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While waiting with some classmates to meet with the German Salesian responsible for staffing the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, I ran into a friend of my on the Via della Conciliazione. He was in Rome for the week-long meeting of the Catholic-Oriental Orthodox International Commission on Dialogue. The participants, including representatives of the Coptic, Ethiopian, Eritrean, Armenian, Syriac and Malankara churches, participated in the vespers concluding the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at St. Paul Outside the Walls as their opening activity.
Vatican Radio recorded a thirteen minute interview with the officer responsible for dialogue with the Oriental Orthodox in the PCPCU:
They’re among the most ancient churches in the world, founded according to tradition by the apostles in Egypt, Armenia, Syria, India and Ethiopia in the decades following Christ’s death and Resurrection. Yet they have not been in communion with either the Roman Catholic world or the Eastern Orthodox world since they officially severed ties in the 5th century – hence very little is known about their rich heritage and traditions outside those countries where they are still based.
They are of course the Oriental Orthodox Churches and here in the Vatican on Friday, their representatives concluded a meeting of the mixed commission for theological dialogue with their Catholic counterparts.
To find out more about the meeting and about the impact of the recent attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt, Philippa Hitchen talked to Fr Gabriel Quicke, who’s in charge of relations with these Churches at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity….