20110227

Pope Shenouda comments on the Egyptian Revolution


Sunday, 27th February, 2011

In a recent interview conducted by Father Daoud Lamei, His Holiness Pope Shenouda clarified points in the Statement which he issued on behalf of the Holy Synod and commented on aspects of the Egyptian Revolution.
What was meant by a civil nation ?
A civil nation is defined as a non-religious and non-military nation.
You spoke of the valiant Egyptian army ?
Praising the army in the statement recalls a long history. While still a university student, I volunteered in the army and graduated from the school of Infantry in 1947.
Are you optimistic about the future?
I am not tending to talk about optimism but rather about hope in God. We are asked not to loose hope. This is an integral part of our relation to God. Our life, as well as the life of countries, abides not in the hands of people, but in the hands of God. There is no doubt, the authorities want good for the country whether on the internal level (unity, security and prosperity) or on the external level (events in surrounding Arab Countries, possible reactions of Israel…etc.). In these days, our priority should not be to put forward demands and exert pressure on the regime but to support the leadership to pass through this difficult phase and arrive to a safe haven.
Some people suggested that the church was a main beneficiary from the old regime, not knowing what we have been suffering from.
In a TV interview with Amr Adeeb, some 6 months ago, I mentioned that the problems of the Copts can be summarized in one word ‘marginalization’. Copts are marginalized from high official positions, syndicates, legislative councils, university staff…etc. Another main element has been the frequent violent attacks targeting Copts. We remember the El Kosheh assassinations (21 dead and no sentence has been made against anyone by the court), Abu Korkas (9 people assassinated inside the church and no one has received death penalty – according to the law), Dayrout (14 killed including children), the Alexandria church this year (30 killed, 90 injured), Omraneya Church (where we were unjustly blamed for the events) but we thank the Lord for having people released before the Feast of Nativity early in January.
On the other hand, I cannot deny that we had good relations with President Mubarak as a person. That’s why I see it a personal obligation of loyalty not to mention bad points but rather to remember the good ones. The problems we suffered were mainly due to those surrounding him. Now after the revolution, they have been apprehended and are being prosecuted.
At the start of the revolution didn’t you allow Coptic youth to join the demonstrations?
I had an interview at El-Horra TV Channel where I mentioned that our youth are generally peaceful and are not attracted to demonstrations. Also at the start of the revolution, things were not clear. It later proved to be a free and non-violent movement. Many Copts joined it in fact and many were martyred and wounded, some newspapers published names of 12 of those Coptic martyrs and the church did not object to their participation. On the other hand, we ask the Lord to give their families patience and we pay our deepest condolences to them. If I know their addresses, I would send personal condolences to each of them.
What are your views on educational reform in Egypt ?
I always ask myself a question: should education be only for earning, or should it help people to find a job? May be it is both. What is the point of educating people to become unemployed. I remember a funny story of a woman seeing her child studying and asking him to leave education and play soccer where he would find a better future.
I would personally encourage having quality vocational training starting at preparatory schools (7-9 grades) to have a higher professional vocational training at the secondary level. The university may also have an advanced degree on vocational fields. In fact, foreign investors in Egypt seek highly trained vocational workers. Not finding them they have to import them from other countries at higher cost. I recall some twenty years ago, the electricity generator at the monastery had a problem; one of our sons was a senior engineer. I asked him if he could fix it. He said, I apologize I am only engineer on paper but I have no real experience. We need people who have both theoretical and practical knowledge. Sometimes we import sophisticated medical equipment, and find no expertise to use it properly or fix it. This kind of training is very important and missing much in Egypt. This does not mean eliminating general education but having both.
On political parties, do you encourage Copts to work in politics?
The Muslim Brotherhood recently created the Wassat, Hakk and Adala & Gamaa parties. Are the youth of 25 January intending to create parties ? I have no idea. Would some tolerant people install non-religious parties? Of course those are in addition to the old classical parties. For us we cannot and it would not be to our benefit to install a purely Christian party. It would be described as radical and would have very few members. I encourage Copts to join their Moslem brothers in a party they would judge as tolerant and achieving their hopes. One should properly study the aims, agenda and members opf each party. In this respect we have to admit that we need to raise people’s political awareness.
