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From: Hosny Hakim
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
We, Pope Shenouda III, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of
St. Mark of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I,
Patriarch of Antioch and all the East of the Syrian Orthodox Church,
and Catholicos Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia of
the Armenian Orthodox Church, and the members of the Standing
Committee: H.E. Metropolitan Bishoy, H.G. Bishop Moussa, H.E.
Metropolitan Theophilus George Saliba, H.G. Bishop Sebouh Sarkissian,
and Archimandrite Nareg Alemezian, who are with us, give thanks to
God for bringing us together once again in the context of this Fourth
Meeting of the Heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches in the Middle
East, March 15-17, 2001, at the St. Mark Center of the Coptic
Orthodox Church, Nasr City-Cairo, Egypt.
II. Theological Dialogues
A. Oriental Orthodox Churches-Eastern Orthodox Churches
1. We discussed the actual state of the theological dialogue between
the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Churches, and emphasized the
importance of this d ialogue for the full unity of Orthodox Churches.
2. In response to the invitation of His Holiness Alexy II Patriarch
of Moscow and all Russia, we appointed Metropolitan Bishoy,
Metropolitan Eustathius Mattha Rohom and Archimandrite Nareg
Alemezian to participate in the meeting of the Coordinating
Committee. This Committee, which will meet in Moscow, March 20-22,
2001, will prepare the agenda
for the meeting of a larger Committee. The purpose of this Mixed
Committee will be to discuss the present situation of theological
dialogue between the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Churches, and to
explore the possibilities of enhancing this important process. This
Committee will also identify specific areas of closer ecumenical
collaboration between our Churches and the Russian Orthodox Church.
3. The Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church in June 2000 and the
Permanent Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria
and all Africa in November 2000 have approved the pastoral agreement
reached between them regarding the mutual recognition of the
sacrament of the holy matrimony blessed in their respective churches
in case of mixed marriages. We welcomed this significant ecumenical
initiative, as we did in respect to a similar decision contained in
the agreement that was reached between the Syrian Orthodox Church of
Antioch and the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch.
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