Image via WikipediaThis article about the Orthodox Church is from the April 2011 edition of the Council for Christian Unity's European Bulletin. This featured in an earlier post which reported on the start of the consultation.
A week-long inter-Orthodox consultation studying the WCC Faith and Order document “The Nature and Mission of the Church” had its first meeting on Thursday 3 March in Ayia Napa with the gathering hosted by the Orthodox Church of Cyprus.
The aim was to offer distinctly Orthodox insights as part of a world-wide discussion of ecclesiology.
Nearly forty participants from Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches, church leaders, university professors, theologians, men and women as well as youth, most of whom are members of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission on Faith and Order, will produce a common Orthodox response to this important theological text.
Metropolitan Prof. Dr Gennadios of Sassima, co-moderator of the consultation, said that “walls of separation and division still exist in the world and one of our priorities as Orthodox is to continue our struggle for peace, reconciliation and friendship among peoples and nations.”
Archbishop Chrysostomos underlined the importance of the theme. “Orthodox theology is primarily ecclesiological,” he said. “Christianity cannot be understood except as the church”. He said that by his incarnation Christ made all human beings part of his own body. Orthodox contributions to ecumenical theological reflection consisted in the fact that Orthodoxy, rather than defending a “confessional” interpretation of ecclesiology, shared the existential experience of the church.