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783Oriental Orthodox Churches' 8th Meeting

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  • Thomas Daniel
    Dec 30, 2005
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      Heads of Oriental Orthodox Churches Conclude their Eighth Meeting,
      December 9-10, 2005, with a Common Declaration

      The Common Declaration signed by their Holinesses, Pope Shenouda
      III, Patriarch Mar Ignatius Zakka I and Catholicos Aram I,
      reaffirmed their unity of faith based on common doctrinal position
      and theological teachings and manifested through Eucharistic
      communion and other sacraments of the Church.

      The three Heads of churches reaffirmed their commitment to the
      ecumenical movement both through the World Council of Churches and
      the Middle East Council of Churches. In their solidarity and unity
      of faith, they feel responsible to strive for the unity of all the
      churches, in the region and other parts of the world.

      It is with the same spirit that their churches are actively engaged
      in bilateral theological dialogues with Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican
      and Reformed Churches which will further spell out the authenticity
      and orthodoxy of the Christological teachings of the Oriental
      Orthodox Churches.

      Together they called for the preservation of the sacredness and
      integrity of the Christian Family, an institution established by
      God, hence condemning all practices and behaviors related to
      marriage and sexual orientation that are not in accord with biblical
      and moral teachings.

      They reaffirmed the importance of inter-religious dialogue,
      underlining that Christian-Muslim Dialogue has been an integral part
      of the history, civilization and culture of the Middle East. With
      the prevailing situation and developments in the region, this
      dialogue of life should be enhanced to develop mutual respect and
      understanding between Christian and Muslim teachers, scholars and
      community leaders.

      They appealed to their communities living in different parts of the
      world to remain firmly attached to their native lands by supporting
      initiatives and actions that promote Peace with justice in the
      Middle East, highlighting the role their respective churches have
      played in this respect. The peace process must continue they said
      and UN Security Council resolutions must be implemented by Israel,
      and Iraq should regain its independence, integrity and sovereignty.
      Only full justice will bring a real, permanent and comprehensive
      peace in the region.

      Condemning all forms and expressions of violence, Heads of churches
      stressed that Religion in its essence is a promoter of love, hope
      and reconciliation. They appealed to their churches worldwide to
      remain faithful to the gospel committing themselves to give renewed
      efficiency and vitality to the witness of their churches.

      The full text of the Common Declaration is posted on the MECC
      website at: www.mec-churches.org <http://www.mec-churches.org/>