Sunday, December 10, 2017

Catholic-Oriental Orthodox Consultation meets in New Jersey

Paramus, NJ (SCOOCH) – After a one year hiatus, the US Roman Catholic-Oriental Orthodox Consultation reconvened on December 6-7 at New Jersey’s Mor Aphrem Center, hosted by H.E. Archbishop Dionysios Jean Kawak and the Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese of the Eastern United States on behalf of the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches. The assembled clergy and lay theologians discussed a variety of issues relative to the two communions. Chief among them was the means by which each jurisdiction addresses the sad reality that in the modern day, many marriages end in divorce. Papers were presented on divorce and remarriage by Fr. Diran Bohajian of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Fr. Joseph Varghese of the Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church, and Fr. Yacoub Ghaly of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Other topics discussed included the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Middle East, the efforts of Dr. Robin Darling Young and other academics to create a digital history of the Christian communities of the Middle East, the recent visits of the Roman Catholic Pope to Armenia and Egypt, and the statement produced by the International Eastern Orthodox-Roman Catholic Dialogue on Synodality and Primacy During the First Millennium and its ramifications for dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Church. V. Rev. Chorbishop Anthony DeLuca also presented a paper addressing obstacles towards the retention of Christian youth in a given church in the modern day.

Over the course of the two day event, vespers and matins were prayed in the Syriac Rite, led by H.E. Mor Dionysios and his clergy.

Participating members of the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches included:

H.E. Mor Dionysios Jean Kawak (Syriac Orthodox Church)
H.E. Mor Titus Yeldho (Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church)
H.G. Bishop David (Coptic Orthodox Church)
V. Rev. Fr. Joseph Chamoun (Syriac Orthodox Church)
V. Rev. Chorebishop Anthony DeLuca (Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church)
V. Rev. Fr. Joseph Varghese (Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church)
Rev. Fr. Jerry Jacob (Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church)
V. Rev. Fr. Moises Bogdhady (Coptic Orthodox Church)
V. Rev. Fr. Yacoub Ghaly (Coptic Orthodox Church)
V. Rev. Fr. Athanasius Farag (Coptic Orthodox Church)
V. Rev. Fr. Dawoud Bebaby (Coptic Orthodox Church)
Rev. Fr. John Rizkalla (Coptic Orthodox Church)
V. Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan (Armenian Apostolic Church)
V. Rev. Fr. Tateos Abdalian (Armenian Apostolic Church)
V. Rev. Fr. Diran Bohajian (Armenian Apostolic Church)
Rev. Dn. Gebre Kristos Nicholas (Coptic Orthodox Church)
Rev. Dn. Eric Vozzy (Armenian Apostolic Church)