The Romanian Patriarchate and the Patriarchate of Antioch Promote Dialogue and Cooperation

December 2014

In response to the invitation of His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania, His Beatitude John X; Patriarch of Antioch and al the East, paid a fraternal visit to the Church of Romania between the 28th of November and the 2na of December 2014. This was the occasion for the Patriarch John and the Antiochian delegation to better know the Church of Romania, its life and its testimony. The visit was also an occasion for the two patriarchs and the two Churches’ delegates to exchange their ideas about the issues of common concern mainly in the difficult conditions that the near eastern region is going through, but also vis-a-vis the present situation of the Orthodox Church in general. Taking into account these delicate situations, the two Patriarchs, in the name of their respective Churches declare the following:

1.Christians are called upon all over the World to give witness to the message of Love that the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ brought to it and expressed it through His Crucifixion and Resurrection. This is why the two Churches declare that they are committed to work for the welfare of their societies.

2.The unity of Orthodoxy and its capability to bear witness to the “Good News” toward the whole Word depend on the communion of love and cooperation for Peace and Hope. Therefore, the two Churches consider that Orthodoxy is called upon today, through its leaders, clergy and believers, to witness the reality of this communion by overcoming divisions caused by different organizational or ethnic motivations and to give total priority to the spirit of mission, mutual consultation and solidarity.

3.The two Churches are aware of the importance of maintaining close relations between both of them, to better enhance the sense of dialogue between Orthodoxy and the other Christians and the non-Christians.

4.The Christians in the Near East are suffering nowadays from the extremists’ unacceptable pressure and persecution. While refusing such situation, the two Churches urge all responsible authorities to work urgently to stop these unhuman actions. The two Churches declare firmly that the Christians of the Middle East are the children of this region and that they share with their compatriots all the sufferings of their respective countries. This is why the two Churches give a high priority to all the actions that will help the Christians to remain in their homeland despite the difficulties they are facing. Therefore, the two Churches regret the passive attitude adopted by the international community regarding the kidnapping of metropolitans John and Paul of Aleppo, and they consider that it is its responsibility to work urgently and effectively in order to have them released with all the other persons kidnapped all over these years.

5.Concerning the relations between the two sister Churches, lot of archives and monuments in Romania are a testimony of the lively and strong relations that were maintained along centuries. This visit is the occasion for the two sister Churches to affirm their will for strengthening these relations through: a.A structured and continuous consultation between them, mainly in issues related to the life of the Orthodox Church and its witness to the World.

b.Strengthening the fraternal bonds between their schools of Theology especially by stressing the importance of the pastoral role of the Church and its responsibility towards the society in the present social, economic and cultural contexts.

c.To promote, every time it is possible, the students exchange between the schools of Theology to develop better communication and mutual cooperation, as it was the case up to now.

d.Organizing pilgrimages, when it is possible to let the faithful from each Church better know the life of their brothers and sisters in the other Church and how they witness all together to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

e.Exchange their experiences, mainly in regards to the pastoral care and organization of their mission for the faithful from Antiochian and Romanian origins living in diaspora, working hand in hand to better show the unity of Orthodoxy all over the World.
f.Building strong relations between the University of Balamand and Romanian educational institutions mainly in the social and medical fields.

g.Mutual information through ecclesiastical mass-media concerning the life and mission of the two Churches.
h.Enhancing the research regarding the history of the relations between the two Churches through the existing academic institutions.

† DANIEL                                                                       † JOHN X
Patriarch of Romania                                              Patriarch of Antioch

Bucharest, on the 1st of December 2014.