming the proceedings belongs to the metropolitan bishop”. English translation from Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, Vol. 1, ed. by Norman P. Tanner, London /Washington 1990, p. 7.

[12] Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 8:2; in The Apostolic Fathers, ed. by Michael W. Holmes, Grand Rapids 1999, pp. 189-199.

[13] Cf. Irenaeus of Lyons, Adversus Haereses, IV, 26, 5: “It is where the charisms of God have been planted that we should be instructed in the truth, that is, among those in whom are united succession in the Church from the apostles, unassailable integrity of conduct and incorruptible purity of doctrine”.

[14] E.g. First Council of Nicaea, can. 6: “The ancient customs of Egypt, Libya and Pentapolis shall be maintained, according to which the bishop of Alexandria has authority over all these places, since a similar custom exists with reference to the bishop of Rome. Similarly in Antioch and the other provinces the prerogatives of the churches are to be preserved.” English translation from Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, Vol. 1, ed. by Norman P. Tanner, London/Washington 1990, pp. 8-9.

[15] In the early times of the Church regional primacies were founded inside the Roman Empire (e.g. in Rome, Alexandria, Antioch) as well as outside the borders of the Roman Empire (e.g. in Armenia, Georgia, and Caucasian Albania); also in more recent times regional primacies were founded in different countries (e.g. in Ethiopia and India).

[16] Canones Apostolorum, VIII, 47, 34; ed. by F.X. Funk, I, pp. 572-574.

[17] First Council of Nicaea, can. 6: “In general the following principle is evident: if anyone is made bishop without the consent of the metropolitan, this great synod determines that such a one shall not be a bishop. If however two or three by reason of personal rivalry dissent from the common vote of all, provided it is reasonable and in accordance with the church’s canon, the vote of the majority shall prevail”. English translation from Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, Vol. 1, ed. by Norman P. Tanner, London/Washington 1990, p. 9.

[18] E.g. Christological agreements signed between the Catholic Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Syrian Orthodox Church, the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.

[19] English translation from The Commonitory, Chapter II n. 6, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Church, Vol. 11, p. 132.

[20] Cf. Common Declaration signed by Pope Paul VI and Pope Shenouda III, 10 May 1973.

[21] The Joint Working Group between the Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches, The Challenge of Proselytism and the Calling to Common Witness, 1995, n. 15.

Link to comment
Подели на овим сајтовима

INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION FOR THEOLOGICAL DIALOGUE

BETWEEN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE ORIENTAL ORTHODOX CHURCHES

REPORT

Seventh Meeting

Antelias, Lebanon, January 27 to 31, 2010

The seventh meeting of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches took place at the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia in Antelias, Lebanon, from January 27 to 31, 2010. The meeting was graciously hosted by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia. It was chaired jointly by His Eminence Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Joining delegates from the Catholic Church were representatives of the following Oriental Orthodox Churches: the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Syrian Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of All Armenians), the Armenian Apostolic Church (Holy See of Cilicia), the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church, and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. No representative of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church was able to attend.

The two delegations met separately on January 27, and held plenary sessions each day from January 28 to January 30. Each day of the plenary sessions began with a common celebration of Morning Prayer. At its initial session, the members of the Joint Commission considered reactions to and evaluations of the agreed statement that it had issued one year earlier, “Nature, Constitution and Mission of the Church.” This document had been approved for publication by the Joint Commission and is now being considered by the authorities of their churches.

The studies prepared for this session focused on two topics: the ways in which the churches expressed their communion with one another in the first five centuries and the reception of councils. The papers presented included “Ecclesial Communion in Armenia and Surrounding Regions” by Rev. Fr. Boghos Levon Zekiyan, “The Order of Reception of the Ecumenical Councils in the Armenian Church and their Relation to the Other Local Councils” by Archbishop Yeznik Petrossian, “How Churches Understood the Reception of the Ecumenical Councils, How Churches Expressed their Communion in the First Five Centuries, and Whether Rome Was Given Any Special Role. From the Perspective of the Coptic Orthodox Church” by Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette, “Communion and Councils: The Persian Church in the First Five Centuries” by Professor Dietmar W. Winkler, “Exercise of Communion in the Church of St. Thomas Christians in India” by Rev. Fr. Matthew Vellanickal, and “The Reception of the Three Ecumenical Councils by the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church” by Rev. Fr. John Matthews.

During the course of the meeting, which took place in a friendly and cordial atmosphere, the members carefully examined the papers presented and reached a number of conclusions. It was noted that until the middle of the fifth century, the churches did not exist in isolation, but were in communion with one other. Signs of this communion included the exchange of synodical letters and letters of enthronement, the veneration of common saints, the exchange of visits and, above all, sharing in the sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist. This communion was based on an understanding that the churches shared the same faith, and willingness to defend it together against heresies and other threats. They also saw themselves as engaged in the same mission of evangelizing the nations. This was often a “horizontal communion” where churches were most intensely in relation to neighboring churches in the same region, but also with other churches throughout the world.

On the morning of January 27, the members of the Joint Commission, together with His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, paid a visit to His Excellency Michel Sleiman, the President of Lebanon, in the Presidential Palace at Baabda. The President welcomed the delegation to his country and presented his condolences to the representatives of the Ethiopian Church over the crash of an Ethiopian airplane near Beirut on Monday, January 25. In his remarks, the President observed that recent events had illustrated the importance of including minorities in the political life of nations. He said that Lebanon is an example of this political inclusiveness since the constitution gives all the country’s ethnic and religious communities a political role whatever their numerical size. He also emphasized the need to organize capitalism in democratic countries in a way that protects the interests of minorities, especially the poor and the vulnerable.

On the evening of the same day, the Joint Commission members were received by His Beatitude and Eminence Cardinal Mar Nasrallah Butros Sfeir, Patriarch of the Maronite Church, at the patriarchate in Bkerké. During an ecumenical prayer service in the patriarchal chapel, the Patriarch extended a warm welcome to his guests, and spoke highly of the agreed statement finalized by the Joint Commission in January 2009. This text, the Patriarch stated, “presents the ecclesiological tradition common to all those churches, a tradition which remained plentiful and sound, in spite of 1500 years of separation.” He also spoke of the positive ecumenical relations that exist among the churches of Lebanon, and wished the members great success in their meeting, which he saw as a sign of encouragement and hope. After the prayer service, His Beatitude hosted a dinner for the Joint Commission members and the spiritual heads of Christian communities in Lebanon.

On the morning of January 28, His Holiness Catholicos Aram I received the members of the Joint Commission. In his remarks, the Catholicos offered his views on the present state of ecumenism, and said that he has come to a renewed appreciation of the work of the bilateral dialogues. He had studied the 2009 agreed statement carefully and appreciated it very much. His Holiness said that in the dialogues the members must never loose sight of the many things we have in common, and not focus exclusively on our differences. He was critical of a tendency of some ecumenical circles to divert their attention to more social issues. He expressed the hope that the Joint International Commission would endeavor to bring about visible unity of the Church, an objective that he as Moderator of the World Council of Churches had worked to achieve. After meeting the Catholicos, the group prayed at the memorial to the Armennian genocide of 1915 on the grounds of the Catholicosate. On the evening of the same day, the Catholicos hosted an official dinner at the Catholicosate that was attended by the spiritual heads of Christian communities in Lebanon, Armenian members of the Lebanese government and parliament, and Brotherhood and Central Executive Council members of the Holy See of Cilicia.

On January 29, the co-chairmen held a press conference at the invitation of Bishop Beshara Raï, the President of the Episcopal Commission for Social Communications. It took place at the Catholic Information Center, which is under the direction of the Assembly of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops of Lebanon. Bishop Nareg Alemezian, Ecumenical Officer of the Holy See of Cilicia, introduced the co-chairmen, and highlighted that “the presence in Lebanon of our brothers from the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches is an occasion of spiritual joy and a sign of solidarity with our churches in the Middle East.” Cardinal Kasper spoke of the importance of the participation of the faithful in the dialogue because the unity of the Church concerns the whole people of God and not theologians alone. Metropolitan Bishoy described the history of the composition of the Joint Commission from the preparatory meeting in 2003 until this seventh meeting. He added that the Commission meets alternatively in Rome and in countries where Oriental Orthodox are present. On the evening of the same day, the members of the Joint Commission attended a dinner hosted by Metropolitan George Saliba.

On Sunday January 31, the members of the Joint Commission attended the Holy Eucharist in the Cathedral of the Catholicosate of Cilicia presided over by His Holiness Catholicos Aram I. Cardinal Kasper preached the homily.

The eighth meeting of the International Commission will take place in Rome at the invitation of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Arrivals will be on January 24, 2011. The two delegations will meet separately on January 25, and participate in the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This will be followed by plenary sessions on January 26, 27 and 28, with departures on January 29. At the eighth plenary meeting, the members of the Commission will deepen their study of the communion and communication that existed between our churches until the mid-fifth century of Christian history, as well as the role played by monasticism.

