Restoring the Unity in Faith: The Orthodox-Oriental Orthodox Theological Dialogue

Thomas FitzGerald & Emmanuel Gratsias

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Since the fifth century, the Christian East has been divided over the theological description of the reality of Jesus Christ. For the past five decades, the two families of churches, Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox, have been cooperating to restore unity in the faith. Church leaders, theologians, and lay people are working to bridge the gaps in language, tradition, and doctrine that contributed to the ancient division.

"On this North American continent, where we all live together and have daily and increasing contact with one another, the sense of urgency is perhaps more pronounced than in other parts of the world. Closer contact and cooperation among Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox parishes and faithful in North America will help dispel stereotypes and false information, and will promote friendship and understanding. -Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman, Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas

"As offspring of the "Orthodox World," our respective churches share many things in common, chief among them a long memory- a long experience- of history. We have lived through many seasons and have witnessed many purposes under heaven. We have known golden ages of artistic flowering; we have suffered under dark days of tyranny and death. Many of us alive today are products of violent dispersion of our people in the past. yet we remain living nations and vital Christian traditions- alive, building, and looking with optimism to the future." -Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Chairman, Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches of America