- Oct 11, 2003
- Reaction score
- Middle Earth
I think there is agreement. I have never seen a statement from an Orthodox Synod that the Oriental Orthodox are members of our Church and that we are in communion with them. I have never heard of a bishop of our Church serving Liturgy with an Oriental bishop.Peter J said:Granted, that's an impressive list of quotes.Irish Hermit said:With the exception of the Churches of Jerusalem (participates to a very limited extent) and Bulgaria I think that all Orthodox Churches participate in dialogue with Catholics and to a lesser extent with Protestants.
Let me recycle an older post dealing with our involvement with the various dialogues.
Orthodox Ecumenism: The 50 Years from Oberlin 1957 to Ravenna 2007
To get some sense of balance and background knowledge into this conversation I
want to present a few official examples which show the consistency and
ultra-conservatism of the official Orthodox viewpoint throughout the years of
ecumenism... the unbending and inflexible insistence that Orthodoxy alone
constitutes the One Church. Yes, there were weird lapses at some events such as
the pagan smoke ceremony but on a deeper level the Orthodox have not strayed
from their own reality.
1. 1957.... The Statement of the Representatives of the Greek Orthodox
Church in the USA at the North American Faith and Order Study
Conference, Oberlin, Ohio, September 1957. This is quite unequivocal
about the uniqueness of Orthodoxy as the Church.
2. 1980s.... The contretemps in the 1980s at the International Roman
Catholic-Orthodox Theological Dialogue which saw a walk-out of the
Catholic participants when the Orthodox delegates declared that they
were unable to accept Catholic baptism per se. These were not fringy
palaeohiemerologhites but the most ecumenically minded bishops and
theologians of the canonical Orthodox Churches. This question has
never been revisited in the international dialogue but one day it will
need to be faced head on.
3. 1986.... Report of the Third Panorthodox Preconciliar (WCC)
Conference, Chambesy, 1986:
"The Orthodox Church, however, faithful to her ecclesiology, to the
identity of her internal structure and to the teaching of the
undivided Church, while participating in the WCC, does not accept the
idea of the "equality of confessions" and cannot consider Church
unity as an inter-confessional adjustment. In this spirit, the unity
which is sought within the WCC cannot simply be the product of
theological agreements alone. God calls every Christian to the unity
of faith which is lived in the sacraments and the tradition, as
experienced in the Orthodox Church."
Report of the Third Panorthodox Preconciliar Conference, Chambesy,
Section III, Paragraph 6
4. 1997..... Even the most ecumenical Patriarch of Micklegarth His
Divine All-Holiness Bartholomew scandalised the Catholics with his
presentation at the Jesuit University of Georgetown in 1997 when he
"The manner in which we exist has become ontologically different.
Unless our ontological transfiguration and transformation toward one
common model of life is achieved, not only in form but also in
substance, unity and its accompanying realization become impossible."
Full text at
The Jesuits declared morosely that Patr. Bartholomew had set the
dialogue back 10 years. Nobody else really understood what
the Patriarch had said,
5. 2000..... The important Statement on Orthodoxy and its ecumenical
relationships with non-Orthodox Churches issued by the 2000
Millennial Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church:
"Basic Principles of the Attitude of the Russian Orthodox Church Toward the
Other Christian Confessions"
It basically repeats what the Greeks said at Oberlin Ohio in 1957
and even more emphatically - the boundaries of the Church are
the Orthodox Church herself.
Concerning the Branch Theory...
2.5. "The so-called "branch theory", which is connected with the conception
referred to above and asserts the normal and even providential nature of
Christianity existing in the form of particular "branches", is also totally
6. 2007..... Catholic-Orthodox International Theological Meeting Ravenna
"Note  Orthodox participants felt it important to emphasize that
the use of the terms "the Church", "the universal Church", "the
indivisible Church" and "the Body of Christ" in this document and in
similar documents produced by the Joint Commission in no way
undermines the self-understanding of the Orthodox Church as the one,
holy, catholic and apostolic Church, of which the Nicene Creed
If I'm not mistaken, however, there's no agreement on whether the Oriental Orthodox are "outside of the Church". (Not that I've ever been Oriental Orthodox.)
If I am wrong on this I stand to be corrected.