International Commission of the Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue
October 1999 Communiqué
Salisbury, United Kingdom
The International Commission of the Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue met in Salisbury at Sarum College 12 - 16th October 1999, as guests of the Anglican Communion. The Commission is composed of representatives of the Orthodox Churches and the member Churches of the Anglican Communion. The members of the Commission were welcomed by Canon Bruce Duncan, Principal of Sarum College. The programme included a visit to Salisbury Cathedral.
Since 1973 the Dialogue has worked to explore and reconcile doctrinal differences between the Anglican and Orthodox Churches. Previous phases of the Dialogue reached agreements, which were recorded in the Moscow Agreed Statement of 1976, and the Dublin Agreed Statement of 1984.
The third phase of the Dialogue began in 1989, and is concerned with the doctrine of the Church. At its meeting in Bucharest in 1998 the Commission produced Interim Agreed Statements on "The Trinity and the Church", "Christ, the Spirit and the Church", and "Christ, Humanity and the Church: Parts I and II". These Statements were made available to the bishops of the Anglican Communion, meeting at the Lambeth Conference last year, and to the Orthodox Churches.
At this meeting the Commission continued its work on the doctrine of the Church by considering the nature and authority of the episcopal ministry and the question of conciliarity and primacy. Papers on these topics were presented by Anglican and Orthodox members. They were followed by full and helpful discussion, from which emerged the essential convergence of Anglican and Orthodox views on these ecclesiological issues.
At its next meeting in 2001 the Commission will continue its work by examining the meaning of sacramental priesthood in the Church, and its relation to the unique high priesthood of Christ. It will look also at other forms of ministry in the Church.
Metropolitan John of Pergamon
Bishop Mark Dyer
16th October 1999