The Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Roman Catholic Church will hold a week-long international dialogue at Pampakuda near Muvattupuzha, starting from Monday.
The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church will host the conference, which is to be held at Samanvaya Ecumenical Study Centre, Pampakuda.
Delegates from the Oriental Orthodox Churches of Egypt, Armenia, Malankara (India), Syria, Ethiopia, Eritreia and the Roman Catholic Church will engage in a theological dialogue to discuss issues like ecclesiology, episcopacy, apostolic succession, the relevance and importance of the ecumenical councils, the Churches and its mission.
The endeavour of this year’s dialogue is to discuss the relevance of the nature and communion of the united and undivided Apostolic Church. The dialogue will seek to emphasise that communion in worship and sacraments is multi-faceted and multi-layered, hence putting the onus on the churches to realise this aim.
Seminar papers relating to liturgy and pilgrimage will be presented by eminent scholars such as Metropolitan Anba Bishoy, Fr Shenouda Masher Ishak, Metropolitan Kuriakose Theophilus, Metropolitan George Saliba, Fr B Varghese, Metropolitan Yuhanon Demetrius, Archbishop Yeznik Petrosyan, Fr Shahe Ananyan, Fr Daniel Feleke, Fr Columba Stewart and Fr Bagos Louvain.
Metropolitan Gabriel Gregorios, Metropolitan Yuhanon Demetriu and Fr Mathew Vellanickal are the delegates from India in this dialogue.
The Jacobite Syrian Christian Church, one of the major Orthodox Churches in the country, has made it clear that it had decided to keep off the conference as it is being hosted by the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. According to the Church authorities, the Orthodox faction, before hosting such an international ecumenical conference, should have settled the dispute over the ownership of certain Churches. “We decided to keep off as the conference has lost its relevance. The decision taken by the Patriarch of Antioch is also the same,” Jacobite Church synod secretary Metropolitan Joseph Mar Gregorios said.