News and events

The meeting for Cyprus Theologian Dialogue started with protests ( 21.10.2009 )

The meeting of the Joint Commission for Theologian Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Roman-Catholic Church, regularly taking place in every two years, started at October the 16th 2009, in Paphos on the isle of Cyprus. This year the host is the Orthodox Church of Cyprus, and the Subject of consideration is “The Role of the Bishop of Rome in the Communion of the Church in the First Millennium”. The conferences will be pending up to the October, 23th. In contradictory of the expectations, the representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate participate in the Commission Conference, though they in 2007 left the Conferences of the Commission, happening in Ravenna, Italy, expressing their disagreement with the presence of the representatives of the Estonian Church, who is not recognised by the Russian Orthodox Church. The Roman Catholic priest Elevterio Fortinno, who is a secretary of the meeting, announced that An agreement between Constantinople and Moscow has been achieved, and that the formal completeness of the representatives of the Orthodox Churches had been necessary for the successful completion of the dialogue. We do remind that with a Conclusion of the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, since July 2009, they have brought to a standstill their participation in the Joint Commission activities. The reasons of such act of the Bulgarian Bishops was in the explanation that the Theologian Dialogues between the Orthodoxies and Roman-Catholics didn’t bring any closeness of the Roman-Catholic dogma to the Orthodox Faith.

The Joint Commission is consisted from 60 members – 30 Orthodox’s and 30 Roman-Catholic’s. Co-presidents of the Commission are Cardinal Walter Casper and the Metropolitan of Pergamus John Zizioulas.

Protests followed the first day of the meeting, taking place around the hotel where the meeting happened. In the protests participated monks from the nearby Monastery Stavrovouni, clerics of the Kitya’s Eparchy (Larnaka), and members of Christian organisations, as well. They claimed that they were protesting because they thought this dialogue, has been directed to subjugate the Orthodoxies to the Pope.

The Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostom didn’t support those protests, so he demanded all the clerics taking presence in the demonstrations, to come to his cabinet at Monday. Metropolitan of Paphos George stated that the aim of the dialogue was to clarify the common faith of the Orthodoxies and Roman-Catholics, which existed before the schism. Due to the increase of the people protesting in front the hotel, the Program of the Meeting on the first day was partly changed and the participants didn’t perform the planned common prayer in the temple of St. George, and such prayer was designed to be the beginning of the meeting. The conferences of the meetings of the Joint  Commission are closed for the public.