Via Anglican Communion News Service

International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue

September 2015 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 (ICAOTD) met in Buffalo, New York, from 19 to 25 September 2015. The Commission is deeply grateful for the generous hospitality extended by the Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in Buffalo (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople).

Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit formally welcomed the Commission to its meeting in his diocese. He offered praise and encouragement for the work of the dialogue. He stressed the urgent need for expressions of Christian unity in light of the deep challenges and crises before the global community, mindful of events unfolding even as the Commission undertook its deliberations.

The Commission brought to completion the first section of its work on the theological understanding of the human person, with the adoption of its agreed statement, In the Image and Likeness of God: A Hope-Filled Anthropology. The report, shortly to be published, is the culmination of six years of study on what Anglicans and Orthodox can say together about the meaning of human personhood in the divine image.

This agreement lays the foundation for continuing dialogue on ethical decision-making in the light of this vision. At its future meetings the Commission will consider the practical consequences of this theological approach to personhood. The Commission anticipates ongoing study in areas such as bioethics and the sanctity of life, as well as human rights and ecological justice.

The meeting commenced with the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. Commission members also attended an ecumenical celebration of Evensong at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral. The Commission was welcomed by Bishop William Franklin of the Diocese of Western New York. In his homily he spoke of the contribution to Christian unity made by a former bishop of the diocese, Charles Henry Brent, who was a leading pioneer in the Faith and Order movement. Daily prayer strengthened and grounded the work accomplished together. Morning and evening prayers were offered, alternating between Anglicans and Orthodox.

The fellowship of the Commission was enriched by the warm and gracious reception by parishioners of the Annunciation Church, and their parish priest, the Rev. Dr. Christos Christakis, who is the Orthodox Co-Secretary of the dialogue. Members of the Commission were introduced to the unique historic, cultural and natural characteristics of the city of Buffalo, Niagara Falls and the surrounding area.

The work of the Commission will continue at its next meeting in September 2016, to be hosted by the Anglican Communion.

Representatives of the Orthodox Church

Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia
Ecumenical Patriarchate, Co-Chairman

Metropolitan Serafim of Zimbabwe
Patriarchate of Alexandria

The Rev. Fr. Alexander Haig
Patriarchate of Antioch

The Rev. Dr. George Dragas
Patriarchate of Jerusalem

The Rev. Dr. Valentin Vassechko
Patriarchate of Moscow

Professor Dr. Bogdan Lubardic
Patriarchate of Serbia

Metropolitan Nifon of Târgovişte
Patriarchate of Romania

Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Kition
Church of Cyprus

Professor Dr. Miltiadis Konstantinou
Church of Greece

Bishop Ilia of Philomelion
Church of Albania

The Rev. Dr. Christos B. Christakis
Co-Secretary

Members unable to attend:

Protopresbyter Giorgi Zviadadze
Patriarchate of Georgia

The Rev. Fr. Andrzej Minko
Church of Poland

Representatives of the Anglican Communion

The Most Rev. Roger Herft of Perth
The Anglican Church of Australia, Co-Chairman

The Rev. Marc Billimoria
The Church of Ceylon

The Most Rev. Dr. Richard Clarke of Armagh
The Church of Ireland

The Rev. Canon Deacon Dr. Christine Hall
The Church of England

The Rev. Canon Philip Hobson, OGS
The Anglican Church of Canada

Ms Natasha Klukach
The Anglican Church of Canada

The Rt. Rev. Michael Lewis of Cyprus & the Gulf
The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East

The Rev. Dr. Gloria Mapangdol
The Episcopal Church in the Philippines

The Rev. Dr. Duncan Reid
The Anglican Church of Australia

The Rev. Canon Professor John Riches
Scottish Episcopal Church

The Rt. Rev. John Stroyan of Warwick
The Church of England

The Rev. Canon Dr. John Gibaut
Co-Secretary

The Rev. Neil Vigers
Anglican Communion Office

Members Unable to Attend:

The Rev. Dr. Timothy Bradshaw
The Church of England

The Rev. Dr. Joseph Wandera
The Anglican Church of Kenya

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Rowan Williams
Representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury

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