Constitution amendments and Article 2:
I met with a member of the current committee and he said they would only amend the 5 articles previously decided and would not touch on article 2. The head of the committee publicly supported article 2, the Grand Sheikh of Azhar said it is an indispensable article, both the Salafists and the Muslim Brothers went in demonstrations to support that matter and they said that addressing this article may cause sectarian strife. I believe that at the current stage, it is difficult to oppose this article, especially for Christians. As a compromise I suggest the following, if it is essential to keep it, we may add a sentence “as for non-muslims, the commandments of their religion shall apply in personal statute and clergy matters”.
The church and being socially active in building the country:
The church may participate in social building and help the country not by vandalism and demonstrations. A couple of days ago I was visited by the Minister of Interior and I suggested that we rebuild and refurbish the neigbourhood police station at our expense. Likewise, HG Bishop Morcos of Shoubra El Khema is rebuilding and refurbishing two police stations there.
Copts were always criticized for being politically passive in their participation. On the other hand the head of the church is often criticized for interfering in politics.
There is a difference between being active politically and working in politics. For example in all elections I went to do my duty as a citizen by voting. As for Copts being politically passive, I must remark that most parties were not welcoming Copts among them and they were never allowed to go up the political scale except for a few well-known names. I encourage parties to give the chance to Copts and have trust. The behaviour of parties had a negative impact on both Muslims and Christians and this reflected in the extremely low participation in elections.
What is the fine line between being politically active and interfering in politics?
For example concerning Palestine, I gave my opinion and said that I would not go to Palestine except with the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar and this was highly praised by all authorities (except some few Copts) as a national act despite the fact that it was pure politics. The question is: should I be active only in matters that are supported by the government and show restraint in matters they reject? The church is giving its opinion in politics without working in politics. Yet for Copts, they are free to work in politics as they wish and they have to select the successful and right politics.
Should there be a revolution in the church to change things?
Unlike world politics that change from time to time, whether calmly or violently, the church uses a divine system that is described in the scriptures and detailed in the church canons. Copying the government system for the church is not acceptable by logic, religion and church canons.
As for the clerical council investigations for clergy, it was asked lately why they are not made public. In fact, those investigations are usually concerning financial, ethical or theological matters. We make the judgment public but do not give details of the investigations. The details are written in special memos and are signed and approved by the priest who is being judged. If anyone needs me to review his case, I may well request his file and review it.
President Mubarak had many problems because of those surrounding him? Can this happen with your Holiness?
Those surrounding President Mubarak were employees, but those around me are my sons and disciples. For example, Bishop Ermia, I knew him over many years, I consecrated him monk, then priest, then bishop and appointed him to the secretariat. Bishop Joannes is the same way. Another point is that those around Mubarak, may have found excuses for their mistakes: for example, they would support his son Gamal for the presidency so they would fabricate elections and possibly oppress people and so on…etc. Such an element is completely missing in the church. I would not recommend anyone to succeed me.
Spiritual lessons from the past 20 days of the revolution
Do not judge before the time. We do not know anything concerning the future. The Lord said: Do not care for tomorrow, tomorrow cares for itself. The future is in the hands of God not ours. There are many political actors: the Higher Council of Armed Forces, the government, the youth of 25-Jan, the individual demonstrations, financial problems, some Coptic fathers who want to rule the church…etc. We leave it all in the hands of God, knowing for sure that the church is in the hands of God not people.
Conclusion
We trust that everything will go well, not because of our own prayers: It is true that God gives us what we ask for and beyond what we ask for, yet He also gives abundantly without us asking. Maybe Joseph had his ultimate hope to leave prison and return back home with his father and brothers. He never thought of ruling Egypt or having pharaoh’s seal under his authority. God gives without us asking and beyond it. He just wants us to be pure of heart and as He said ‘Return to me and I shall return to you’. Every morning, while praying the Agpeya I meditate the words ‘grant us O Lord to please you’. It is indeed a grant from the Lord not an effort of us.

