[Anglican Communion Office] Members of the International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue issued the following communique at the conclusion of their annual meeting, which took place in Jerusalem amid the backdrop of the terror attack on Israel by Hamas.
The commission is the official international ecumenical dialogue between the Anglican Communion and the Orthodox churches in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Jerusalem 2023 – Communiqué
In the name of the Triune God and with the blessing and guidance of our Churches, the International Commission for Anglican–Orthodox Theological Dialogue (ICAOTD) met in Jerusalem from the 5th to the 11th of October 2023, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the first full meeting of the Commission in 1973.
This meeting was hosted by the Anglican Communion, and the members of the Commission are grateful for the generous hospitality and welcome received from His Grace, The Most Rev. Hosam Naoum, Archbishop in Jerusalem and Primate of Jerusalem and the Middle East. The Commission was also graciously received by His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in the old City of Jerusalem.
The meeting was curtailed by the outbreak of military conflict in southern Israel and Gaza which extended into northern Israel. This resulted in the loss of thousands of lives and very many wounded. This tragic situation dominated our prayers during the meeting.
Building on previous agreed statements, particularly the Buffalo Statement on Christian anthropology, the Commission discussed at length and substantially concluded an agreed statement on “Organ Donation: A Hope-Filled Gift (the Jerusalem Statement).”
The work of the Commission was undergirded by daily prayer and worship. The Commission attended the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist in St George’s Anglican Cathedral, Jerusalem, and a celebration of the Orthodox Divine Liturgy in the Golgotha Chapel in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
The Commission was blessed with visits to holy sites, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem as well as a solidarity visit to Mount Tabor, the Mount of Transfiguration, in Galilee. Visits to other holy sites were curtailed due to the outbreak of military conflict.
The work of the Commission will proceed at its next meeting in October 2024 in Boston, hosted by the Huffington Ecumenical Institute, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. The Commission identified the Mission of the Church in the World Today and Christian Formation as topics to consider at its next meeting, as well as a publication to mark the jubilee of the Commission outlining its history and achievements.
Members of the Commission present at the meeting
The Rt. Rev. Michael Lewis, The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East, Anglican Co-Chairman
His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras of Belgium, Ecumenical Patriarchate, Orthodox Co-Chairman
Representatives of the Orthodox Church
His Eminence Metropolitan Serafim of Zimbabwe and Angola, Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa
The Rev. Jonathan A. Hemmings, Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East
The Very Rev. George Dion Dragas, Patriarchate of Jerusalem
Bogdan Lubardić, Patriarchate of Serbia
His Eminence Metropolitan Nifon of Târgovişte, Patriarchate of Romania
The Very Rev. Giorgi Zviadadze, Patriarchate of Georgia
His Eminence Nektarios, Metropolitan of Kition, Church of Cyprus
Miltiadis Konstantinou, Church of Greece
Nathan Hoppe, Church of Albania
The Very Rev. Christos B Christakis, Ecumenical Patriarchate, Co-Secretary
Representatives of the Anglican Communion
The Most Rev. Phillip Aspinall, The Anglican Church of Australia
The Rt. Rev. Humberto Maiztegui Gonçalves, The Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil
The Rev. Philip Hobson, The Anglican Church of Canada
The Rt. Rev. Graham Usher, The Church of England
The Rev. Alison Joyce, The Church of England
The Most Rev. Hosam Naoum, The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East
The Rev. Christopher Beeley, The Episcopal Church
The Rev. Neil Vigers, Anglican Communion Office, Co-Secretary