The First Test for Orthodox Unity after the Holy and Great Council: The Chieti Document

Public Orthodoxy

by Rev. Dr. Nicolas Kazarian

September 2016, Chieti, Italy. The Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, established in 1979, gathered once again. But this meeting was crucial in many ways, and not only for Orthodox-Catholic relations. It was also the first test at a global level for inter-Orthodox unity on a topic that is far from consensual among the Orthodox Churches, namely ecumenism.

Post-Conciliar Challenge

The Orthodox Churches that canceled their participation in the Holy and Great Council (HGC), in June of this year, in Crete, expressed their deep concerns about the document entitled “The relations of the Orthodox Church with the rest of the Christian World”, but they were also, generally speaking, very worried about the Orthodox Church’s involvement in inter-Christian fora at the expense of Orthodox faithfulness to truth and salvation. In the words of Fr. John Chryssavgis, in…

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