* * *

The members of the Commission are:

Representatives of the Oriental Orthodox Churches

(in alphabetical order)

Antiochian Syrian Orthodox Church: H.E. Mor Theophilus George Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon, Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Syrian Orthodox Church, Beirut, Lebanon; H.E. Kuriakose Theophilose, Metropolitan of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Theological Seminary and President of the Ecumenical Secretariat of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church in India, Ernakulam, India;

Armenian Apostolic Church: Catholicosate of all Armenians: H.E. Khajag Barsamian, Archbishop of the Eastern Diocese of the USA, New York (Represented by H.G. Armash Nalbandian, Armenian Orthodox Church Diocese of Damascus); hhhhhH.E. Archbishop Yeznik Petrossian, General Secretary of Inter-Church Affairs of the Holy See of Etchmiadzin, Armenia;

Armenian Apostolic Church: Holy See of Cilicia: H.E. Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy in the USA, New York; H.G. Bishop Nareg Alemezian, Ecumenical Officer of the Holy See of Cilicia, Antelias, Lebanon;

Coptic Orthodox Church: H.E. Anba Bishoy (co-chair), Metropolitan of Damiette, Egypt, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church; Rev. Fr. Shenouda maher Ishak, West Henrietta, New York, USA; H.G. Bishop Daniel of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Sydney, Australia (observer);

Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church: Rev. Fr. Kaleab Gebreselassie Gebru, Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Patriarchate, Asmara, Eritrea (unable to attend);

Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church: Rev. Fr. Megabe Biluy Seife Selassie Yohannes, Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate, Addis Ababa (unable to attend). The Ethiopian Church was represented at this meeting by H.E. Archbishop Demetrios of the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon; Rev. Fr. Abba Gebre Kidan of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church of Lebanon;

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church: H.E. Metropolitan Dr. Gabriel Mar Gregorios, President of the Department of Ecumenical Relations, Diocese of Trivandrum, India; Rev. Dr. John Mathews (co-secretary), Secretary of the Department of Ecumenical Relations, Kottayam, India.

Representatives of the Catholic Church

His Eminence Cardinal Walter Kasper (co-chair), President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity;

Most Reverend Paul-Werner Scheele, Bishop Emeritus of Würzburg, Germany;

Most Reverend Youhanna Golta, Patriarchal Auxiliary Bishop of the Coptic Catholic Patriarchate, Cairo, Egypt;

Most Reverend Jules Mikhael Al-Jamil, Procurator of the Syrian Catholic Patriarchate to the Holy See and Apostolic Visitator in Europe, Rome;

Most Reverend Peter Marayati, Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, Syria;

Most Reverend Woldetensae Ghebreghiorghis, Apostolic Vicar of Harar, Ethiopia, President of the Ecumenical Commission of the Catholic Church in Ethiopia and Eritrea;

Rev. Fr. Frans Bouwen M.Afr., Consultant to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Jerusalem;

Rev. Fr. Columba Stewart, OSB, Executive Director, Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota, USA;

Rev. Fr. Ronald G. Roberson, CSP, Associate Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC, USA;

Rev. Fr. Paul Rouhana, OLM, Université Saint-Esprit, Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon;

Rev. Fr. Mark Sheridan, OSB, Pontificio Ateneo S. Anselmo, Rome;

Rev. Fr. Mathew Vellanickal, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Changanacherry, India;

Rev. Fr. Boghos Levon Zekiyan, Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome;

Prof. Dietmar W. Winkler, Consultant to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Salzburg, Austria.

Rev. Fr. Gabriel Quicke, Official of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Rome (co-secretary).

Antelias, Lebanon, January 31, 2010

Link to comment
Подели на овим сајтовима

  • 2 months later...

Papa primio sudionike Mješovitoga međunarodnoga povjerenstva za teološki dijalog između Katoličke i Staroistočnih [tj. dohalkidonskih] Crkava

Vatikan, (IKA) – Papa je 28. siječnja primio sudionike zasjedanja Mješovitoga međunarodnoga povjerenstva za teološki dijalog između Katoličke i Staroistočnih Crkava. Papa je, kako prenosi Hrvatski program Radio Vatikana, potaknuo katoličke vjernike i vjernike tih Crkava da prodube uzajamno poznavanje imajući u vidiku puno zajedništvo, potom je podsjetio na mnoge kršćane koji se i danas suočavaju s kušnjama i teškoćama jer svjedoče vjernost Kristu.

Svi kršćani imaju u uzajamnome povjerenju zajedno raditi za mir i pravednost – ustvrdio je Benedikt XVI. te podsjetio na važnost dijaloga vođenog o "naravi", ustanovi i poslanju Crkve.

