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« on: February 02, 2004, 04:27:24 PM »

Preparatory Committee Meeting
for the Catholic Church - Oriental Orthodox Churches
International Joint Commission for Dialogue
 
Rome, Italy, 27 - 29 January 2003
 

Catholic and Oriental Orthodox representatives, delegated by their Churches, met 27-29 January 2003, as members of the Preparatory Committee for the Catholic Church-Oriental Orthodox Churches International Joint Commission for Dialogue, under the co-chairmanship of His Eminence Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
 
The meeting was held in Rome, Italy, at the offices of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, in response to a letter dated September 10, 2002, and addressed to all the Heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches by Cardinal Kasper to engage in an official dialogue with the Catholic Church. Comprising Oriental Orthodox Churches are: Coptic Orthodox Church, Syrian Orthodox Church, Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of all Armenians), Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of Cilicia), Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and Eritrean Orthodox Church.
 
In his opening address, Cardinal Kasper welcomed the participants by saying: “I greatly appreciate your willingness to take part in this meeting, which hopefully may become a new and promising step in our journey towards full communion”, and referring to the work accomplished in the past, he stated: “This meeting is not the first, nor will it be the last along the path of our ecumenical venture. Much has been achieved in previous years, and still more remains to be done in the years to come”.
The members noted that unofficial consultations  held between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches (Pro Oriente, started in September 1971, in Vienna, Austria), the official declarations made by the Catholic Church and any Oriental Orthodox Church and other dialogue agreements reached on regional basis between the Catholic Church and any Oriental Orthodox Church, already provide valuable background for the initiation of the official dialogue. This dialogue has as its aim to foster a better understanding and relationship between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches by addressing issues of common concern, in response to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s prayer that His disciples, given to Him in the name of His Father, might be one as He and the Father are one (ref. John 17.11).

The Preparatory Committee members were received in audience by His Holiness Pope John Paul II on Tuesday, January 28. After an introduction and an address made by Cardinal Kasper, His Holiness delivered a welcoming message, extending his fraternal greetings to the Heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches and wishing “may your efforts to establish a Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue prove a major step forward towards full communion in truth and charity”.

The Preparatory Committee officially established the rules of membership of the Catholic Church-Oriental Orthodox Churches International Joint Commission for Dialogue and set up the work plan, agenda, membership, procedures, methodologies and timetable for the Joint Commission.  The first meeting of this Joint Commission is foreseen for the end of January 2004.

The six sessions of the meeting were held in the context of daily morning and evening prayer, and in a very cordial atmosphere. Separate meetings for the representatives of the two Church families enabled the co-ordinated contribution to the overall planning process.

The members expressed their gratitude to the Catholic Church for providing accommodation and hospitality.

The members of the Preparatory Committee were:

 

Representatives of the Oriental Orthodox Churches

Coptic Orthodox Church:  H.E. Amba Bishoy, Metropolitan of Damiette, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church

Syrian Orthodox Church:   H.E. Mor Theophilos Georges Saliba,  Archbishop of Mount Lebanon, Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Syrian Orthodox Church

Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of all Armenians):   H.E. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the USA

Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of Cilicia):  H.E. Bishop Nareg Alemezian,  Ecumenical Officer of the Catholicosate of Cilicia

Eritrean Orthodox Church:  Rev. Fr. Kaleab Gebreselassie, Co-ordinator for Foreign Affairs

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church:  Rev. Fr. John Mathews, Secretary Committee on Inter-Church Relations

 

Representatives of the Catholic Church

H.E. Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

H.E. Mons. Brian Farell, Secretary of the PCPCU

Mons.  Eleuterio F. Fortino, Under-Secretary of the PCPCU

H.E. Mons. Paul-Werner Scheele, Bishop of W++rzburg (Germany), President of the Ecumenical Commission of the Catholic Church in Germany

H.E. Mons. 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

Rev. Fr. John Long, sj, member of the Catholic-Eastern Orthodox dialogue,   Ecumenical Lecturer and Consultant

Secretariat: Msgr Johan Bonny, staff-member of the PCPCU

 

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The poster formerly known as peterfarrington
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2004, 08:56:51 PM »

Praise God!

Say, what are the stats on OOx Churches? How many OOx are there worldwide? What about EOx?
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2004, 05:35:30 AM »

VATICAN, Jan 31, 03 (CWNews.com) -- After three days
of preliminary talks, Vatican officials and
representatives of the Oriental Orthodox churches
have agreed to set up a formal committee for ecumenical
dialogue.

The meetings held in Rome this week, under the sponsorship
of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, brought
together representatives of the churches that broke with
Rome after the Council of Chalcedon in 451-- long before
the "Great Schism" that led to the establishment of the
larger Orthodox churches. The Oriental Orthodox groups
include the Syrian Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic,
Syro-Malankar, Coptic, Ethiopian, and Eritrean Orthodox
churches.

These Eastern churches are not formally tied with one
another, but generally regard themselves as forming a
single ecclesial family. Although the Oriental Orthodox
broke with the Holy See because of differences on
Christological issues, their theological disagreements
with Rome have subsequently been resolved, and prospects
for ecumenical progress are generally regarded as
promising.

The three-day meeting in Rome was co-chaired by Cardinal
Walter Kasper (bio - news), the president of the Pontifical
Council for Christian Unity, and Metropolitan Amba Bishoy
of the Coptic Orthodox Church. The joint committee for
ecumenical dialogue, set up during this week's meetings,
will hold its first sessions in January 2004.
http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=19830
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2004, 01:53:46 PM »

The 1st formal meeting of the International Commission:

quote]4-February-2004 -- Vatican Information Service  

GREAT COMMITMENT IN ORTHODOX-CATHOLIC DIALOGUE
VATICAN CITY, FEB 4, 2004 (VIS) - On January 27-30, 2004 in Cairo, Egypt, the first meeting of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Coptic Orthodox Churches took place.

