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Communique. Joint Int'l Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Orthodo

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  • Nina_Dimas_42
    http://portal-credo.ru/site/print.php?act=news&id=47488 ENGLISH VERSION: Communique. Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue Between the
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 25, 2006
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      ENGLISH VERSION: Communique. Joint International Commission for the
      Theological Dialogue Between the Orthodox Church and the Roman
      Catholic Church
      The ninth meeting of the Joint International Commission for the
      Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Roman
      Catholic Church met in Belgrade, Serbia, from 18-25 September 2006,
      continuing the work begun in 1980 to seek the restoration of full
      communion. The Orthodox Church of Serbia generously provided
      hospitality for the meeting. The official opening took place in the
      patriarchal chapel of the Serbian Patriarchate in the presence of
      His Holiness Patriarch Pavle who welcomed the members of the
      Commission and offered his prayerful support, saying: "…Welcome all
      of you, to this house of God of our Church and of our people and my
      home! My humble prayer shall cover your Theological Dialogue of love
      and truth, for that is why you have gathered here. Of far greater
      significance, even of sole importance, is that all of you be
      strengthened by the grace of the Holy Spirit, which rectifies all of
      our shortcomings and heals all of our weaknesses". The Commission
      invoked the Holy Spirit on its work.

      At the first working session in the Sava International Centre, the
      Co-Presidents H.E. Cardinal Walter Kasper and H.E. Metropolitan John
      of Pergamon introduced the work of the Commission, and H.E.
      Metropolitan Jovan of Zagreb welcomed all present on behalf of the
      Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The Prime Minister of
      Serbia, Dr Vojislav Kostunica, addressed the Commission, affirming
      that: "...The Churches of the East and West are setting an
      extraordinary example by means of their dialogue, and this
      theological meeting in Belgrade represents a reference point on the
      way. The greatest gift to contemporary humanity would be to convince
      people, perhaps first and foremost the political elites, that
      dialogue has no alternative and that every form of application of
      force, dictate or imposition of one's own models and solutions–in
      service of primarily personal interests– destroys the last remaining
      bridges between confronted peoples and communities, instead of
      building of peace, confidence, solidarity and cooperation…". He also
      hosted a reception and dinner for all the participants.

      The Joint Commission is composed of 30 Orthodox and 30 Roman
      Catholic members, and is chaired by two Co-Presidents, H.E. Cardinal
      Walter Kasper and H.E. Metropolitan John of Pergamon (Ecumenical
      Patriarchate). H.E. Metropolitan Gennadios of Sassima (Ecumenical
      Patriarchate) and Monsignor Eleuterio Fortino from the Pontifical
      Council for Promoting Christian Unity, serve as the Joint
      Commission's Secretaries. The entire Roman Catholic delegation was
      present in the Belgrade meeting except for two members who were
      unable to attend. Orthodox members represented the Ecumenical
      Patriarchate, the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa, the
      Patriarchate of Antioch, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the
      Patriarchate of Moscow, the Patriarchate of Serbia, the Patriarchate
      of Romania, the Patriarchate of Georgia, the Church of Cyprus, the
      Church of Greece, the Church of Poland, the Church of Albania, the
      Church of Czech Lands and Slovakia and the Church of Finland.

      The Joint Commission discussed a text entitled: "The Ecclesiological
      and Canonical Consequences of the Sacramental Nature of the Church:
      Conciliarity and Authority in the Church", at three levels of the
      Church's life: local, regional and universal. That text prepared by
      the Joint Coordinating Committee in Moscow in 1990 was to have been
      presented at the plenary meeting of the Joint Commission in
      Freising, Germany, the same year, but was not discussed then or
      later because events taking place in Eastern Europe at that time
      obliged the Commission to address the issue of "uniatism" in
      relation to the ecumenical dialogue. In the present meeting the
      document prepared in Moscow was carefully examined in a shared
      spirit of genuine commitment to the search for unity.

      A Joint Drafting Committee was appointed to revise the text in the
      light of the many observations and comments made during the
      discussion on the text. A revised text will be the object of
      discussion at the next meeting of the Joint Commission which will be
      hosted by the Roman Catholic Church, next year, 2007.

      During the week-long meeting the Roman Catholic delegates were
      present at the Orthodox Divine Liturgy in St. Mark's Church on the
      Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God, the Theotokos, and the
      Orthodox members in a Mass at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of
      Ascension of the Holy Virgin of Belgrade at the invitation of the
      Archbishop Stanislav Hocevar. The members of the Commission also had
      the opportunity to visit the historic Ravanica Monastery. A dinner
      was offered in the Monastery by H.E. Bishop Ignatij of Branichevo.
      On Sunday evening the President of Serbia H.E. Boris Tadic hosted a
      dinner at his residence in honour of the Commission.

      The meeting of the Joint Commission was marked by a spirit of
      friendship and trustful collaboration. The members of the Commission
      greatly appreciated the generous hospitality of the Serbian Orthodox
      Church, and they strongly commend the ongoing work of the dialogue
      to the prayers of the faithful.

      Belgrade, Serbia, 24 September 2006
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