Moramo biti zahvalni što se nakon petnaest stoljeća razdvojenosti još uvijek možemo složiti o sakramentalnoj naravi Crkve, o apostolskom nasljedstvu i o hitnoj potrebi da se u svijetu svjedoči evanđelje Isusa Krista – ustvrdio je Sveti Otac te podsjetio na teme o kojima se raspravlja na susretu: zajedništvo među Crkvama u prvim stoljećima, te uloga monaštva na početku crkvenoga života.

Nadamo se da će vaše teološko promišljanje dovesti do toga da se naše Crkve ne samo uzajamno bolje razumiju nego i do uvjerljivijeg hoda prema punome zajedništvu, na koje nas poziva Isus Krist. Na tu smo nakanu molili tijekom Molitvenog tjedna za jedinstvo kršćana – rekao je Papa podsjećajući da se kršćani u mnogim dijelovima svijeta „sučeljavaju s kušnjama i teškoćama koje zabrinjavaju sve nas". Neka zagovor i primjer mnogih mučenika koji su u svim Crkvama hrabro svjedočili Krista podupru i snaže vas i vaše kršćanske zajednice – zaključio je Benedikt XVI.

Link to comment
Подели на овим сајтовима

  • 3 weeks later...

INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION FOR THEOLOGICAL DIALOGUE

BETWEEN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND

THE ORIENTAL ORTHODOX CHURCHES

REPORT

Eighth Meeting Rome, January 25 to 28, 2011

The eighth meeting of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches took place in Rome from January 25 to 28, 2011. The meeting was hosted by His Eminence Cardinal Kurt Koch, the new President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. It was chaired jointly by Cardinal Koch and by His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Joining delegates from the Catholic Church were representatives of the following Oriental Orthodox Churches: the Antiochian Syrian Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of All Armenians), the Armenian Apostolic Church (Holy See of Cilicia), the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church, and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. No representative of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church was able to attend.

The two delegations met separately on January 25, and held plenary sessions each day from January 26 to January 28. Each day of the plenary sessions began with a common celebration of Morning Prayer. In his remarks at the beginning of the first session, Cardinal Koch welcomed the group to Rome, and said that "I have had an enduring ecumenical interest in the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and in your history, your life of faith, your liturgy and theology. I have always felt very at home in your presence. Despite our longstanding separation, we share a solid basis of faith and ecclesial order." With great sadness the Cardinal also informed the group of the death of one of the Ethiopian Orthodox representatives, Father Megabe Biluy Seife Selassie. He has been replaced by Archdeacon Daniel Seife Michael, an instructor at Holy Trinity Theological University College in Addis Ababa. The cardinal also offered congratulations to Father John Matthews who, since the last meeting, was ordained a bishop and given the name Metropolitan Dr. Youhanan Mar Demetrios, Assistant Metropolitan of Delhi, and to His Eminence Nareg Alemezian who has been elevated to the rank of Archbishop. Metropolitan Bishoy took the occasion to congratulate Cardinal Koch on his appointment as President of the Pontifical Council, and to express his gratitude to Cardinal Walter Kasper for his co-chairmanship of the commission until his retirement last year. He also stressed that the official name of his family of churches should always be "Oriental Orthodox Churches."

At this meeting, the members continued their study - in a very friendly atmosphere - of the ways in which the churches expressed their communion with one another until the middle of the fifth century and the role played by monasticism in this. The papers presented included "The Communion and Communication that Existed Between Our Churches Until the Mid-Fifth Century of Christian History As Well As the Role Played by Monasticism: The Tradition of Antioch," by Archbishop Theophilus George Saliba; "The Petrine Office and the Question, Who Established the Church of Rome?: Coptic Orthodox Perspective," by Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette, "Communion and Communication Among the Churches in the Tradition of Alexandria," by Father Mark Sheridan, OSB; "The Role of Monasticism in the Development and Communion of the Churches," by Father Columba Stewart, OSB; "Communion and Communication that Existed Between Our Churches Until the Mid-Fifth Century of Christian History and the Role Played by Monasticism: The Ethiopian Experience," by Archdeacon Daniel Seife Michael Feleke; "The Reception of the Ecumenical Councils in the Armenian Tradition (VIII-XV cc.)" and "Communion and Communication," by Archbishop Yeznik Petrossian; "Communion and Communication Between the St. Thomas Christians of India and Other Churches till Mid-Fifth Century A.D. - Indian Orthodox Perspective," by Metropolitan Dr. Gabriel Mar Gregorios; "Communion and Communication Between the St. Thomas Christians of India and Other Churches till Mid-Fifth Century A.D. - A Syrian Orthodox Perspective," by Metropolitan Dr Kuriakose Theophilose; "Communion and Communication Among the Churches: Rome in the Pre-Constantinian Era," by Prof. Dietmar W. Winkler.

