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ORIENATAL ORTHODOX RELATIONS STRENGTHENED

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  • Mebratu K. Gebru
    PEACE UNTO YOU ALL: Am glad to advise you that pursuant to the last Summer meeting of the three Eastern/Orienatal pontiffs (Their Holinesses Pope Shenouda III,
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 15, 2008
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      PEACE UNTO YOU ALL:

      Am glad to advise you that pursuant to the last Summer meeting of the
      three Eastern/Orienatal pontiffs (Their Holinesses Pope Shenouda III,
      Patriarch Paulos, and Catholicos Aram Ist) in Cairo, Egypt, which
      brought forth the following joint declaration, H.H. Pope Shenouda III
      has paid a three-day (April 11-13/ 2008) visit to the Ethiopian
      Orthodox TEWAHEDO Church in the Ethiopian Capital, Addis Ababa. In
      his short visit, among other things, besides the Divine Liturgy
      (QIDDASE) which he concelebrated with Abuna Paulos at a grand
      Cathedral in Addis Ababa, Pope Shenouda III laid wreaths on the tombs
      of H.I.M. Haile-Sillassie Ist and the late H.H. Abuna Theophilus, I
      think, in reminiscence to his previous visit to Ethiopia in 1973
      during the regime of Emperor Haile-Sillassie and Pontificate of Abuna
      Theophilus, the second Patriarch of the Ethiopian Church.

      Let us hope that the renewed relation of the two heads of the Coptic
      and Ethiopian Orthodox Churches will finally result in the resumption
      of the first ever conference of the 5 Oriental Orthodox Churches
      which was held in Addis Ababa in 1965.

      Fraternally,
      Mebratu K. Gebru.
      ---------------------------
      We, Pope Shenouda III, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of
      Saint Mark; Catholicos Aram I, Catholicos of the Armenians of the
      Great House of Cilicia, and Patriarch Paulos, Patriarch of the
      Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, give thanks to our Lord Jesus
      Christ for granting us the opportunity to meet in Saint Mark's
      Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt, July 13-14, 2007.

      We would like to emphasize the importance of this historical meeting
      in which we reaffirm our unity of faith that, for centuries, has been
      the basis of our common doctrinal position and theological teachings.
      Deeply rooted in the Holy Scriptures, the Apostolic Faith and
      Tradition, the three Ecumenical Councils (Nicaea 325, Constantinople
      381 and Ephesus 431) and the teachings of our Chur5ch Fathers,
      especially St. Athanasius the Great, St. Cyril of Alexandria and St .
      Gregory the Illuminator, our unity has sustained the life and witness
      of the Churches of the Oriental Orthodox Family becoming a living
      source of spiritual strength and missionary engagement. For the
      Oriental Orthodox Churches, the full communion and the visible unity
      of churches are based on the unity of faith which is manifested
      through Eucharistic communion and other Sacraments of the Church.
      Pope Shenouda III and Patriarch Paulos would like to express their
      deep thanks to His Holiness Aram I for his fraternal efforts to bring
      this historic meeting into reality, hoping for him a safe journey
      back to Antelias-Lebanon, after his important visit to Addis Ababa.

      After signing the protocol of the relations between the Coptic
      Orthodox Church and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in April
      1994 by the heads of these churches through the approval of both holy
      synods, no meeting was possible to take place between the two heads
      since that time. Also, the Joint Commission did not continue its work
      after signing the protocol except during the short visit of the
      Coptic-Armenian delegation last month from Cairo and Antelias to
      Addis Ababa. Both churches are looking forward to the continuation of
      their historical relations with the pastoral services and doctrinal
      teachings. Convening a Joint holy synod is possible in fulfillment of
      the articles of the protocol.

      Pope Shenouda III and Catholicos Aram extend their congratulations to
      His Holiness Abune Paulos on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of
      his enthronement as Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo
      Church.

      Patriarch Paulos and Catholicos Aram I would like to express their
      thanks to His Holiness Pope Shenouda III for his warm hospitality.

      May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all the faithful of
      our Churches.
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