The World Council of Churches (WCC) convened an inter-Orthodox consultation in Cyprus on 6-13 October to respond to the text “The Church: Towards a Common Vision,” a convergence document presented by the WCC Faith and Order Commission.
The gathering was held in the Holy Metropolitanate of Constantia-Ammochostos in Paralimni, Cyprus.
Metropolitan Prof. Dr Gennadios of Sassima, vice moderator of the WCC Central Committee, and Metropolitan Bishoy of Damietta (Coptic Church) co-moderated the gathering.
Metropolitan Vasilios of Constantia-Ammochostos, former moderator and present member of the Faith and Order Commission, received and hosted the participants in his diocese.
Thirty hierarchs, priests, deacons, university professors, laypeople and youth, coming from the Eastern Orthodox churches and Oriental Orthodox churches, as well as representatives of the WCC Faith and Order Commission, were present.
The consultation heard and discussed positions of several Orthodox churches and theologians, as well as papers, addressing the text. The purpose of the consultation was to formulate a common Orthodox response to the text.
Along with discussion on a series of topics, the program included daily prayers and several visits to local parishes and monasteries.
Given the uniqueness of the Orthodox tradition, the response prepared by this inter-Orthodox group will be analyzed with particular interest and attention,” said Rev. Dr Odair Pedroso Mateus, director of WCC Faith and Order. “It is hoped that greater common understanding of what is the church and what divided churches should do to manifest the one church may lead them to deepen their fellowship within the World Council of Churches and beyond.”
The group will submit a communique summarizing its response to the WCC Faith and Order Commission.
“The Church: Towards a Common Vision" seeks to express common convictions about the nature and mission of the Church and the way toward greater communion among the churches. The text has already been sent officially to the WCC member churches, inviting them to study and evaluate the document as well as offer their reactions and responses until December 2016.
Faith and Order Commission
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