Towards Orthodox unity

edited December 1969 in Non-Orthodox Inquiries
Good day everyone,
Its wonderful to be here. I am new here, basically from the Indian Orthodox Church and presently residing in the UAE. Due to its metropolitan nature, the UAE has people from some 200 nationalities. I came across this site while researching for Orthodox-friendly material and must say without hesitation that this site is an incredible blessing for all Orthodox.God bless all those who have put in their efforts.

I was wondering if we could discuss the status of the relations between the 2 families of Orthodoxy-The Eastern & the Oriental. I don't know if this has been discussed here before. From what I gather, the findings of the appointed Commission indicate that there is agreement on Christology and has actually been so always. Instead it was the language / interpretation / politics of the day (15 centuries ago) that caused this difference of opinion and the unfortunate schism in the first place. Since I and am sure most others here fervently pray for this re-unification of the 2 families towards having mutual and full communion, I hope some of us here could discuss the progress made on this front.

God bless,


  • Welcome to the site rpm, may God indeed bring our two churches together in the one Body of Christ.

    The topic has been discussed many times, but an up to date discussion would be most useful to us all.

    pray for me

  • Hello and welcome, this is one of my favourite subjects, but rather than tire my fingers, I have rather shamelessly copied the following material from the website of the British Orthodox church. This is a numerically small (compared to the Greek, Copts etc) but spiritually rich group which started in the 1800s among British Christians seeking out their original Orthodox roots. Christianity came to Britain sometime in 200s or 300s (or possibly earlier) and only came under the jurisdiction of the Roman church 400 to 600 years later. In 1994, the British Orthodox Church came under the covering of the Coptic Orthodox Church and both groups have benefitted enormously from this union. I may be a little (!) biased, being British, but in this group you can find lots of excellent theology and good, thorough historical research.

    Two Families of Orthodox

    For over fifteen hundred years the Eastern (Byzantine) Orthodox churches and the Oriental Orthodox churches have remained separated. Only thirty years ago they came together for the first of four unofficial theological consultations : Aarhus (1964), Bristol (1967), Geneva (1970) and Addis Ababa (1971).

    These were followed by the establishment of a Joint Commission of the Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, which has held four meetings : Chambesy, Geneva (December 1985), Anba Bishoy monastery, Egypt (June 1989), Chambesy II (September 1990) and Chambesy III (November 1993). Ignorance of the remarkable advance towards the eventual reunion of the "two families" is still widespread and it is a sad reflection on the lack of understanding of what has been agreed already that some journals, commenting on the recent reception of the British Orthodox Church by the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, are still impugning the Orthodoxy of the Oriental Orthodox churches with accusations of the Monophysite heresy.

    There is, of course, always the zealot fringe, which has rather foolishly and improbably attempted to stigmatise the deep and careful deliberations of the Joint Commission as just another step in the liberal, ecumenist sell-out, preferring - for its own reasons - to re-open old wounds rather than pour out the healing balm of charity and truth. In accordance with the Bulletin's declared policy of explaining our common understanding of the Orthodox faith, we published in this issue the key texts issued by the Joint Commission.

    Members of the Joint Commission included official representatives of the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, the Supreme Catholicosate of All Armenians at Etchmiadzin, the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church of the East and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church from the Oriental Orthodox family; the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, the Russian Patriarchate, the Romanian Patriarchate, the Serbian Patriarchate, the Bulgarian Patriarchate, the Georgian Patriarchate, the Church of Cyprus, the Church of Greece, the Church of Albania, the Czechoslovakian Orthodox Church, the Polish Orthodox Church and the Finnish Orthodox Church from the Byzantine Orthodox family.
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