[Translated by Shenouda Mamdouh]

http://britishorthodox.org/1676/pope-shenouda-comments-on-the-egyptian-revolution/

20110216

Statement of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III on the Egyptian Revolution




Pope of Alexandria H H Shenouda III
CAIRO,Tuesday, February 15, 2011: On 15 February 2011 Pope Shenouda met with a small committee of the Holy Synod that released the following statement:

The Coptic Church praises Egypt’s honest youth, the Youth of 25 January who led Egypt in a resilient white revolution and sacrificed precious blood, the blood of the nation’s martyrs who were hailed by Egypt’s leadership, army and people. We too offer condolences to their parents and members of their families.

The Coptic Church praises Egypt’s brave Army and the High Council of the Armed Forces for their statements aimed at protecting Egypt both domestically and internationally. We support its position in dissolving parliament and the Shura council and in seeking to restore order.

We believe that Egypt should be a democratic civil country that selects its parliament through free and fair elections that represent all classes of the population.

We support all Egypt in fighting poverty, corruption and unemployment and in resisting anarchy and vandalism. We support the establishment of security, safety and the principles of social justice and national unity and the prosecution of all those who have broken the law.

The Coptic Church prays for our great Egyptian nation, with its long history and civilisation. We ask the Lord to keep it safe and to extend peace, safety, stability and prosperity.

Pope Shenouda III
Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark
and Head of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox ChurchCOPTIC


Original Release:
ENGLISH


20110203

ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI TO THE MEMBERS OF THE JOINT INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION FOR THEOLOGICAL DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE ORIENTAL ORTHODOX CHURCHES



Consistory Hall
Friday, 28 January 2011


Your Eminences,
Your Excellencies,
Dear Brothers in Christ,


It is with great joy that I welcome you, the members of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. Through you I gladly extend fraternal greetings to my venerable Brothers, the Heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches.


I am grateful for the work of the Commission which began in January 2003 as a shared initiative of the ecclesial authorities of the family of the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.


As you know, the first phase of the dialogue, from 2003 to 2009, resulted in the common text entitled Nature, Constitution and Mission of the Church. The document outlined aspects of fundamental ecclesiological principles that we share and identified issues requiring deeper reflection in successive phases of the dialogue. We can only be grateful that after almost fifteen hundred years of separation we still find agreement about the sacramental nature of the Church, about apostolic succession in priestly service and about the impelling need to bear witness to the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the world.
H.E. Anba Bishoy (co-chair) meets with Pope Benedict XVI


In the second phase the Commission has reflected from an historical perspective on the ways in which the Churches expressed their communion down the ages. During the meeting this week you are deepening your study of the communion and communication that existed between the Churches until the mid-fifth century of Christian history, as well as the role played by monasticism in the life of the early Church.


We must be confident that your theological reflection will lead our Churches not only to understand each other more deeply, but resolutely to continue our journey decisively towards the full communion to which we are called by the will of Christ. For this intention we have lifted up our common prayer during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity which has just ended.


Many of you come from regions where Christian individuals and communities face trials and difficulties that are a cause of deep concern for us all. All Christians need to work together in mutual acceptance and trust in order to serve the cause of peace and justice. May the intercession and example of the many martyrs and saints, who have given courageous witness to Christ in all our Churches, sustain and strengthen you and your Christian communities.


With sentiments of fraternal affection I invoke upon all of you the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Reflections on events in Egypt



An interview with Abba Seraphim

3rd February, 2011

Q. How do you view the current demonstrations in Egypt ?

A. History shows us that all repressive regimes can only maintain a grip on power for a limited period of time. Like a volcano waiting to explode, the underlying tensions seeks a crack in the surface and then everything suddenly comes bursting out. No country can be totally isolated from its neighbours and the unrest we saw in Tunisia has spread to Egypt and its effect is already having an impact on other countries. I was impressed, however, by the calmness of the protesters in the early stages but the escalating violence and injury to people and property is now very alarming.
Q. Do you think that President Mubarak should go ?
A. I have already expressed my view that I believe the present government has lost its moral authority and retains power by electoral fraud and military repression. However, Tony Blair was right to remind us that President Mubarak is not Saddam Hussein, although he has presided over a corrupt and stagnant administration for three decades and a new generation of educated Egyptians have grown up who want to control their own destiny. It is not uncommon for political leaders to believe themselves indispensible and to try to hang on to power for too long but in truly democratic countries their term of office is limited by statute or they can be voted out. Egypt’s constitution provided for this but President Mubarak changed it and has now outstayed his welcome. Recent tragic instances have showed us that the Egyptian government was not ensuring the security of all its citizens and this has been a serious failure to fulfil a primary responsibility of government.
Q. Do you believe that America is still influencing events ?
A. Egypt has suffered from foreign interference for too much of its modern history and I am very conscious of Britain’s role in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, which sadly did not put Egypt’s interests first. However, Egypt is a proud nation and they did manage to reassert their independence before American influence and patronage tied them into a rather too close alliance. America and its Western allies have been complicit in winking at the totalitarian nature of the Egyptian government and the human rights abuses in Egypt and by so doing they have also lost some moral stature. Efforts to push for greater democratisation have been too half-hearted and now seem to be an afterthought.
Q. Is there a danger that if Mubarak goes now things will descend into chaos ?
A. There are signs of that chaos already appearing with vicious street battles between warring factions, the absence of proper policing with widespread reports of looting and rape as well as the serious damage being done to businesses and the economy in general. All parties profess a devotion to national unity and to achieve this there must be give and take. I would hope that President Mubarak will complete his term and be allowed to go into honourable retirement. He has served his country for many years and is not without some achievements and by going peacefully he may regain some respect from his opponents. We may justly criticise him for his failures but I dislike the crude abuse coming from some quarters. If he goes early, then the Vice-President will assume power in an orderly way and he should invite representatives of all the leading opposition groups to play some part in the reconstruction which must immediately follow and to pave the way for constitutional change and free and fair elections before the end of the year.
Q. Is there a danger that the Muslim Brotherhood or other religious fundamentalists will be the principal beneficiaries of these changes ?
A. Although the Muslim Brotherhood has been a banned party, it nevertheless managed to field “independent” candidates and to gain 88 seats (20% of the total) in the 2005 elections. In the latest, 2010 rigged elections, they gained only one seat (0.2% of the total). Obviously, support is still there and it is something which needs to be faced. Currently the Muslim Brotherhood professes a commitment to greater democratisation and if a new Constitution can be brought in before the elections we have to trust that the majority of Egyptians will back that and it will serve as a safeguard against any form of extremism.
Q. Do you have any views about what form that Constitution should take ?
A. The 1980 amendment introduced by President Sadat, which states “Islamic jurisprudence is the principal source of legislation” is discriminatory and contradicts the aspirations of non-Muslim citizens. The rights of all Egyptians to practise their religion must be respected but no faith should be preferred over another if there is to be true equality. National unity cannot be achieved by preferring one section of society over another and this is the soundest way to ensure that religious extremists do not gain control.
Q. How should Coptic Orthodox Christians react ?
A. In all societies there will be diversity of opinions, so Copts do not form a monolithic block vote. We have seen instances of Copts standing guard over mosques during these demonstrations and I know of very encouraging reports of Christians and Muslims working harmoniously to protect their local communities. The Coptic Church has always encouraged national unity and that vision is symbolised in the old motif of the conjoined cross and crescent expressing that sense of Egyptian unity which was so strong in the early twentieth century. Copts have been participating in peaceful demonstrations and Pope Shenouda has always condemned any resort to violence. I feel sure that Copts will be at the forefront of support for the wounded and the vulnerable during these difficult days. The shameful and degrading violence of the past two days is something which cannot be justified under any circumstances.
Q. What can those of us do who are not living in Egypt ?
A. As Christians we know the power of prayer and it is always our first resort. We not only pray for our friends and relations caught up in events, but we pray for the victims of the violence and that the politicians and leading figures in Egyptian society will be given wisdom and guidance in their judgements and actions. At the present, most Coptic Churches in the diaspora are observing a time of prayer and fasting. It is encouraging also how many Christians of other traditions are telling us that they too are earnestly praying for a peaceful and just outcome. Egypt is a great nation and they are a proud people. We pray that out of these troubled times a long and lasting peace may result so that freedom, justice and tolerance may flourish.

http://britishorthodox.org/1607/reflections-on-events-in-egypt/

20110202

INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION FOR THEOLOGICAL DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE ORIENTAL ORTHODOX CHURCHES REPORT



Eighth Meeting Rome, January 25 to 28, 2011


The eighth meeting of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches took place in Rome from January 25 to 28, 2011. The meeting was hosted by His Eminence Cardinal Kurt Koch, the new President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. It was chaired jointly by Cardinal Koch and by His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church.


Joining delegates from the Catholic Church were representatives of the following Oriental Orthodox Churches: the Antiochian Syrian Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of All Armenians), the Armenian Apostolic Church (Holy See of Cilicia), the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church, and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. No representative of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church was able to attend.


The two delegations met separately on January 25, and held plenary sessions each day from January 26 to January 28. Each day of the plenary sessions began with a common celebration of Morning Prayer. In his remarks at the beginning of the first session, Cardinal Koch welcomed the group to Rome, and said that "I have had an enduring ecumenical interest in the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and in your history, your life of faith, your liturgy and theology. I have always felt very at home in your presence. Despite our longstanding separation, we share a solid basis of faith and ecclesial order." With great sadness the Cardinal also informed the group of the death of one of the Ethiopian Orthodox representatives, Father Megabe Biluy Seife Selassie. He has been replaced by Archdeacon Daniel Seife Michael, an instructor at Holy Trinity Theological University College in Addis Ababa. The cardinal also offered congratulations to Father John Matthews who, since the last meeting, was ordained a bishop and given the name Metropolitan Dr. Youhanan Mar Demetrios, Assistant Metropolitan of Delhi, and to His Eminence Nareg Alemezian who has been elevated to the rank of Archbishop. Metropolitan Bishoy took the occasion to congratulate Cardinal Koch on his appointment as President of the Pontifical Council, and to express his gratitude to Cardinal Walter Kasper for his co-chairmanship of the commission until his retirement last year. He also stressed that the official name of his family of churches should always be "Oriental Orthodox Churches."


At this meeting, the members continued their study - in a very friendly atmosphere - of the ways in which the churches expressed their communion with one another until the middle of the fifth century and the role played by monasticism in this. The papers presented included "The Communion and Communication that Existed Between Our Churches Until the Mid-Fifth Century of Christian History As Well As the Role Played by Monasticism: The Tradition of Antioch," by Archbishop Theophilus George Saliba; "The Petrine Office and the Question, Who Established the Church of Rome?: Coptic Orthodox Perspective," by Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette, "Communion and Communication Among the Churches in the Tradition of Alexandria," by Father Mark Sheridan, OSB; "The Role of Monasticism in the Development and Communion of the Churches," by Father Columba Stewart, OSB; "Communion and Communication that Existed Between Our Churches Until the Mid-Fifth Century of Christian History and the Role Played by Monasticism: The Ethiopian Experience," by Archdeacon Daniel Seife Michael Feleke; "The Reception of the Ecumenical Councils in the Armenian Tradition (VIII-XV cc.)" and "Communion and Communication," by Archbishop Yeznik Petrossian; "Communion and Communication Between the St. Thomas Christians of India and Other Churches till Mid-Fifth Century A.D. - Indian Orthodox Perspective," by Metropolitan Dr. Gabriel Mar Gregorios; "Communion and Communication Between the St. Thomas Christians of India and Other Churches till Mid-Fifth Century A.D. - A Syrian Orthodox Perspective," by Metropolitan Dr Kuriakose Theophilose; "Communion and Communication Among the Churches: Rome in the Pre-Constantinian Era," by Prof. Dietmar W. Winkler.


In these various studies, the members of the commission focused more precisely on the concrete expressions of communion and communication among the churches before the separation. Indeed, communion was expressed primarily through various forms of communication. It was noted that in the pre-Constantinian period, there was an intense communication among the churches, especially in times of crisis. There was a common sense of responsibility towards the other churches that was found most clearly in the exchange of letters and synodal decisions. These provided a means of conveying encouragement and challenge to one another, as well as theological clarifications. This exchange was mutual among the various churches. It exemplified a remarkable degree of communion among local communities in a process that lacked central direction after 250 years of expansion throughout the Roman Empire and beyond, including Armenia, Persia, Ethiopia and India. The universal phenomenon of Christian asceticism, present from the earliest times, found expression in the monastic movements, emerging from the late third century in all parts of the Christian world. There was a fruitful exchange of monastic spiritual writings emanating from the Christian Orient, even across doctrinal divisions.


In the evening of January 25, the members attended a Vespers service in the Basilica of Saint Paul's Outside the Walls presided over by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. In his homily the Holy Father made reference to the presence of the members of the dialogue, and said, "We entrust the success of your meeting to the Lord, that it may be another step forward towards our longed-for unity". On Thursday evening January 27, Cardinal Koch hosted a dinner for the dialogue members and staff of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity at the Domus Sanctae Marthae in the Vatican.


Pope Benedict XVI received the members of the commission in private audience on Friday morning January 28. Cardinal Koch and Metropolitan Bishoy thanked the Pope for receiving the commission, and Metropolitan Bishoy presented a Coptic icon of Saint Mary the Mother of God to him on behalf of the members of the commission. The Pope then greeted the members, saying "It is with great joy that I welcome you, the members of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. Through you I gladly extend fraternal greetings to my venerable Brothers, the Heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches. I am grateful for the work of the Commission which began in January 2003 as a shared initiative of the ecclesial authorities of the family of the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. As you know, the first phase of the dialogue, from 2003 to 2009, resulted in the common text entitled Nature, Constitution and Mission of the Church. The document outlined aspects of fundamental ecclesiological principles that we share and identified issues requiring deeper reflection in successive phases of the dialogue. We can only be grateful that after almost fifteen hundred years of separation we still find agreement about the sacramental nature of the Church, about apostolic succession in priestly service and about the impelling need to bear witness to the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the world. In the second phase the Commission has reflected from an historical perspective on the ways in which the Churches expressed their communion down the ages. During the meeting this week you are deepening your study of the communion and communication that existed between the Churches until the mid-fifth century of Christian history, as well as the role played by monasticism in the life of the early Church. We must be confident that your theological reflection will lead our Churches not only to understand each other more deeply, but resolutely to continue our journey decisively towards the full communion to which we are called by the will of Christ. For this intention we have lifted up our common prayer during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity which has just ended. Many of you come from regions where Christian individuals and communities face trials and difficulties that are a cause of deep concern for us all. All Christians need to work together in mutual acceptance and trust in order to serve the cause of peace and justice. May the intercession and example of the many martyrs and saints, who have given courageous witness to Christ in all our Churches, sustain and strengthen you and your Christian communities. With sentiments of fraternal affection I invoke upon all of you the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ."


