ADDRESSING THE HOLY SYNOD OF THE INDIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH ARAM I EMPHASIZED THE IMPORTANCE OF ORTHODOX UNITY

by OCP on February 27, 2010

in News

02/26/2010

As part of his visitation program to India, on February 26, 2010, His Holiness Aram I addressed the Holy Synod of the Indian Orthodox Church. This was preceded by a prayer service presided on by His Holiness Baselios Mar Thoma Didymus I, His Holiness Aram I and His Beatitude Paulos Mar Militius Catholicos Designate.

In his address Catholicos Aram I highlighted the significant aspect of the Oriental Orthodox-Eastern Orthodox Theological dialogue. As a person who has been one of the initiators and active members of this dialogue, he strongly stressed the crucial importance of reactivating this dialogue.

Speaking about the consensus reached in this dialogue, Aram I considered it as a major step taken in the right direction. At the same time he indicated the need for further clarity and deeper discussion on a number of issues pertaining to councils and liturgical traditions and practices. His Holiness reminded the Holy Synod that both families belong to the same Orthodox tradition; they are rooted in the apostolic faith and early Church. Therefore, sharing common apostolic faith these churches are called to renew their commitment through this process of dialogue aimed at the full communion.

His Holiness Aram I then presented his view about the Oriental Orthodox-Catholic dialogue. In his assessment, this dialogue constitutes another vital dimension for the Oriental Orthodox Churches ecumenical engagement, and as such it must be taken seriously. He said that we have commonalities with the Catholic Church in many areas of our life, teachings and witness. We must deepen those aspects and approaches that unite us and we must address those critical issues on which we have different attitudes.

Aram I welcomed the particular emphasis of this bilateral dialogue on ecclesiology. He proposed that moral and ethical issues be included on the agenda of this dialogue and the findings of this dialogue be shared through education and awareness building process by the faithful of these churches.

After his presentation, His Holiness answered to a number of questions posed by the members of the Holy Synod, concerning these dialogues as well as the various aspects of the ecumenical relations of the Oriental Orthodox Churches.

His Holiness concluded his presentation with an urgent call for Oriental Orthodox unity. He said that member churches of our family are facing some intra and inter-church difficulties and sensitivities. We must help each other to overcome our difficulties as far as possible.

The Holy Synod strongly proposed that His Holiness takes an initiative by inviting the representatives of the Oriental Orthodox Churches to the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia in Antelias-Lebanon, as a first concrete step forward to strengthen the internal unity of the Oriental Orthodox family.

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