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Pope Shenouda III, Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas and Catholicos Aram I Sign a Common Declaration in Damascus


 SOLNews (10.12.2005) - Friday and Saturday, December 9-10, 2005, the Heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches in the Middle East, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III of the Coptic Church, His Holiness Patriarch Zakka I of the Syrian Church and His Holiness Catholicos Aram I of the Armenian Church-Catholicosate of Cilicia, held their 8th meeting, at St. Ephrem Monastery, Ma’arat Saydnaya, Damascus, Syria. This fellowship was founded in 1996, by the initiative of His Holiness Aram I, at the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia, Antelias, Lebanon.


During their deliberations, the three Heads addressed issues related to the family of the Oriental Orthodox Churches and its theological dialogues with various churches, and discussed matters related to the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Churches of the Reformation, the World Council of Churches and the Middle East Council of Churches. The socio-political situation in the Middle East as well as the theological seminaries, the youth and the publication sub-committees of the Oriental Orthodox Churches acquired special attention.


The three Heads extended their blessings and appreciation to the Standing Committee, who convened its meeting December 7-8. The representatives of the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia in the six-member Standing Committee are His Eminence Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian (Primate of Tehran) and His Grace Bishop Nareg Alemezian (Ecumenical Officer).

At the end of their meeting, the three Heads signed a Common Declaration encouraging the active participation of their faithful in evangelism, diakonia, Christian education, theological formation and youth activities as genuine expressions of life and witness of their Churches. Additionally, issues related to theological dialogues and ecumenical collaboration on global and regional levels, as well as human rights, social justice, peace and inter-faith relations were highlighted.

 The 9th meeting of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, His Holiness Patriarch Zakka I and His Holiness Catholicos Aram I will be hosted by the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia, in Antelias, Lebanon, in November 2006. 

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Updated: 13.12.2005
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