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Resolution 6 - Anglican-Orthodox Relations

Resolution 6

Anglican-Orthodox Relations

This Conference:

1. Remembers with gratitude the long history of cordial relations between Anglicans and Orthodox, not only in Europe but throughout the world, and records our sense of privilege at sharing in the celebrations of the Millennium of the Baptism of Kievan Rus, and the enrichment of the Conference by the presence of Orthodox consultants and observers who have shared with us in our life and worship; and values the dialogue between our Communions not only because it transcends East-West divisions (theological, cultural and political) but also because it stimulates and aids our own internal reflection on important issues.

2. Warmly welcomes the Dublin Agreed Statement of 1984 as an important successor to the Moscow Agreed Statement of 1976 and notes with particular pleasure the measure of theological agreement which the Dublin Statement records, the honesty with which it expresses divergences of outlook, and its special emphasis on prayer and worship as the context in which doctrinal discussion must be pursued.

3. Commits itself to drawing the attention of all the provinces of our Communion to the contents of the Dublin Agreed Statement, hoping to see it given the serious discussion which it deserves, especially in those provinces where there is a strong Orthodox presence and where there has hitherto been too little fraternal contact, and asks further all the provinces to submit to the Secretary General of the ACC, by a date to be specified by that body, their responses to the Dublin Statement, such responses as far as possible to be expressed after conversation with local Orthodox Christians.

4. Welcomes the resumption of the Anglican-Orthodox Joint Doctrinal Discussion (AOJDD) and encourages the work of that Commission towards the restoration of that unity for which Christ prayed, particularly noting its intention to address the question of ecclesiology which it is hoped will include the increasingly significant concept of "reception", the issue of ecclesial diversity and the inter-relationship between faith and the culture in which it is expressed, believing that these are pressing issues which affect both our Communions; and at the same time urging that the AOJDD take into its consideration other dialogues in which both Anglicans and Orthodox separately are involved.

5. Asks that further thought be given to the Filioque clause, recognising it to be a major point of disagreement, (a) recalling Resolution 35.3 of the Lambeth Conference 1978 and the varied, and on the whole positive, response from those provinces which responded to ACC-4's request to consider the removal of this clause from liturgical texts, (b) noting that the Report of the Faith and Order Commission of the WCC "Ecumenical Explication of the Apostolic Faith as expressed in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan (381) Creed" bases itself on the original text, (c) believing that it may be possible to achieve unity of action on the part of all the 'Western Churches' to adopt the original form of the Creed without any betrayal of their theological heritage, (d) recommending to the provinces of the Anglican Communion that in future liturgical revisions the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed be printed without the Filioque clause.

6. Noting the forthcoming Pan-Orthodox Consultation on Women and Ordination, requests that the results of its deliberations be circulated to the provinces of the Anglican Communion and urges that ecumenical theological dialogue ensue on this issue.

7. Notes with gratitude to God the increasing openness towards the Orthodox Churches in the Soviet Union and encourages the provinces of the Anglican Communion:

(a) to explore increased contact, co-operation and exchanges; (b) to offer such theological literature and other aid as may be practicable.

8. Welcomes the various international exchange programmes and study visits that are taking place between Anglicans and Orthodox and hopes that more such opportunities will be created.

9. Welcomes the many examples of friendship, hospitality, co-operation and participation in each other's worship that already exist at the local level and urges the Churches of the Anglican Communion to be more active in such endeavours, noting with particular thanksgiving the influence of Orthodox spirituality and iconography on contemporary Anglicanism and asking Anglicans to share with Orthodox their experience of witness and ministry in secular contexts.

Anglican-Orthodox Joint Doctrinal Discussion (AOJDD) Dublin Agreed Statement (1984) Moscow Agreed Statement (1976) (See further paras 57 and 59 of the Report on "Ecumenical Relations.")

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