Anglican – Oriental Orthodox International Commission to meet in Dublin

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The Anglican-Oriental Orthodox International Commission will meet in Dublin, Ireland next week to complete their joint statement on the Holy Spirit and move into their next area of discussion, “questions of ‘authority in the Church’.”

The Anglican Communion News Service reports:

One of the successes of AOOIC has been discussions around Christology – an issue which divided the Church at the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, leaving the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Byzantine and Western Churches separated from one another. In 2014, Anglican and Oriental Orthodox theologians on AOOIC signed an agreement on their mutual understanding of Christology – what we believe together about the person of Jesus Christ – helping to heal one of the oldest continuing divisions within Christianity. That document is currently being considered by the Provinces of the Anglican Communion.

A spokesperson for Archbishop Michael said that “it is hoped that the agreed statement” on the Holy Spirit, which was worked on during their 2016 meeting in Lebanon, “will be completed and signed by the two co-chairs in the course of the meeting.”

In addition to discussing matters of theology, members of AOOIC will visit a number of significant Christian places in and around Dublin; including Saints Maximus and Domadius Coptic Church in Drumcondra for prayers in the Coptic tradition.

This will be the sixth meeting of the International Commission. At the first of their meetings to focus on the Holy Spirit, two years ago in Wales, the Commission recommended the omission of the Filioque clause from the Nicene Creed, allowing that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father without adding the words, “and the Son.” Following that last year in Lebanon, the Commission drafted a statement on “The Nature and Work of the Holy Spirit,” and it is this document upon which they hope to have a complete agreement next week.

Archbishop Michael Jackson of the Church of Ireland told the ACNS,

“We look forward to welcoming the Anglican Oriental-Orthodox International Commission to Dublin, … Our hopes for this consultation are that the Commission might see that there is a spiritual core and a religious dynamic to Dublin historically and in lived actuality.

“These Oriental Orthodox Churches are firmly rooted in the Middle East and are amongst the oldest church families in the world today.

“When the Syrian Orthodox Church meets in prayer, they do so in Aramaic, the language of Jesus and the early Apostolic church. Their congregations number in the millions and with their visit we are reminded of challenges facing Christians in the Middle East and that more than half the Anglican provinces worldwide are facing persecution or are post-conflict or in actual conflict.

“The Coptic Orthodox Church often endure terrorist attacks in Egypt and Christian communities across Iraq and Syria have undergone great hardships as some seek to uproot these ancient communities”.

Read more about the meeting and the ongoing work of the Commission at ACNS.

Featured image: from last year’s meeting of the AOOIC in Beirut, Lebanon, via ACNS

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