A book was launched today containing the Joint Statements issued by the Catholic and Oriental Orthodox Churches. The Co-Chairs of the Catholic – Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum (C-OORF): His Grace Archbishop Kevin McDonald (Archbishop Emeritus of Southwark) and His Grace Bishop Angaelos (General Bishop, Coptic Orthodox Church, United Kingdom) talked about the book’s aims and purpose. In the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, both emphasised the importance of ecumenism.
Archbishop McDonald spoke about the Joint Statements:
“This is a reminder that there is a global aspect to ecumenism, and particularly today with the Arab Spring and with the impact of those unfolding events for all the Christian churches in North Africa and the Middle East. It’s a good time for us to recognise that there is an international dimension to ecumenism and we all have a stake in it, we’re all part of it…so I invite you therefore to take it, to read it, and to invite others to do the same.”
Bishop Angaelos talked about the work of the Catholic – Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum:
“It’s very important for us to see how we can witness together. We get so tied up in theological discourse sometimes that we forget that the common life of Christianity we live today has a real implication on the ground. We are facing threats of increased secularism and increasing marginalisation of religion in general and Christianity in particular. I think being members of first century churches, we really do need to both live and also introduce to people the wealth and meaning and value of what it is to witness and live our Christianity today.”
The Catholic – Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum was established on 1 March 2007 and consists of Episcopal members of the Council of Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales Department of Dialogue and Unity. The Forum meets twice a year to share common cultural and social concerns which call on common witness, rooted in shared belief in the Scriptures, sacraments and tradition. It is the result of international dialogues but does not seek to duplicate the theological work of these dialogues.
To receive and consider the documents from international dialogues between:
1) The Catholic Church and the family of Oriental Orthodox Churches
2) The Catholic Church and individual Oriental Orthodox Churches
3) Other dialogues on both sides that impact on our relationship
To take note of, discuss and explore relevant developments between both Communions, and to explore local relevance and implications
To encourage opportunities for common prayer and worship within the discipline of our respective Churches
To give our people and beyond, hope regarding the search for the greater unity of the Church
To discuss current pastoral, social, political and other issues and to explore and bear common witness
To discover and educate one another, our clergy and laity about each of our traditions
To work to achieve a greater unity expressed in common life and witness
To inform our respective Church hierarchies and faithful of the work of the Catholic – Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum
The Catholic–Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum was established on 1 March 2007 and consists of Episcopal members of the Council of Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales Department of Dialogue and Unity. The Forum meets twice a year to share common cultural and social concerns which call on common witness, rooted in shared belief in the Scriptures, sacraments and tradition.
Towards Unity: Catholic/Orthodox Dialogue