Oriental Orthodox Churches' 8th Meeting
- 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
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
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/>