The meeting, hosted by His Holiness Shenouda III, Coptic Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria and the See of St. Mark, was presided by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and His Eminence Metropolitan Amba Bishoy of Damiette, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church, as delegates from their respective Churches.

In their opening speeches, both Cardinal Kasper and Metropolitan Bishoy underscored the importance of the meeting which marks the beginning of new official theological dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches as a family.

In the first part of the meeting the many studies and activities carried out over the past thirty years were examined. Later, discussion was opened up on the following topics: unofficial consultations held between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches; official dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church; official dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church; the declarations made by the Catholic Church and any Orthodox Church. A paper was presented which was jointly sponsored by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches in the U.S.A. on various aspects of their dialogue. The topics and discussion have demonstrated that considerable work has been done which may be useful for the future dialogue of the commission.

The 'work plan' and agenda for dialogue comprised the second part of the meeting which was dedicated to the topic of the next meeting, "Church as communion," scheduled to take place on January 25-30, 2005. Cardinal Kasper extended an invitation to have the meeting in Rome.
Quote

Right on!

AmdG

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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2004, 03:33:43 PM »

Isn't it at least somewhat irritating when Rome refers to the OOs and EOs as having broken away from Rome, and to the EOs as having been established after the schism?  One would hope that these news organizations would adopt a more ecumenical tone, since this seems to be the tone that Rome itself wishes to adopt.
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2004, 04:01:41 PM »

Dear Caffein(ator):

Based on the estimates of CNEWA, there are about 30 million OOs worldwide, with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church alone numbering about 16 million.

EOs number around 150 million worldwide,  with the Russian Orthodox Church alone at around 90 million.

Mor Ephrem might have more accurate numbers on the OO side.

AmdG
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2004, 05:53:36 PM »

Dear Caffein(ator):

Based on the estimates of CNEWA, there are about 30 million OOs worldwide, with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church alone numbering about 16 million.

EOs number around 150 million worldwide,  with the Russian Orthodox Church alone at around 90 million.

Mor Ephrem might have more accurate numbers on the OO side.

AmdG

I thought that world wide Orthodoxy was about 300 million?  Oh my, cut in half and I didn't even know it!  That's bad! (i.e., being reduced by 1/2, not my realization of it).
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2004, 06:02:46 PM »

Based on the estimates of CNEWA, there are about 30 million OOs worldwide, with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church alone numbering about 16 million.

I don't have accurate numbers, only questions.  Elsewhere, Stavro wrote that there are fifteen million Copts in Egypt alone.  What about the diaspora?  I've read somewhere (sorry, don't have the reference handy) that the Ethiopians have something like twenty to thirty million (I don't know whether that is total, or only in the diaspora).  The Orthodox Church in India has about four million (divided into two factions), but again, I'm not sure if that number is the total worldwide, or only in India.  I've heard the Syrians are less than that, but I've heard conflicting numbers.  So I am not sure if the CNEWA numbers are accurate: I would've thought the number would be a bit higher, but it's just a hunch.
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2004, 04:38:59 AM »

Isn't it at least somewhat irritating when Rome refers to the OOs and EOs as having broken away from Rome, and to the EOs as having been established after the schism?  One would hope that these news organizations would adopt a more ecumenical tone, since this seems to be the tone that Rome itself wishes to adopt.

Why, just look at the source! One wonders if that will be the tone of the meetings as well. Sad

Demetri
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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2004, 11:51:04 AM »

Dear Friends

More detailed news and participants list on this subject
can be read on the following link
http://www.suryoyo-online.org/news/orientcath2004.htm
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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2004, 03:30:02 PM »

Why, just look at the source! One wonders if that will be the tone of the meetings as well. Sad

Demetri

what does that supposed to mean? You guys take a similar tone. why are you always bashing us. we can't do anything right in your eyes. why is that. you criticise us at every turn.

Have you been taking lesson from protestants? Grin
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« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2004, 03:55:14 PM »

"what does that supposed to mean? You guys take a similar tone. why are you always bashing us. we can't do anything right in your eyes. why is that. you criticise us at every turn."

RB --

Here is the deal.  Our Orthodox ecclesiology says that we only know as "Church" that with which we are in communion.  We do not ascribe to the theory that the church is divided, for example.  We are more "hardline" on this issue, or at least we appear to be, because to be otherwise creates ecclesiological confusion, at least from our perspective.

The Catholic view is that we are a church.  To then turn around and say that we are a creation of the middle ages is self-contradicting.  Yes, it would be expected that this might be said if Catholicism had an ecclesiology that mirrored the Orthodox view, but it doesn't.  So when Catholics make statements like this one, it makes us think that all of this ecclesiologcial nicety that you see in things like Dominus Iesus is really bunk or window dressing, and that the real view is that we are a breakaway sect.  I mean, you can't on the one hand say that we drifted from each other -- which is what many Catholics say in the ecumenical discussion -- and then have statements like this.  It is self-contradicting, and therefore it undermines Catholic credibility.

Brendan
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« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2004, 04:52:38 PM »

Isn't it at least somewhat irritating when Rome refers to the OOs and EOs as having broken away from Rome, and to the EOs as having been established after the schism?  One would hope that these news organizations would adopt a more ecumenical tone, since this seems to be the tone that Rome itself wishes to adopt.

Well, the Orthodox Church accuses us of breaking away too.  But, of course, that doesn't make it right for our guys to do it.  You're right, it's bad language: langauge we should all stop engaging in.
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