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THE SYNODAL THEOLOGICAL COMMISSION STUDIES ISSUES RELATED TO THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE ORTHODOX AND ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCHES The commentary on the documents of the Orthodox-Catholic dialogue On April 18 1997 the Synodal Theological Commission of the Russian Orthodox Church under the chairmanship of Metropolitan Philaret of Minsk and Slutsk had a meeting at the Department for External Church Relations to study the document of the VII Plenary session of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue Between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches on Uniatism Method of Union of the Past and the Present Search for Full Communion which was adopted in Balamand Lebanon in June 1993 This document gave rise to a dispute at the All-Bishops Council of the Russian Orthodox Church last February which resulted in the decision of the Council to transfer the document to Synodal Theological Commission for study and to have the Holy Synod work out an official position on it In this connection the Theological Commission found it essential to give some information on the background of the Balamand document The theological dialogue between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches goes back to early 1960s following Vatican II and Pan-Orthodox Conferences on Rhodes As early as 1961 the First Pan-Orthodox Conference among other topics for the forthcoming Pan-Orthodox Council chose the following V Relations of the Orthodox Church with the rest of the Christian world C Orthodoxy and the Roman Catholic Church aStudy of Positive and Negative moments in the relations between the two Churches 1 on the faith 2on the government 3 on the activity of the church especially propaganda proselytism Unia b Establishment of relation in the spirit of Christian love as envisaged in Patriarchal encyclical of 1920 JMP No11 1961 The second Pan-Orthodox Conference in 1963 unanimously agreed that our Eastern Orthodox Church should propose a dialogue with the honorable Roman Catholic Church on conditions of
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