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Report of the Second Meeting of Catholic-Oriental Orthodox Theological Dialogue

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  • Thomas Daniel
    Report of the Second Meeting of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 2, 2005
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      Report of 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
      (25January) 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 Maher);
      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 W├╝rzburg, 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., Universit├ę 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 Jamuary 2005

      Source: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SOCM-FORUM/message/5823

      Posted By
      Thomas Daniel (Reji)
      St. George Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church
      Cheppaud, Alleppy Dist, Kerala, Inida
      http://groups.msn.com/StGeorgeSyrianOrthodoxChurchCheppaud
      http://www.socdigest.org/
      http://apostolicvisit.cjb.net/
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