Common Roots: Ancient Evangelical Future Conference

Anglican -Oriental Orthodox dialogue commission meets in Wales

The Anglican-Oriental Orthodox International Commission (AOOIC) has met at Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden, Wales to carry forward discussions between the two churches following last year’s agreement on a common understanding of the nature of God or Christology. At an October 2014 meeting in Cairo, representatives of the two churches released an Agreed Statement on Christology that sought to bridge the divide between the Oriental Orthodox and the Western Churches — estranged since the Council of Chalcedon in 451 over the nature of Christ. In a press statement released on 8 Oct 2015, Metropolitan Bishoy of the Coptic Orthodox Church said continued discussion between the churches was necessary to develop the principles laid out in the 2014 agreement. “With this agreement we are able to heal the cause of the division between the two families of the churches worldwide which started at Chalcedon. There are other things which emerged during the long history since Chalcedon in the fifth century, so we have on our agenda many other topics including the position of the Holy Spirit, which we were able to sign a preliminary agreement on this subject also.” The statement released through ACNS further noted the need for solidarity between the Eastern and Western churches in the face of the political and military turmoil sweeping the Middle East and North Africa. Bishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK noted: “Around our commission table, we have the Armenians commemorating the Armenian Genocide, the Syrians and Iraqis whose countries are war-torn and peoples displaced, the Copts who have lost 21 of their men to that horrific martyrdom in Libya, the Ethiopians likewise in Libya, and here in Europe we also have our own struggles. It is very much time for us to stand together as Church leaders and to recognise what we have in common while at the same time respecting the differences we have.” The Commission next meets in Lebanon from 24-29 October 2016.

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