Coordinating Committee of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue betweeen the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches met in Bose

The Coordinating Committee of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue betweeen the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, under the co-presidency of Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for promoting Christian Unity, and Archbishop Job of Telmessos, Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, met from 13 – 17 November 2018, at the Monastery of Bose (Italy).

Present at the meeting were ten Catholic members and nine Orthodox representatives of various Churches. The members of the Committee were generously hosted by the Monastic Community of Bose. At the opening of the meeting, the Founder of the Community, Brother Enzo Bianchi, and the Prior, Brother Luciano Manicardi, welcomed the participants and gave the assurance of the community’s prayers and support for the work of the Committee.

The Committee examined a draft of the text entitled, “Primacy and Synodality in the Second Millennium and Today”, prepared by a mixed sub-commission. The Coordinating Committee will evaluate a revised version of the draft at its next meeting, planned for November 2019.

World Christian Communions convene at Orthodox Centre of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

The Annual Conference of Secretaries of World Christian Communions took place at the Orthodox Centre of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, Switzerland on 6-8 November.The annual Conference of Secretaries of World Christian Communions brings together representatives from diverse Christian traditions to discuss their work and fellowship together.

Secretaries heard reports from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity of the Roman Catholic Church, World Council of Churches, Baptist World Alliance, Global Pentecostalism, World Communion of Reformed Churches, Disciples Ecumenical Consultative Council, International Old Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Mennonite World Conference, Moravian Church Worldwide Unity Board, Organization of African Independent Churches, Global Christian Forum, World Convention of the Churches of Christ, World Evangelical Alliance, World Methodist Council, Lutheran World Federation, Anglican Communion, The Salvation Army, Friends World Committee for Consultation, Armenian Apostolic Church, and the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists. Continue reading

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and President Petro Poroshenko Sign Agreement on Cooperation and Coordination

On Saturday, November 3, 2018, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and His Excellency President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine reaffirmed their desire to enhance the cooperation between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Nation—within the framework of the process for granting Autocephaly to the unified Orthodox Church in Ukraine—during the President’s visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s headquarters at the Phanar.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew warmly received President Poroshenko, accompanied by Their Excellencies Stepan Kubiv and Gennadiy Zubko, Vice Prime Ministers of his Government; His Excellency Pavlo Klimkin, Minister of Foreign Affairs; His Excellency Stepan Poltorak, Minister of Defense; and the Honorable Yurij Lutsenko, Prosecutor General, together with a large delegation of his colleagues and His Excellency Andriy Sybiha, Ambassador of Ukraine to the Republic of Turkey. Continue reading

Annual Plenary of the International Commission for Anglican–Orthodox Theological Dialogue

The Annual Plenary of the International Commission for Anglican–Orthodox Theological Dialogue took place on Cyprus on 13–20 October 2018. On this occasion, it issued the following official Communiqué:

In the name of the Triune God, and with the blessing and guidance of our Churches, the International Commission for Anglican–Orthodox Theological Dialogue met in Larnaca, Cyprus from 13 to 20 October 2018 to continue consideration of ecology and end of life issues. The meeting was hosted by His Eminence Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Kition on behalf of the Church of Cyprus. The Commission is deeply grateful for His Eminence’s generous and warm hospitality. Continue reading

Announcement of the Holy and Sacred Synod of 11 October 2018

Presided by His All-Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Holy and Sacred Synod convened for its regular session from October 9 to 11, 2018, in order to examine and discuss items on its agenda.

The Holy Synod discussed in particular and at length the ecclesiastical matter of Ukraine, in the presence of His Excellency Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon and His Grace Bishop Hilarion of Edmonton, Patriarchal Exarchs to Ukraine, and following extensive deliberations decreed: Continue reading

“They refuse to find a reasonable solution to cure the schism”

The Permanent Representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the WCC, Archbishop Job of Telmessos, gave the following interview to Marina Ziosiou of the Greek newspaper “Ethnos of Sunday” about the ecclesiastical issue of autocephaly of Ukraine:

The hierarch points out that the Patriarchate of Moscow rejects any dialogue and states that it is strange that Orthodox Ukrainians do not want to be under the jurisdiction of Kiev. Archbishop Job of Telmessos, Permanent Representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the World Council of Churches gives his own point of view on the issue of autocephaly in Ukraine. “Who threatens the Ecumenical Patriarchate with bloodshed, rebellion and civil war does not serve the good of the Church and her unity, but encourages division and schism,” says the hierarch of Ukrainian origin, while saying that the granting of autocephaly by the Mother Church is proposed not as a “weapon” to declare the war or to divide Orthodoxy, but as a “medicine” to cure a schism that lasts for thirty years. Continue reading

The Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Ukraine: The Documents Speak

In the context of the study undertaken by the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the granting of the ecclesiastical status of autocephaly to Ukraine, various opinions have been formulated—even by representatives of official institutions—expressing misgiving about the canonical prerogative of the Church of Constantinople to proceed with such an act. The principal argument proposed in this regard is that Ukraine “constitutes the canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Moscow” and that, consequently, such an act on the part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate would comprise an “intervention” into a foreign ecclesiastical jurisdiction.

Therefore, it has been deemed necessary for the Ecumenical Patriarchate to remind everyone of the historical and canonical truth with regard to the relationship of the Church of Constantinople to the Church of Ukraine as derived from the surviving formal documents, which unfortunately are either disregarded or else deliberately obscured for apparent reasons. Continue reading

Metropolitan Anba Bishoy of Damiette died at 76

Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette, Kafr El-Sheikh, Barary, and the Monastery of Saint Demiana of the Coptic Orthodox Chruch died at the age of 76 on 3 October 2018. He was one of the senior and most influential Coptic Orthodox bishops who made extensive contributions in the areas of inter-Orthodox and inter-Christian dialogue as well as in the Ecumenical Movement in general. Long time member of the Central Committee of the WCC, he was also the Co-president of the official bilateral dialogue between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Oriental (Pre-Chalcedonian) Orthodox Churches. Continue reading

Meeting of the Ecumenical Patriarch with the Patriarch of Serbia

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, within the framework of his visit to the Metropolis of Neapolis and Stavroupolis, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary celebrations since the end of the First World War, in the afternoon of Saturday 29 September 2018, had a meeting with His Beatitude the Patriarch Irinej of Serbia. The two Patriarchs had a long and fruitful conversation regarding inter-Orthodox matters, in the spirit of mutual understanding and brotherly love. Continue reading

“Ukraine has always been the canonical territory of the Ecumenical Patriarchate”

Following the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 7 September 2018 to send its legates (exarchs) to Ukraine, the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Russia has decided on 14 September 2018 to 1) interrupt the commemoration of the Ecumenical Patriarch in its diptychs, 2) interrupt the liturgical concelebration with hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, 3) interrupt their participation in the inter-orthodox episcopal assemblies, inter-christian theological dialogues and other commissions or structures chaired by representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and 4) condemn the initiatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine as anti-canonical. In response to this decision, the Permanent Representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the WCC, Archbishop Job of Telmessos, has given the following interview to the Ukrainian media glavcom.ua where he explains that “Ukraine has always been the canonical territory of the Ecumenical Patriarchate”. We publish here the English translation of the interview given in Ukrainian: Continue reading