In these various studies, the members of the commission focused more precisely on the concrete expressions of communion and communication among the churches before the separation. Indeed, communion was expressed primarily through various forms of communication. It was noted that in the pre-Constantinian period, there was an intense communication among the churches, especially in times of crisis. There was a common sense of responsibility towards the other churches that was found most clearly in the exchange of letters and synodal decisions. These provided a means of conveying encouragement and challenge to one another, as well as theological clarifications. This exchange was mutual among the various churches. It exemplified a remarkable degree of communion among local communities in a process that lacked central direction after 250 years of expansion throughout the Roman Empire and beyond, including Armenia, Persia, Ethiopia and India. The universal phenomenon of Christian asceticism, present from the earliest times, found expression in the monastic movements, emerging from the late third century in all parts of the Christian world. There was a fruitful exchange of monastic spiritual writings emanating from the Christian Orient, even across doctrinal divisions.

In the evening of January 25, the members attended a Vespers service in the Basilica of Saint Paul's Outside the Walls presided over by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. In his homily the Holy Father made reference to the presence of the members of the dialogue, and said, "We entrust the success of your meeting to the Lord, that it may be another step forward towards our longed-for unity". On Thursday evening January 27, Cardinal Koch hosted a dinner for the dialogue members and staff of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity at the Domus Sanctae Marthae in the Vatican.

Pope Benedict XVI received the members of the commission in private audience on Friday morning January 28. Cardinal Koch and Metropolitan Bishoy thanked the Pope for receiving the commission, and Metropolitan Bishoy presented a Coptic icon of Saint Mary the Mother of God to him on behalf of the members of the commission. The Pope then greeted the members, saying "It is with great joy that I welcome you, the members of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. Through you I gladly extend fraternal greetings to my venerable Brothers, the Heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches. I am grateful for the work of the Commission which began in January 2003 as a shared initiative of the ecclesial authorities of the family of the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. As you know, the first phase of the dialogue, from 2003 to 2009, resulted in the common text entitled Nature, Constitution and Mission of the Church. The document outlined aspects of fundamental ecclesiological principles that we share and identified issues requiring deeper reflection in successive phases of the dialogue. We can only be grateful that after almost fifteen hundred years of separation we still find agreement about the sacramental nature of the Church, about apostolic succession in priestly service and about the impelling need to bear witness to the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the world. In the second phase the Commission has reflected from an historical perspective on the ways in which the Churches expressed their communion down the ages. During the meeting this week you are deepening your study of the communion and communication that existed between the Churches until the mid-fifth century of Christian history, as well as the role played by monasticism in the life of the early Church. We must be confident that your theological reflection will lead our Churches not only to understand each other more deeply, but resolutely to continue our journey decisively towards the full communion to which we are called by the will of Christ. For this intention we have lifted up our common prayer during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity which has just ended. Many of you come from regions where Christian individuals and communities face trials and difficulties that are a cause of deep concern for us all. All Christians need to work together in mutual acceptance and trust in order to serve the cause of peace and justice. May the intercession and example of the many martyrs and saints, who have given courageous witness to Christ in all our Churches, sustain and strengthen you and your Christian communities. With sentiments of fraternal affection I invoke upon all of you the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ."

The ninth meeting of the International Joint Commission will take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the invitation of His Holiness Abune Paulos I, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Tewahido Orthodox Church. The members will plan to arrive on Monday January 16, 2012, and depart on Monday January 23. The two delegations will meet separately on Tuesday January 17, and in plenary session on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, January 18, 19, and 21. They will participate in the celebration of Epiphany (Timkat) on January 20, and in Sunday liturgies on January 22.

The members concluded with joyful thanks to God, the Father Son and Holy Spirit, for what has been accomplished at this meeting.

* * *

The members of the Commission are:

Representatives of the Oriental Orthodox Churches

(in alphabetical order)

Antiochian Syrian Orthodox Church: H.E. Mor Theophilus George Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon, Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Syrian Orthodox Church, Beirut, Lebanon; H.E. Kuriakose Theophilose, Metropolitan of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Theological Seminary and President of the Ecumenical Secretariat of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church in India, Ernakulam, India;

Armenian Apostolic Church: Catholicosate of all Armenians: H.E. Khajag Barsamian, Archbishop of the Eastern Diocese of the USA, New York; H.E. Archbishop Yeznik Petrossian, General Secretary of Bible Society of Armenia, Etchmiadzin, Armenia;

