Defining the Human Person

Adapted from Anglican Communion News Service

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 at St. George’s Anglican Cathedral, Jerusalem, from September 17 to 24. The commission is grateful for the generous hospitality extended by Bishop Suheil Dawani and the Diocese of Jerusalem.

His Beatitude Theophilos III, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, and Bishop Suheil welcomed the commission and affirmed their prayerful support for the dialogue.

The commission was presented with resources both Anglican and Orthodox on issues concerning the beginning and end of life, and it was agreed that these matters will be discussed in the next phase of its work.

The commission discussed at length the draft of an agreed statement on the theological presuppositions of the Christian understanding of the human person, created in the image and likeness of God. At its next meeting it intends to consider the practical implications and the ethical questions, of pressing concern in today’s world, that follow from these presuppositions.

As in previous meetings, daily prayer and worship strengthened and grounded the work of the commission, both in the Anglican Cathedral of St. George, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

An ecumenical reception hosted by Bishop Suheil provided an opportunity for fellowship with local Christian leaders. The commission visited the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and met members of the Christian community, with whom it prayed for peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land and in the whole world.

The work of the commission will continue at its next meeting in September 2015, hosted by the Orthodox Church.

Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia, Orthodox Co-Chairman
The Most Rev. Roger Herft, Anglican Co-Chairman

Representatives of the Orthodox Church

  • Metropolitan Serafim of Zimbabwe, Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa
  • The Rev. Fr. Alexander Haig, Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East
  • The Rev. Archimandrite Aristovoulos Kyriazis, Patriarchate of Jerusalem
  • The Rev. Fr. Valentin Vassechko, Patriarchate of Moscow
  • Professor Bogdan Lubardic, Patriarchate of Serbia
  • Metropolitan Nifon of Târgoviste, Patriarchate of Romania
  • Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Kition, Church of Cyprus
  • The Rev. Christos B Christakis, Co-Secretary

Representatives of the Anglican Communion

  • The Rev. Marc Billimoria, Church of Ceylon
  • The Most Rev. Richard Clarke of Armagh, Church of Ireland
  • The Rev. Canon Philip Hobson OGS, Anglican Church of Canada
  • The Rt. Rev. Michael Lewis of Cyprus and the Gulf, Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East
  • The Rev. Gloria Mapangdol, Episcopal Church in the Philippines
  • The Rev. Duncan Reid, Anglican Church of Australia
  • The Rev. Canon Professor John Riches, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • The Rt. Rev. John Stroyan of Warwick, Church of England
  • The Rev. Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, Co-secretary
  • Neil Vigers, Anglican Communion Office

Members unable to attend

  • The Rev. Timothy Bradshaw, Church of England
  • The Rev. Deacon Christine Hall, Church of England
  • Natasha Klukach, Anglican Church of Canada
  • The Rev. Joseph Wandera, Anglican Church of Kenya
  • Protopresbyter Giorgi Zviadadze, Patriarchate of Georgia
  • Professor Miltiadis Konstantinou, Church of Greece
  • The Rev. Fr. Andrzej Minko, Church of Poland
  • Bishop Ilia of Philomelion, Church of Albania

ACNS photo: Members of the commission at St. George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem

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