Metropolitan Jonah meets with Non-Chalcedonian Orthodox Hierarchs
Recently, Metropolitan Jonah of the OCA met with hierarchs from the Non-Chalcedonian Orthodox (otherwise known as the Oriental Orthodox) communion. What does this mean for unity between the communions? Not much right now, but it is always good to see dialogue between the two.
For those who are not familiar with what happened 1600 years ago, the Orthodox Church underwent a schism that has lasted up until the present day. It was split into those who accepted the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and those who rejected it. Without getting into the all the details of the council itself, most theologians admit that the differences that split the two are non-issues now and were more linguistic in nature than theological.
While this latest meeting is not taking place on an official world-wide scale, it is proof that there is mutual knowledge of both groups and there is at least talking taking place. Both churches have much in common, having maintained the same Apostolic faith, but have different cultural manifestations of it. Both sides eagerly look for the day when there is re-establishment of communion between the two. Below is a copy of the article from the OCA website.
SYOSSET, NY [OCA Communications] -- On August 13, 2009, a delegation of Oriental Orthodox bishops and priests visited His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah at the OCA Chancery here.
The delegation, which was led by His Eminence, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, included His Eminence Archbishop Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim, Prelate of the Syriac Orthodox Church in the United States. The Very Rev. David Bebawy represented the Coptic Orthodox Church.
The delegation visited Saint Sergius Chapel at the Chancery, where they were offered a brief history of the OCA Chancery. After a meaningful discussion on different issues of mutual interest, Metropolitan Jonah hosted a luncheon for the delegation, during which the visiting hierarchs expressed gratitude for their visit.
Metropolitan Jonah also was invited to be a guest of Archbishop Khajag Barsamian at the Armenian Diocesan Headquarters in New York in early September.