Unity Faith and Order - Dialogues - Anglican Orthodox

International Commission of the Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue

June 2004 Communiqué

Canterbury, United Kingdom

The International Commission of the Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue met in the International Study Centre, Canterbury Cathedral, in the United Kingdom, from Monday, June 21st - Friday, June 25th, 2004.

The Commission wish to record their gratitude to the staff of the Centre for the warmth of their welcome; to Canon Richard Marsh, Canon Librarian of Canterbury Cathedral, who gave the Commission members a guided tour of the Cathedral by candlelight on the Tuesday evening, and to His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, who hosted a dinner for the Commission on the Thursday evening.

The Commission is composed of representatives of the Orthodox Churches and of the Anglican Communion. The Dialogue began its work by exploring theological and doctrinal issues of concern for dialogue 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, which began in 1989, the Commission has been examining ecclesiological issues in the light of our faith in the Holy Trinity, the Person of Christ and the Holy Spirit.

In 2001, at Volos, Greece, the Commission focussed on the ordained ministry of the Church and approved an Interim Agreed Statement on Episcope, Episcopos and Primacy. This was followed in 2002, at Abergavenny, Wales, by another Interim Agreed Statement, Priesthood, Christ and the Church. There the Commission began to concentrate on an examination of the issues surrounding the ordination of women to the priesthood. The discussion of non-ordained ministry was also begun. Discussion on both issues continued in Addis Ababa in 2003.

In Canterbury, the Commission received the first draft of an Agreed Statement on lay ministries in the Church, and on the question of the ministries of women and men, including the question of ordination to the diaconate, presbyterate and episcopate. Consideration of this latter topic was postponed until further work could be completed on the presentation of Orthodox understandings of these matters.

Papers on Heresy and Schism were received from Professor William Green (on the Anglican side) and Bishop Basil of Sergievo (on the Orthodox side) and discussed by the Commission. The Commission went on to receive and discuss papers on the theology and practice of Reception from Professor John Riches (on the Anglican side) and Metropolitan John of Pergamon (on the Orthodox side).

The Commission will meet again in 2005. At this meeting, draft Agreed Statements will be discussed on both the issue of the Ordination of Women to the Presbyterate and Episcopate, and on Heresy, Schism and Reception, in addition to the completion of work of Lay Ministries and the Diaconate. The goal is to bring together all the Interim Agreements since 1989 in a Report for publication in 2006.

Commission Members present in Canterbury were:

Orthodox

Metropolitan John of Pergamon (Ecumenical Patriarchate) (Co-chair)
Metropolitan Petros of Aksum (Patriarchate of Alexandria)
Fr Michael Harper (Patriarchate of Antioch)
Bishop Basil of Sergievo (Patriarchate of Moscow)
Professor Dr Mircea Ielciu (Patriarchate of Romania)
Bishop Gerasim Sharashenidze and Archpriest Giorgi Zviadadze (Church of Georgia)
Bishop Vasilios of Trimithus (Church of Cyprus)
Professor Constantine Scouteris (Church of Greece)
Bishop Ilia of Philomelion (Church of Albania)
Metropolitan Ambrosius of Helsinki (Church of Finland)
The Revd Dr Vaclav Jezek (Church of Czech Lands and Slovakia)
Fr Matthias Palli (Church of Estonia)
Fr Christos B Christakis (Co-secretary)

Anglican

Bishop Mark Dyer (Episcopal Church of the USA) (Co-chair)
Bishop Max Thomas (Anglican Church of Australia)
Bishop John Baycroft (Anglican Church of Canada)
The Revd Dr Timothy Bradshaw (Church of England)
The Revd Dr Donald Ross Edwards (Anglican Church of Australia)
The Revd Dr John Gibaut (Anglican Church of Canada)
The Revd Canon Jonathan Gough (Archbishop of Canterbury's Representative)
The Revd Canon William Green (Episcopal Church of the USA)
Bishop William Gregg (Episcopal Church of the USA)
The Revd Canon Livingstone Ngewu (Church of the Province of Southern Africa)
The Revd Dr Duncan Reid (Anglican Church of Australia)
The Revd Prof John Riches (Episcopal Church of Scotland)
The Ven Dr Joy Tetley (Church of England)
The Revd Canon Hugh Wybrew (Church of England)
The Revd Canon Gregory Cameron (Anglican Communion Office) (Co-secretary)

 

Metropolitan John of Pergamon
Orthodox Co-Chairman

Bishop Mark Dyer
Anglican Co-Chairman

 

Canterbury, United Kingdom, 25 June 2004