Armenian Apostolic Church: Holy See of Cilicia: H.E. Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy in the USA, New York; H.G. Archbishop Nareg Alemezian, Ecumenical Officer of the Holy See of Cilicia, Antelias, Lebanon;

Coptic Orthodox Church: H.E. Anba Bishoy (co-chair), Metropolitan of Damiette, Egypt, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church; Rev. Fr. Shenouda joooj Ishak, West Henrietta, New York, USA; H.G. Bishop Daniel of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Sydney, Australia (observer);

Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church: Rev. Fr. Kaleab Gebreselassie Gebru, Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Patriarchate, Asmara, Eritrea (unable to attend);

Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church: Archdeacon Daniel Seife Michael Feleke of Holy Trinity Theological University College in Addis Ababa; Mr. Lique Hiruyan Getachew Guadie (unable to attend);

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church: H.E. Metropolitan Dr. Gabriel Mar Gregorios, President of the Department of Ecumenical Relations, Diocese of Trivandrum, India; H. G. Metropolitan Dr. Youhanon Mar Demetrios, Assistant Bishop of Delhi (co-secretary), Delhi, India.

Representatives of the Catholic Church

His Eminence Cardinal Kurt Koch (co-chair), President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity;

Most Reverend Paul-Werner Scheele, Bishop Emeritus of Würzburg, Germany;

Most Reverend Youhanna Golta, Patriarchal Auxiliary Bishop of the Coptic Catholic Patriarchate, Cairo, Egypt;

Most Reverend Jules Mikhael Al-Jamil, Procurator of the Syrian Catholic Patriarchate to the Holy See and Apostolic Visitator in Europe, Rome;

Most Reverend Peter Marayati, Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, Syria;

Most Reverend Woldetensae Ghebreghiorghis, Apostolic Vicar of Harar, Ethiopia, President of the Ecumenical Commission of the Catholic Church in Ethiopia and Eritrea;

Rev. Fr. Frans Bouwen M.Afr., Consultant to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Jerusalem;

Rev. Fr. Columba Stewart, OSB, Executive Director, Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, St. John's Abbey and University, Collegeville, Minnesota, USA;

Rev. Fr. Ronald G. Roberson, CSP, Associate Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC, USA;

Rev. Fr. Paul Rouhana, OLM, Université Saint-Esprit, Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon (unable to attend);

Rev. Fr. Mark Sheridan, OSB, Pontificio Ateneo S. Anselmo, Rome;

Rev. Fr. Mathew Vellanickal, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Changanacherry, India;

Rev. Fr. Boghos Levon Zekiyan, Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome;

Prof. Dietmar W. Winkler, Consultant to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Salzburg, Austria.

Rev. Fr. Gabriel Quicke, Official of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Rome (co-secretary).

Rome, January 28, 2011

Link to comment
Подели на овим сајтовима

  • 4 months later...
  • 7 months later...

INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION FOR THEOLOGICAL DIALOGUE

BETWEEN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND

THE ORIENTAL ORTHODOX CHURCHES REPORT

REPORT

Ninth Meeting

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 17 to 21, 2012

The ninth meeting of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from January 17 to 21, 2012. The meeting was hosted by His Holiness Abuna Paulos I, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. It was chaired jointly by His Eminence Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and by His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Joining delegates from the Catholic Church were representatives of the following Oriental Orthodox Churches: the Antiochian Syrian Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of All Armenians), the Armenian Apostolic Church (Holy See of Cilicia), the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. No representative of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church was able to attend.

The two delegations met separately on the morning of January 17. In the afternoon, the Catholic members attended a prayer service with the local Catholic hierarchy, clergy, religious and faithful, at the Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady. They were greeted with an address by Abune Berhaneyesus D. Souraphiel, CM, Metropolitan Archbishop of Addis Ababa and President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Ethiopia. Cardinal Koch was also invited to speak to the assembly. That same evening, all the members of the commission accepted a gracious invitation from His Excellency Archbishop George Panikulam, Apostolic Nuncio in Ethiopia, to attend a friendship dinner at the Apostolic Nunciature in honor of His Holiness Patriarch Paulos, who also attended the meal.

The Joint Commission held plenary sessions on January 18, 19, and 21. Each day began with Morning Prayer. At the beginning of the meeting Metropolitan Bishoy congratulated one of the Catholic members, Rev. Fr. Paul Rouhana, on his recent election as General Secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches.