The ninth meeting of the International Joint Commission will take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the invitation of His Holiness Abune Paulos I, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Tewahido Orthodox Church. The members will plan to arrive on Monday January 16, 2012, and depart on Monday January 23. The two delegations will meet separately on Tuesday January 17, and in plenary session on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, January 18, 19, and 21. They will participate in the celebration of Epiphany (Timkat) on January 20, and in Sunday liturgies on January 22.


The members concluded with joyful thanks to God, the Father Son and Holy Spirit, for what has been accomplished at this meeting.

* * *

The members of the Commission are:

Representatives of the Oriental Orthodox Churches
(in alphabetical order)

Armenian Apostolic Church— Catholicosate of all Armenians: H.E. Khajag Barsamian, Archbishop of the Eastern Diocese of the USA, New York; H.E. Archbishop Yeznik Petrossian, General Secretary of Bible Society of Armenia, Etchmiadzin, Armenia;

Armenian Apostolic Church— Holy See of Cilicia:
H.E. Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy in the USA, New York; H.G. Archbishop Nareg Alemezian, Ecumenical Officer of the Holy See of Cilicia, Antelias, Lebanon;

Coptic Orthodox Church: H.E. Anba Bishoy (co-chair), Metropolitan of Damiette, Egypt, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church; Rev. Fr. Shenouda Maher Ishak, West Henrietta, New York, USA; H.G. Bishop Daniel of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Sydney, Australia (observer);

Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church: Rev. Fr. Kaleab Gebreselassie Gebru, Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Patriarchate, Asmara, Eritrea (unable to attend);


Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church: Archdeacon Daniel Seife Michael Feleke of Holy Trinity Theological University College in Addis Ababa; Mr. Lique Hiruyan Getachew Guadie (unable to attend);

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church: H.E. Metropolitan Dr. Gabriel Mar Gregorios, President of the Department of Ecumenical Relations, Diocese of Trivandrum, India; H. G. Metropolitan Dr. Youhanon Mar Demetrios, Assistant Bishop of Delhi (co-secretary), Delhi, India.

Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch: H.E. Mor Theophilus George Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon, Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Syrian Orthodox Church, Beirut, Lebanon; H.E. Kuriakose Theophilose, Metropolitan of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Theological Seminary and President of the Ecumenical Secretariat of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church in India, Ernakulam, India;


Representatives of the Catholic Church

His Eminence Cardinal Kurt Koch (co-chair), President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity;

Most Reverend Paul-Werner Scheele, Bishop Emeritus of W├╝rzburg, Germany;

Most Reverend Youhanna Golta, Patriarchal Auxiliary Bishop of the Coptic Catholic Patriarchate, Cairo, Egypt;

Most Reverend Jules Mikhael Al-Jamil, Procurator of the Syrian Catholic Patriarchate to the Holy See and Apostolic Visitator in Europe, Rome;

Most Reverend Peter Marayati, Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, Syria;

Most Reverend Woldetensae Ghebreghiorghis, Apostolic Vicar of Harar, Ethiopia, President of the Ecumenical Commission of the Catholic Church in Ethiopia and Eritrea;

Rev. Fr. Frans Bouwen M.Afr., Consultant to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Jerusalem;

Rev. Fr. Columba Stewart, OSB, Executive Director, Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, St. John's Abbey and University, Collegeville, Minnesota, USA;

Rev. Fr. Ronald G. Roberson, CSP, Associate Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC, USA;

Rev. Fr. Paul Rouhana, OLM, Universit├ę Saint-Esprit, Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon (unable to attend);

Rev. Fr. Mark Sheridan, OSB, Pontificio Ateneo S. Anselmo, Rome;

Rev. Fr. Mathew Vellanickal, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Changanacherry, India;

Rev. Fr. Boghos Levon Zekiyan, Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome;

Prof. Dietmar W. Winkler, Consultant to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Salzburg, Austria.

Rev. Fr. Gabriel Quicke, Official of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Rome (co-secretary).


Rome, January 28, 2011