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Communiqué: International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue

Posted on: October 11, 2023 8:22 AM
Members of the International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue (ICAOTD) gather for a "family photo" during their October 2023 meeting in Jerusalem
Photo Credit: ACNS

Members of the International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue (ICAOTD) have concluded their annual meeting, which took place in Jerusalem amidst the backdrop of the terror attack on Israel by Hamas. ICAOTD is the official international ecumenical dialogue between the Anglican Communion and the Orthodox Churches in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

The Communiqué reads:

 ICAOTD Jerusalem 2023 – 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 Jerusalem from the 5th to the 11th of October 2023, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the first full meeting of the Commission in 1973.

This meeting was hosted by the Anglican Communion, and the members of the Commission are grateful for the generous hospitality and welcome received from His Grace, The Most Revd Dr Hosam Naoum, Archbishop in Jerusalem and Primate of Jerusalem and the Middle East. The Commission was also graciously received by His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in the old City of Jerusalem.

The meeting was curtailed by the outbreak of military conflict in southern Israel and Gaza which extended into northern Israel. This resulted in the loss of thousands of lives and very many wounded. This tragic situation dominated our prayers during the meeting.

Building on previous agreed statements, particularly the Buffalo Statement on Christian anthropology, the Commission discussed at length and substantially concluded an agreed statement on Organ Donation: A Hope-Filled Gift (the Jerusalem Statement).

The work of the Commission was undergirded by daily prayer and worship. The Commission attended the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist in St George’s Anglican Cathedral, Jerusalem, and a celebration of the Orthodox Divine Liturgy in the Golgotha Chapel in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The Commission was blessed with visits to holy sites, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem as well as a solidarity visit to Mount Tabor, the Mount of Transfiguration, in Galilee. Visits to other holy sites were curtailed due to the outbreak of military conflict.

The work of the Commission will proceed at its next meeting in October 2024 in Boston, hosted by the Huffington Ecumenical Institute, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. The Commission identified the Mission of the Church in the World Today and Christian Formation as topics to consider at its next meeting, as well as a publication to mark the jubilee of the Commission outlining its history and achievements.

Members of the Commission present at the meeting

The Rt Revd Michael Lewis
The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East
Anglican Co-Chairman

His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras of Belgium
Ecumenical Patriarchate
Orthodox Co-Chairman

Representatives of the Orthodox Church

His Eminence Metropolitan Serafim of Zimbabwe and Angola
Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa

The Revd Fr Jonathan A. Hemmings
Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East

The Very Revd Professor Dr Protopresbyter George Dion Dragas
Patriarchate of Jerusalem

Professor Dr Bogdan Lubardić
Patriarchate of Serbia

His Eminence Metropolitan Nifon of Târgovişte
Patriarchate of Romania

The Very Revd Professor Dr Protopresbyter Giorgi Zviadadze
Patriarchate of Georgia

His Eminence Nektarios, Metropolitan of Kition
Church of Cyprus

Emeritus Professor Dr Miltiadis Konstantinou
Church of Greece

Dr Nathan Hoppe
Church of Albania

The Very Revd Dr Protopresbyter Christos B Christakis
Ecumenical Patriarchate

Representatives of the Anglican Communion

The Most Revd Dr Phillip Aspinall
The Anglican Church of Australia

The Rt Revd Dr Humberto Maiztegui Gonçalves
The Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil

The Revd Canon Philip Hobson
The Anglican Church of Canada

The Rt Revd Graham Usher
The Church of England

The Revd Canon Dr Alison Joyce
The Church of England

The Most Revd Dr Hosam Naoum
The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East

The Revd Dr Christopher Beeley
The Episcopal Church

The Revd Marc Billimoria
The Church of Ceylon

The Revd Neil Vigers
Anglican Communion Office