The meeting was formally opened on the morning of January 18 by His Holiness Patriarch Paulos. In his address to the members, the Patriarch said, "It is with great pleasure and gratitude we welcome you, the Co-chairs, co-secretaries and members of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. And let our spiritual greetings reach to our most venerable brothers, the Heads of our churches, through you. The history of the church tells us that division between the ancient Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Church can be traced back to the years after the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD, whose Christological teaching was not accepted by the Oriental Orthodox Churches. Henceforth, no dialogue or even trial was made to bring these churches into their original unified status before 451 AD and no attempt and activity resulted in settling an irreversible solution to the division. Obviously the 20th century has brought about new horizons in which relations began to be developed through the Pro Oriente Foundation in Vienna. This process of relations led to the establishment of an official dialogue between the Catholic and Oriental Orthodox Churches in 2003, under the title "International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches." In accordance with the formally prescribed setups of the commission in Rome, we could say the Joint Commission has developed a few articles related to fundamental aspects of ecclesiology. The issue of communion and communication among our ancient churches in the first five centuries, currently undertaken by the commission since January 2010, is perhaps expected to establish good historical understanding of our churches. We think such technical and scholarly selection of items for discussion will bring many more outstanding results beyond the initially expected purpose of the Joint Commission. Therefore, this theological and spiritual contemplation will not only unveil the historical and theological facts that exist in common but also will show us the direction for the future. The ninth meeting of the Joint Commission in Addis Ababa is expected to bring much more progress in your theological examinations of enormous ecclesiastical issues. And we hope that the agendas chosen to be discussed here will be exhausted with utmost attention. To this end we would like to encourage your skilful monitoring of agendas in the Joint commission. As we all know, this is the season of Epiphany, the celebration of the baptism of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church celebrates this liturgical, highly spiritual, and unifying feast colorfully and with magnificent numbers of believers. The theological meaning of this feast is highly significant which reflects the mystery of baptism, making all of us children of God, which is on the other hand inspiring. As I officially open the Ninth meeting of the Catholic- Oriental Orthodox International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue, I wish all success and the grace of God to be with you. May it be a blessed and fruitful meeting to the Glory our Lord, Our God and Savior Jesus Christ. I pray to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, that His Divine guidance be in your midst during this meeting. May Almighty God Bless us all, bless our world and give us His everlasting Peace! amen."

The papers presented at this meeting included "Martyrdom as an Element of Communion and Communication" by Metropolitan Bishoy, "Martyrdom: An Element of ChristianCommunio," by Bishop Paul-Werner Scheele, "Exercise of Ecclesial Communion in the New Testament" by Rev. Fr. Matthew Vellanickal, "The Exercise of Communion as Reflected in the New Testament Writings" by Dr. Kuriakose Theophilose Metropolitan, "Prayer and Liturgy in Religious Life as a Means of Communion and Communication" by Rev. Fr. Columba Stewart, OSB, and "Prayer and Liturgy in the Religious Life: Their Significance for Communion and Communication," by Rev. Fr. Daniel Seife Michael Feleke.

In these studies, the members noted that, even in the New Testament, there were various expressions of the koinonia of the apostolic churches in their diversity. The understanding of martyrdom was essential to the early Christian experience both in terms of witness to the faith and sacrificial self-offering. The veneration of martyrs emerged early as a point of unity among the churches. Both personal and liturgical prayer of early Christians was rooted in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. The Eucharistic liturgy particularly manifested a common structure and also a variety of traditions that were mutually enriching.

With these studies, the members continued their examination of the ways in which the Catholic and Oriental Orthodox Churches expressed their communion with one another in the period before their division in the middle of the fifth century. Over the course of the next year, a drafting committee will meet to examine the papers presented in the present phase of the dialogue with the intention of producing a draft text to be examined at the 2013 meeting of the Commission. At that meeting, the members will also examine the themes, "The Saints as an Element in the Communion and Communication in the Early Church," and "The Process of Recognition/Canonization of Saints in History and Today."

His Holiness the Ethiopian Patriarch invited the members to attend the celebration of Timkat, the Ethiopian Orthodox liturgical commemoration of Epiphany, on January 20. This joyful festival took place outdoors at Jan Meda at the side of a large pool of water and was attended by hundreds of thousands of faithful. Both Metropolitan Bishoy and Cardinal Koch were invited to address the gathering. On that same evening, the Patriarch invited the members to dinner in his residence. On January 21 the Joint Commission met with students and staff from Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Addis Ababa.

The tenth meeting of the International Joint Commission will take place in Rome in January 2013. The members will arrive on Tuesday January 22, have separate meetings on the morning of January 23, plenaries on the afternoon of January 23, as well as the full days of January 24, 25, and 26, and plan to depart on Monday, January 28.

The members concluded with joyful thanks to God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, for what has been accomplished at this meeting.

