Monday, 10 November 2014

Meanwhile ...

In that 'wider Anglican world,'  ecumenical dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church seems to have been restarted. The caveat is that if it does get off the ground, this will not be an easy process, and it is important not to make premature claims for its importance, as some dioceses in ACNA at present still ordain women to the priesthood. But it is heartening to see at least the willingness on the part of the Russian Orthodox Church to open a process of rapprochement and dialogue with 'orthodox' Anglicans, the previous and longstanding ecumenical discussions with the 'official' Anglican Communion having become lost in the quicksands of our western provinces' accommodation with secularism and theological and ethical revisionism. 

Thanks to Anglican Ink for this story

Russian Orthodox meeting for ACNA leaders


Andrew Gross

On November 8, 2014 Archbishop Foley Beach met with Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, Chairman of the Department of External Relations for the Russian Orthodox Church.
The meeting, welcomed by Metropolitan Hilarion at St. Vladimir’s Seminary in Yonkers, New York, was an opportunity to meet Archbishop Beach, as well as continue the ecumenical dialogue between faithful Anglicans in North America and the Orthodox Churches.
Bishop Ray Sutton, Provincial Dean and Dean of Ecumenical Affairs was also present at the meeting, and was encouraged by the extension of ecumenical continuity, “Metropolitan Hilarion was with us when we met together for dialogue at Nashotah House in 2012, at which time he expressed a desire to continue Anglican/Orthodox dialogue through the Anglican Church in North America, and this meeting tonight with Archbishop Beach further encourages the strengthening of ties between the Anglican Church in North America and Orthodox churches in this part of the world.”
Archbishop Beach commented on the meeting, “Metropolitan Hilarion has spent no small amount of time with Anglicans around the world, and over the years he has been a prophetic voice calling the Anglican Church to remain true to the Christian faith in the face of an increasing propensity for cultural accommodation. The conversation tonight was a pleasure, and I look forward to finding the ways in which we might partner for the cause of the Gospel.”
During the meeting, Metropolitan Tikhon of the Orthodox Church in America warmly invited Archbishop Beach to the Orthodox All-American Council meeting in Atlanta, Georgia in July 2015.
Archpriest Chad Hatfield, Chancellor of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary remarked, “The re-birth of Anglican/Orthodox relations is now a reality with the official exchanges between the ACNA and the OCA and clearly now with the Russian Orthodox Church through the leadership of Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev. The historical significance of this meeting of Archbishop Beach with His Beatitude Tikhon of the OCA and Metropolitan Hilarion is truly significant as a sign of this refreshed dialogue.” 
Later in the evening Archbishop Beach and the Anglican bishops were invited to process in the ceremonies at which Metropolitan Hilarion received a doctorate in divinity (honoris causa) from St. Vladimir’s Seminary, and presented a lecture on the relationship between Primacy and Conciliarity. 
As the various branches of the Orthodox Church prepare for an historic global gathering in 2016, the lecture highlighted the Russian Orthodox Church’s understanding of the conciliar nature of church councils.
Bishop Kevin Allen, head of the Anglican/Orthodox dialogue in North America and the Anglican Bishop of Cascadia noted the parallels with the GAFCON movement: “The Orthodox churches have always recognized the importance of conciliar leadership. The Ecumenical Patriarch is “Primus Inter Pares”  (the first among equals), having a role to play in gathering the Orthodox churches, but the ongoing work of the Church, centered on the Gospel, is done with collegiality and consensus.  This ancient model is also evident in the structure of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GFCA).  As Chairman of the GFCA, Archbishop Wabukala has been faithful to call the Primates together at regular intervals, and once called together the Primates Council has worked to build consensus in a way that models Christian commitment, charity, and unity.” 

1 comment:

  1. The Russian Orthodox and Anglican communions have much to discuss. I hope the discussion on women "priests" will solidify the growing sense in ACNA that the priesthood is for men alone, and not all men. Points of difference include women priests, the Puritan tendency to iconoclasm, the Calvinist reading of St. Paul, and a general lack of familiarity with the writings of Church Fathers such as St. Cyril of Alexandria, St. Basil the Great, St. John Chrysostom, St. John of Damascus, etc.


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