Friday, December 5, 2014

Joint Commission for the Dialogue between Eastern Orthodox & Oriental Orthodox Churches Revamped - Response of a Lay man

Joint Commission for the Dialogue between Eastern Orthodox & Oriental Orthodox Churches Revamped : Communique Available - Response of a Lay man

Wonderful to see that  this effort in which Fr. V.C Samuel of Memory Eternal whose memory we remembered on November 18 and many others still continue keenly. The dialogue was yet again reaffirmed in 1965 when Heads of Oriental Orthodox Church  met in Addis Ababa ( We are celebrating 50 years of this event in January 2015 - Wondering if the 6 Oriental Orthodox communities have at least had a dialogue within respective Synods and one other to commemorate and re-look the decisions and work together on path forward as One Body ) . Let us also keep in mind that all the fruit of the dialogue that  started with God as per Scriptures in St. John 17 .

The dialogue of 1964 in which V.C Samuel Achen was a participant had the theologians from both families agreeing to understand each other as having same faith and taking the effort back to their communities . However we live in an imperfect fallen world which is being redeemed an encounter with Christ and one other as Church with imperfect members from the world  .

 In 2001  I asked the OCA St. Vladimir Seminary  if they would include web pages of Oriental Orthodox  under a section as 'Other Orthodox Churches ' or 'Pre-Chalcedonian Orthodox Churches ' citing the statement of 1964 met  was a quick / short email saying  ' At this point , we only list Chalcedonian Churches in communion' . However in that we are seeing visible progress  because of day to day interface b/w the Seminarians of St. Vladimir from our Oriental Orthodox  and the authorities .  I believe by the various  day to day opportunities for an encounter between the two parties like the visits of our current  North East Diocese of North America Bishop Nicholovas to assist our students there made a lot of inroads in that direction than when the theologians agreed in many things in paper. Personally I was blessed as a family from 2000 to 2003 in Calgary, Canada with the blessing and permission from the both bishops ( HG Seraphim of OCA and our HG Makarios) to have communion in an OCA parish as we had not our parish and circumstances was limiting for me to attend other OO parishes in Calgary when they had liturgy'   

Having said that , I see this statement-  '  was noted that three local Churches from the Orthodox family (Alexandria, Antioch and Romania) and three Churches from the Oriental Orthodox family (Alexandria, Antioch and Malankara- India), had already declared their acceptance of the agreed statements and proposals from the Joint Commission.'

Praying that our Synod or a Kalpana from Catholicose of East , listing in detail which agreed statements and proposals   to all parishes , that can reaffirm this as  don't think we would  want  to go through repeating history people  like Fr. V.C Samuel Achen had to face . This will help provide voice to theologians and the laity o to know and work towards an agreement is real and not in paper alone
George Varghese
Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church

Reference :

See a very clear balanced approach by Fr. Peter of British Orthodox Church which seem not sure if considered by these Theologians who participate in these dialogues

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