* * *

The members of the Commission are:

Representatives of the Oriental Orthodox Churches (in alphabetical order)

Antiochian Syrian Orthodox Church: H.E. Mor Theophilus George Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon, Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Syrian Orthodox Church, Beirut, Lebanon; H.E. Kuriakose Theophilose, Metropolitan of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Theological Seminary and President of the Ecumenical Secretariat of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church in India, Ernakulam, India;

Armenian Apostolic Church: Catholicosate of all Armenians: H.E. Khajag Barsamian, Archbishop of the Eastern Diocese of the USA, New York (unable to attend, represented by H.G. Bishop Armash Nalbandian of the Armenian Diocese of Damascus); H.E. Archbishop Yeznik Petrossian, General Secretary of Bible Society of Armenia, Etchmiadzin, Armenia (unable to attend);

Armenian Apostolic Church: Holy See of Cilicia: H.E. Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy in the USA, New York; H.G. Archbishop Nareg Alemezian, Ecumenical Officer of the Holy See of Cilicia, Antelias, Lebanon;

Coptic Orthodox Church: H.E. Anba Bishoy (co-chair), Metropolitan of Damiette, Egypt, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church; Rev. Fr. Shenouda maher Ishak, West Henrietta, New York, USA; H.G. Bishop Daniel of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Sydney, Australia (observer); Priest Monk Cedrack Amba Bishoy, Representative of the Coptic Orthodox Church to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (observer);

Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church: Rev. Fr. Kaleab Gebreselassie Gebru, Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Patriarchate, Asmara, Eritrea (unable to attend);

Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church: Rev. Fr. Daniel Seife Michael Feleke of Holy Trinity Theological University College in Addis Ababa; Mr. Lique Hiruyan Getachew Guadie (unable to attend); Abba Dr. Hailemariam Melese, Vice Dean of the Holy Trinity Theological College, Addis Ababa (observer);

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church: H.E. Metropolitan Dr. Gabriel Mar Gregorios, President of the Department of Ecumenical Relations, Diocese of Trivandrum, India; H. E. Metropolitan Dr. Youhanon Mar Demetrios, Bishop of Delhi (co-secretary), Delhi, India; Rev. Dr. Jossi Jacob, Director of the Post Graduate Department and member of the faculty of the Holy Trinity Theological College of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (observer).

Representatives of the Catholic Church

His Eminence Cardinal Kurt Koch (co-chair), President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity;

Most Reverend Paul-Werner Scheele, Bishop Emeritus of Würzburg, Germany;

Most Reverend Youhanna Golta, Patriarchal Auxiliary Bishop of the Coptic Catholic Patriarchate, Cairo, Egypt (unable to attend);

Most Reverend Jules Mikhael Al-Jamil, Procurator of the Syrian Catholic Patriarchate to the Holy See and Apostolic Visitator in Europe, Rome (unable to attend);

Most Reverend Peter Marayati, Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, Syria;

Most Reverend Woldetensae Ghebreghiorghis, Apostolic Vicar of Harar, Ethiopia, President of the Ecumenical Commission of the Catholic Church in Ethiopia and Eritrea;

Rev. Fr. Frans Bouwen M.Afr., Consultant to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Jerusalem;

Rev. Fr. Columba Stewart, OSB, Executive Director, Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, St. John's Abbey and University, Collegeville, Minnesota, USA;

Rev. Fr. Ronald G. Roberson, CSP, Associate Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC, USA;

Rev. Fr. Paul Rouhana, OLM, Université Saint-Esprit, Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon, and General Secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches;

Rev. Fr. Mark Sheridan, OSB, Pontificio Ateneo S. Anselmo, Rome;

Rev. Fr. Mathew Vellanickal, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Changanacherry, India;

Rev. Fr. Boghos Levon Zekiyan, Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome;

Prof. Dietmar W. Winkler, Consultant to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Salzburg, Austria.

Rev. Fr. Gabriel Quicke, Official of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Rome (co-secretary).

Abune Musié Ghebreghiorghis, Eparch of Emdibir (observer)

Abba Petros Berga Sorballa, Executive Secretary of the Assembly of the Catholic Bishops of Ethiopia (observer)

Addis Ababa, January 21, 2012

Link to comment
Подели на овим сајтовима

Придружите се разговору

Можете одговорити сада, а касније да се региструјете на Поуке.орг Ако имате налог, пријавите се сада да бисте објавили на свом налогу.

Guest
Имаш нешто да додаш? Одговори на ову тему

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Чланови који сада читају   0 чланова

    Нема регистрованих чланова који гледају ову страницу

×
×
  • Креирај ново...