"Conciliarity needs to be revisited by the ecumenical movement" H.H Aram I

07-02-2012 17:44:48   |   |  Press of Diaspora
Addressing to the gathering of the General Secretaries of the regional and national ecumenical councils, His Holiness Aram I emphasized "the pivotal importance of reactivating ecumenical conciliarity considering it crucial for the future course of the ecumenical movement". Catholicos Aram I considered the General Secretaries "not only administrators dealing with day to day administration of the ecumenical councils, but essentially promoters of ecumenical values and ideals". Aram I reminded the audience that three facts must be taken seriously about the ecumenical movement: "1) The ecumenical movement is one in spite of its different forms and expressions. The essential oneness of the ecumenical vision must acquire concrete manifestations in all aspects of ecumenical reflection and action. 2) The ecumenical movement deals with the self-perception and self-realization of the church. Hence, the ecclesiological and missiological dimensions need to be taken in their interconnectedness. 3) The ecumenical movement is not an established reality; it is constantly shaped and reshaped in response to the changing realities". Aram I identified three emerging trends which characterize the present ecumenical landscape: Growing shift from church-centered to people-centered ecumenism; from multi-confessional to confessional ecumenism; and from global to regional ecumenism. His Holiness said that "the ecumenical movement was able to bring into dynamic and creative interaction institution and people, fellowship and movement, the multi-confessional and confessional, global and local dimensions and develop a holistic vision". Therefore, according to the Catholicos, who served as two terns (1991-2006) Moderator of the World Council of Churches, "a shift from one dimension to the other may endanger the specificity and integrity of the ecumenical movement". In the second part of his address, His Holiness outlined his perception of conciliar ecumenism which was the theme of the meeting of the General Secretaries. According to His Holiness, "conciliarity has a profound ecclesioligical significance, since it belongs to the very nature of the church as Koinonia. The church does not become conciliar, it is a conciliar community and conciliarity creates inter-action, inter -relation and inter-dependence. It generates mutual understanding, mutual trust and mutual accountability. Baptism is the source of concilial Koinonia and Eucharist is the sustaining power of it". Aram I then briefly introduced the ecumenical debate on conciliarity. He said that the call of the Uppsala Assembly (1968) for a "genuinely universal council" and the need to develop "a conciliar form of common life" was the beginning of the ecumenical discussion. Faith and Order made it a top priority on its agenda. Then Nairobi (1975) and Vancouver (1983) Assemblies re-emphasized the decisive importance of conciliar fellowship for the churches on the way to the visible unity. His Holiness reminded that the present ecumenical councils are councils of divided churches, they are pri-conciliar and incomplete fellowship. Concluding his remarks, Catholicos Aram considered conciliarity as being essentially a quality of life that should be articulated in all spheres and at all levels of Christian life. More than fourty general secretaries, including the general Secretary of the World Council of Churches, Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit attend this meeting. ## The Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia is one of the two Catholicosates of the Armenian Orthodox Church. Its jurisdiction extends over the Armenian Communities in the Middle East, Europe and North and South America. The Catholicosate, the administrative center of the church is located in Antelias, Lebanon. /// Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia - Communication and Information Department. Armenian Catholicosate Of Cilicia's Address PO Box : 70 317 Antelias - LEBANON Tel: (+961-4) 410 001 / 3 Fax: (+961-4) 419724 E-mail: [email protected] http://www.armenianorthodoxchurch.org
 
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