23rd SEPTEMBER 2011
At the invitation of His Beatitude Anastasios, Archbishop of Tirana and all Albania, the Mixed Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Dialogue held the meeting at the New Monastery of St. Vlash and the Theological Academy “Resurrection of Christ,” in the village of St. Vlash, near Durres, Albania from September 16-23, 2011. It is the first time the Commission met in our country.
On Sunday, September 18, friends from the Orthodox and Anglican Churches attended the Divine Liturgy at the Orthodox Church of Annunciation in Tirana, where the orthodox hierarchs concelebrated. Bishop Kallistos Ware, a renowned theologian and cochairman of the commission from Britain and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, gave the sermon. Over several centuries, the two churches have had friendly relations, and the direct theological dialogue began in Oxford in 1973. There have been three reports on theological topics of common interest. New discussions have begun regarding the responsibilities of Christians to protect God’s Creation and the environment as well as the human rights.
The Orthodox Church was represented at the meeting by Metropolitan Kallistos of Dioclea, from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Metropolitan Seraphim of Zimbabwe from the Patriarchate of Alexandria, Metropolitan Nifon of Târgoviste from the Romanian Patriarchate, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Kition from the Church of Cyprus, Bishop Ilia of the Church of Albania, as well as lay theologians and clergy from churches of Antioch, Russia, Serbia, Greece and Poland. The Anglican cochairman of the commission was Bishop Roger Heft from Australia.