International Commission of the Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue
June 2002 Communiqué
The International Commission of the Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue met in Abergavenny 26th - 28th June 2002 as guests of the Church in Wales. Its members were welcomed by the Archbishop of Wales, The Most Reverend Rowan Williams, who had invited the Commission to meet in his Province. The Commission is composed of representatives of the Orthodox Churches and the member Churches of the Anglican Communion. Its meetings were held in the Priory Centre adjoining St Mary's Priory Church, where Morning Prayer was said daily. The Commission enjoyed the generous hospitality of the parish each day at lunch. The Chairman of the Monmouthshire County Council entertained members of the Commission, County and civic dignitaries, and local church leaders at a Civic Buffet in the Angel Hotel, Abergavenny.
The Dialogue began its work of exploring and reconciling doctrinal differences between the Anglican and Orthodox Churches in 1973. Agreements reached in its first two stages were set out in the Moscow Agreed Statement of 1976 and the Dublin Agreed Statement of 1984. In its present third phase the Commission has been examining the doctrine of the Church in relation to the doctrines of the Holy Trinity, the Person of Christ and the Holy Spirit.
At Abergavenny the Commission continued its examination of the ordained ministry of the Church begun last year at Volos, Greece. Anglican and Orthodox papers on the ordination of women to the priesthood and the episcopate were presented and discussed. An agreed statement on Priesthood, Christ and the Church was approved.
The Commission intends to meet early in 2003. It plans to continue its discussion of the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate, and to consider non-priestly ministries in the church. Issues still to be considered include reception by the church of new ideas and practices, and questions regarding heresy and schism.
Metropolitan John of Pergamon
Bishop Max Thomas
Acting Anglican Co-Chairman
Abergavenny, Wales, 28 June 2002