Greek EO & Coptic Pastoral Agreement: 27 years later

Howdy all!

I am curious as to why talks between the EO & Coptic Churches has not progressed (or at least it doesn't seem like they have) in the last 27 years since the common Christological agreement. Maybe someone on here can shed some light on this? 


  • There's a couple of factors:

    1.  Aging of the bishops, priests, and theologians involved in the discussion.  A new generation is very hard to develop to pick up the slack.  If you look at HH Pope Shenouda for example, the last ten years of his papacy was really slow.  No new episcopal ordinations, he started slipping in his political involvements, and other bishops also due to their age were not functioning at a maximum for their dioceses.  We do not have a "retirement" or "resignation" of bishops, so the administration of the local churches takes a huge strain over international theological discussions on an official level.

    2.  Various political turmoils of the diverse group of nations we come from, even until today.  The so-called "Arab Spring" that slowed things down in Egypt, and much more so in Syria.  There is an issue with the Eritrean Church and how the government is intervening to take control of the Church.

    3.  Internal dissensions within each of our groups that slow us down.  These internal dissensions could be unique or could be related to the Christological agreements.  For the Coptic Church for example, we do have theological dissensions, and the main character involved in the original discussions have theological problems that the Coptic Church is extremely slow in dealing with.  The Malankara schism is still a problem that needs healing, and is slowed down by the political turmoils the Syrian Church is involved in presently.  You have issues also with the African churches as well.  In the EO Church, you have dissensions concerning the Antiochian and Jerusalem patriarchates, and you also have OCA issues.  And then you have issues on "ecumenism".

    4.  Various EO-OO squabbles that tend to strain relationships.  There was an argument between the Coptic Church and the Jerusalem Patriarchate sometime ago that ended our participating in the MECC.  There are local American issues, such as the OCA accepting people like Atef Aziz into their Church without proper investigation.  Other issues where the discussions from the 1960s to the 1990s seem almost forgotten that when describing the differences between OO and EO, we are back to square one in theological and historical understandings of these differences, and it causes heightened emotions between sides, some would "convert" to the other side being convinced the "other side" is "more Orthodox", and then there is just still some general trust issues in working together as we would have liked.
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