EAST meets WEST in Albania (Anglican & Orthodox Churches)

Communiqué: International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue

Posted On : September 26, 2011 3:39 PM | Posted By : Admin ACO

ACNS: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/news.cfm/2011/9/26/ACNS4944
Related Categories: ACO – Ecumenical

International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue
September 2011 Communiqué
Shen Vlash, Durrës, Albania

In the name of God, the All Holy and Blessed Trinity, and with the blessing and guidance of our Churches the International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue (ICAOTD) met at the Monastery of Shen Vlash, Durrës, Albania, during 16 – 23 September 2011. The Commission is grateful for the hospitality offered by the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania, under the leadership of His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Durrës and all Albania, whom they were pleased to welcome to their meeting.

The members of the Commission were welcomed by His Grace Bishop Ilia Katre, His Grace Bishop Nikolla Hyka, by students of the Seminary at Shen Vlash, and by the faithful of the Church of Albania.

ICAOTD is deepening and consolidating its work on a joint study of the theological riches, in Scripture and our traditions, of the understanding of the nature of the human person, created in the image and likeness of God. From this understanding flow many implications which are of particular importance to our world today. These relate directly to human rights, ecology, the environment and agricultural practices, and the questions that arise around the ethics concerning the beginning and the end of human life, the nature and relationship of man and woman, technology, and the constant warfare that plagues many parts of the globe. At this meeting the Commission developed a framework for its fundamental theological work on the question of the human person.

In the course of their discussions and in intercessory prayers members of the Commission were made aware of the violation of human rights taking place in many parts of the world, and expressed great concern.

Members of ICAOTD visited the Home of Hope children’s home; Tirana’s new Resurrection Cathedral, almost completed; a medical centre which provides affordable care to the poorest in the capital; and the historic city
of Kruje.

The Commission rejoiced at the resurrection of the Church in Albania in the years since the end of communism, and gave thanks to God for the leadership of Archbishop Anastasios and his clergy. The Church has done remarkable work in the re-evangelisation of the nation, the formation of people in the Christian life, and the reconstruction of worshipping communities, and of buildings. Work in education and in health care is also flourishing. Starting in a society from which all forms of religious expression had been almost completely eliminated, great and inspiring work has been done, and this is cause for celebration and continued support by the wider Christian world.

The work of the Dialogue was strengthened by shared daily prayer. Members attended services at the Cathedral in Tirana, and in the Church of St Vlash and the Chapel of the Resurrection.

The Commission will continue its discussion at its next meeting in the Anglican diocese of St Asaph, in September 2012, at the invitation of the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron of the Church in Wales.

Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia           Archbishop Roger Herft of Perth
Orthodox Co-Chairman                            Anglican Co-Chairman

Shen Vlash, Thursday 22 September 2011

Commission Members:

Representatives of the Orthodox Church

Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia
Ecumenical Patriarchate, Co-chairman

Metropolitan Seraphim of Zimbabwe
Patriarchate of Alexandria

The Revd Fr Alexander Haig
Patriarchate of Antioch

The Revd Dr Cyril Hovorun
Patriarchate of Moscow

Professor Dr Bogdan Lubardic
Patriarchate of Serbia

Metropolitan Nifon of Târgoviste
Patriarchate of Romania

Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Kition
Church of Cyprus

Professor Dr Miltiadis Konstantinou
Church of Greece

The Revd Andrzej Minko
Church of Poland

Bishop Ilia of Philomelion
Church of Albania

The Revd Dr Christos B Christakis

Members unable to attend:

Fr George Dragas
Patriarchate of Jerusalem

Archpriest Giorgi Zviadadze
Church of Georgia

Representatives of the Anglican Communion

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

The Revd Dr Timothy Bradshaw
The Church of England

The Most Revd Richard Clarke of Meath & Kildare
The Church of Ireland

The Revd Canon Jonathan Goodall
Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative

The Revd Deacon Dr Christine Hall
The Church of England

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

The Revd Dr Duncan Reid
The Anglican Church of Australia

The Revd Canon Professor John Riches
Scottish Episcopal Church

The Rt Revd John Stroyan of Warwick
The Church of England

The Revd Canon Dr Alyson Barnett-Cowan

Mr Neil Vigers
Anglican Communion Office Staff

Members unable to attend:

The Revd Marc Billimoria
The Church of Ceylon

The Revd Canon Philip Hobson OGS
The Anglican Church of Canada

Ms Natasha Klukach
The Anglican Church of Canada

The Revd Dr Gloria Mapangdol
The Episcopal Church in the Philippines

The Revd Joseph Wandera
The Anglican Church of Kenya

Papers submitted to the meeting:

The Revd Dr Cyril Hovorun
Hermeneutics of the Russian Orthodox Church, Human Dignity, Freedom and Rights

Professor Dr Miltiadis Konstantinou
Sacrifice as an expression of man and God’s relationship

The Rt Revd John Stroyan
The Human Person: Sacrifice, Salvation and Community with particular reference to human limitation

The Revd Canon Professor John Riches
Human rights and Christian Theology

The Most Revd Roger Herft
An overview of Anglican Understandings of the Divine Image and Likeness in humanity

The Revd Deacon Dr Christine Hall
Human responsibility for Creation: Towards a critical overview of recent statements by our churches
and Bibliography: Human Responsibility for Creation 


Whatever differences there are between the various conservative v. progressive elements in our own Anglican Communion, one cannot but rejoice at the fact that Anglican and authentically-Orthodox theologians can meet together – to discuss the realities of life in the Church and the World of Today.

It was salutary to note that the Archbishop of Perth (Australia), the Rt.Revd. Roger Herft, was part of the Anglican delegation, and co-Chair, on the Commission that is dealing with the subject matter of relationships between our 2 branches of the Church Catholic. His own experience of the Church ‘Down-under’ will no doubt find expression during the ongoing talks that will have been generated by the discussions in Albania.

We pray for a sufficient climate of koinonia as may be possible in today’s competing claims for orthodoxy and orthopraxy in our world.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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