Tuesday 24 January 2012

Press Release from The Coptic Orthodox Church Centre UK: The Catholic-Oriental Orthodox Forum launches 'Joint Statements'

Press Release from the Coptic Orthodox Church Centre UK
Date:  24th January 2012

The Coptic Orthodox Church Centre UK
 Media and Public Relations Office

The Catholic-Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum (COORF) launches a book entitled Joint Statements on Monday 23 January, outlining theological agreements between the Roman Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox family of Churches.  A press conference followed, led by Co-Chairs of COORF: His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of The Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, and President of the Council of Oriental Orthodox Churches of the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, and His Grace Archbishop Kevin McDonald, Archbishop Emeritus of Southwark.

His Grace Bishop Angaelos emphasised the relevance of this unprecedented move towards unity between the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Roman Catholic Church, highlighting the clear areas of common Faith and witness that the Church bodies share, stating that the commonalities that exist far outweigh that which had previously been a cause of division.

Speaking of the sixteen hundred years of separation that the Churches have experienced and the role of ecumenism, which is now even more relevant on a global scale when taking into consideration recent events such as the Arab Spring, Archbishop McDonald stated:

“Even though in the past there were differences, they no longer justify the continued separation, and it is a call to the Churches to come together and move towards a closer communion…It is a good time for us to recognise that there is an international dimension to ecumenism and we all have a stake in it, we are all part of it.”

HG Bishop Angaelos clarified that the work of COORF does not intend to duplicate the work of the International Commission and does not assume that there are no differences, but tries to work within the areas which can be agreed upon, bearing in mind certain Dogmatic differences that are still being discussed at the international level. Drawing attention to the essence of Christian witness, he spoke of the work of the Forum as being laid on a solid foundation of friendship and real relationships that are fully realised and being further built upon. Speaking of the relevance and need for the publication, he said:

 “It is very well for us to stand at our pulpits and preach love, but if our faithful do not see our Churches working together they see this as being quite hypocritical. If we, as Church leaders, as priests and pastors and shepherds in the Church cannot actually portray this, if we cannot have this relationship and the wider relationship in this room and indeed between our Churches in this land that we live in, then we will find it very difficult to stand and preach love and forgiveness and acceptance, that is why I am very happy to be part of this launch.”

For more information and resources please contact:
Media and Public Relations Officer
Tel.: +44 (0)207 1937076
Office Email: Media@CopticCentre.com

Download Joint Statements Between the Catholic and Oriental Orthodox Churches from this page:
Video Footage:

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