Bucharest, Romania 17-22 June 1998
The International Commission of the Anglican- Orthodox Theological Dialogue met in Bucharest at the Patriarchate of Romania, 17th - 22nd June 1998, as guests of the Romanian Orthodox Church. The Commission is composed of representatives of the Orthodox Churches and the member Churches of the Anglican Communion.
His Beatitude Teoctist, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, welcomed the participants and attended the Commission's first session. Sessions were held in the Palace of the Patriarchate, which formerly housed the Grand National Assembly and has recently been given to the Church. Participants enjoyed the warm and generous hospitality of the Romanian Orthodox Church. On Sunday the 21st of June, the members of the Commission attended the Divine Liturgy celebrated by His Beatitude Patriarch Teoctist, who then entertained the Commission and other distinguished guests to lunch in the Patriarchal Palace. Later that day after a tour of Bucharest, the Commission visited the Monastery of Cemica; afterwards the Abbot was the Commission's host at dinner.
The purpose of the Dialogue, begun in 1973, is to reconcile doctrinal differences between the Anglican and Orthodox Churches. Agreements already reached have been published in the Moscow Agreed Statement of 1976 and the Dublin Agreed Statement of 1984. The present third phase of the Dialogue, begun in 1989, is concerned with our doctrine of the Church.
Previous meetings have studied the mystery of the Church in the light of faith in the Trinitarian God, and begun to study the Church in relation to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Since the last plenary meeting in 1996, a drafting committee has met and prepared a draft statement on 'Christ, Humanity and the Church', of which one section is devoted to the issue of Christ and Culture. This meeting first heard and discussed a paper on 'The Risen Christ and the Church', and went on to discuss and receive this statement. In subsequent sessions papers were presented on 'Christ: Sovereign Over All' and 'Priesthood and Identity in Christ'. Discussion followed on the nature and exercise of the Christian ministry. This is a topic the Commission intends to discuss more fully at its next meeting, when its agenda will include the nature and authority of the episcopal ministry and the question of conciliarity and primacy.
Interim agreed statements on 'The Trinity and the Church', 'Christ, the Spirit and the Church' and 'Christ, Humanity and the Church' will be available to the Ecumenical Section of the Lambeth Conference of all Anglican Bishops, meeting 19th July - 8th August 1998, and to the Orthodox Churches.
Metropolitan John of Pergamon
Bishop Mark Dyer
Bucharest, Romania, 22nd June 1998