The Third Bilateral Dialogue between Russian and Coptic Orthodox Churches Held

US-International Copti Media Center – 31/5/19

From May 28-29, 2019, the Commission for Bilateral Dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church held its third meeting in Cairo, Egypt generously hosted by His Holiness Pope Tawadros II. Present at the meeting were His Eminence Metropolitan Serapion of Los Angeles, co-chairman, His Grace Bishop Youlios, General Bishop for Public, Ecumenical and Social Services, His Grace Bishop Kyrillos, auxiliary bishop of Christian Education in the Diocese of Los Angeles, and Dean of Saint Athanasius and Saint Cyril Coptic Orthodox Theological School, Very Rev. Hegomen Boules Halim, Coptic Orthodox Spokesman, Rev. Father Dawood El Antony, student in the Moscow Theological Academy, Dr. Isaak Ibrahim Agpan, General Secretary at the Institute of Coptic Studies, and Mrs. Barbara Soliman, Director of the Papal Office for Projects and Relations and Co-Secretary of the Commission. The Russian Orthodox representatives present were His Grace Bishop Gennady of Kaskelen, Hieromonk Stefan (Igumnov), Secretary for Inter-Christian Affairs from the Department of External Church Relations (DECR), Rev. Priest Viktor Kulaga, Representative of the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia at the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, Deacon Ilya Kashitsyn, DECR staff member and Mr. Sergey Alferov, DECR staff member and Co-Secretary of the Commission.

The Commission reviewed the projects implemented in the last two years since its previous meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan from June 27–29, 2017. It also discussed new, promising areas of common interest for development in the framework of the dialogue.

The Commission also realized the successful annual visits of monastic delegations which made pilgrimages to Egypt and Russia. It hopes to implement consultations of monasticism during conferences on monasticism prepared by the Russian Orthodox Synodical Department of Monasteries and Monasticism, as well as during the pilgrimage visits of Russian Orthodox abbots and abbesses when in Egypt. Among the topics to be discussed are the challenges facing monasticism in the 21st century.