Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Anglican-Orthodox dialogue: an open door or a distant object?

Patrick Comerford

Introduction

The latest census returns show that the fourth largest Christian community in the Republic of Ireland is the Orthodox Christians, who doubled in size between 2002 and 2004 to 20,800. They are the religious community with highest proportion of non-Irish members (86 per cent). Their members are mainly from Eastern Europe, although Orthodox Christians in Ireland are diverse in background, and are served by Antiochene, Coptic, Greek, Romanian, Syrian and Russian Orthodox parishes, with plans for a Georgian and perhaps a Ukrainian parish. Together, they form the third largest Christian denomination in the Republic, coming numerically behind the Church of Ireland (115,600) but ahead of both the Presbyterians (20,600) and the Methodists (10,000).[1]

Already, Orthodox parishes in Dublin are enjoying hospitality from the Church of Ireland in Harold’s Cross (Russian Orthodox) and Leeson Park (Romanian Orthodox). The Church of Ireland can expect increasing ecumenical encounters with the Orthodox in local councils of churches, working groups, ecumenical conferences and at local ecumenical events. At a wider level, increasing contact with the Orthodox world was inevitable. The Orthodox voice has been increasingly vocal in debates on the future of Europe. Cyprus and Greece were joined earlier this year by Bulgaria and Romania as EU member states with Orthodox majorities, and there are potential applications for EU membership from FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Serbia, Ukraine and neighbouring states.

In addition, more people are experiencing the life and culture of the Orthodox Churches through holidays in places such as Greece, Cyprus and even Russia. Orthodoxy plays an important role in the life of many Middle Eastern countries, and Christians to a disproportionate degree in the conflicts in Palestine, Iraq, Sudan and other countries in the region.

Over the decades, there have been warm friendships between the Anglican and Orthodox churches. In recent months, there has been a visible return to the formal process of dialogue, with the publication of a new Anglican-Orthodox agreed statement on the Church and ministry, The Church of the Triune God. [2] However, there have been setbacks to Anglican-Orthodox dialogue in recent decades too, and some observers are worried whether Anglicans are in danger of being sidelined by the Orthodox Churches as relations between the Vatican and the Orthodox Churches appear to be becoming a priority for both traditions.

In a recent feature in the Church Times marking 40 years of Anglican-Orthodox co-operation,[3] the Deputy Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Canon Gregory Cameron, said that an “ecumenical spring is already here” – despite talk these days of an “ecumenical winter,” and the view among many ecumenists that we are no closer to union than ever before. Cameron said Anglican dialogue with the Orthodox Churches has reached a new level, and said that following the publication of the agreed statement, The Church of the Triune God, a new phase of Anglican-Orthodox dialogue is planned.

Cameron went on to say: “It is becoming hard to see what holds the two traditions apart, beyond the issue of the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate … A more honest evaluation might also point to the sheer cultural alienation bred by 1,000 years of separate development.”

On the other hand, Cameron said, Anglican relationships with the Oriental Orthodox, which began well, with a rapid movement towards a draft agreed statement on Christology, are now stalled following developments in the Anglican Communion about sexuality. Indeed, Cameron concedes that sacramental communion with the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches “is probably further away than when the [Chicago-Lambeth] Quadrilateral was written …”

Anglican-Orthodox relations in the past

Thomas Cranmer’s writings, his library and the parliamentary debate on the 1549 Book of Common Prayer show that Cranmer was aware of Orthodox liturgy, including the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom and the place of the epicleses in the Eastern liturgies, and in compiling the Prayer Book, Cranmer borrowed freely from early patristic sources, including Saint John Chrysostom, Saint Basil the Great and Saint Macarius.

Modern Anglican-Orthodox relations can be traced to the early 17th century when the Protestant-sympathising Patriarch Cyril Lukaris or Kyrillos Loukaris from Crete was Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria (1602-1621) and Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople (1621-1637). He was also particularly well disposed towards the Anglican Church, and had lengthy correspondence with the Archbishops of Canterbury, George Abbott. In response to an approach from Lukaris, Abbott and James I set up a programme to maintain Greek scholars at English universities. As a result, Metrophane Kritopoulos, later Patriarch of Alexandria (1636-1639), was sent to England to study at Balliol. Another student, Nathaniel Konopios from Crete, is said to have been the first person to drink coffee in Oxford.[4]

In 1677, the Bishop of London, Henry Compton, encouraged the visiting Archbishop of Samos, Joseph Grigorenes, to establish a Greek church in Soho, London. The project was soon abandoned and the church building was handed over to French Huguenot refugees, although its memory survives in the name of Greek Street. The Greek College was established at Oxford in 1699 by Benjamin Woodroffe, Principal of Gloucester Hall, to educate young Greeks nominated by the Patriarchs of Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem. Although the Greek College only lasted until 1705, it was a visionary scheme, and attracted a visit to England by Archbishop Neophytos of Philippolis (Plovdiv), who was welcomed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Tenison, and was made a Doctor of Divinity at Oxford.[5]

In 1712, Patriarch Samuel of Alexandria sent Archbishop Arsenius of Thebas to London with a delegation to seek help for the Patriarchate from Queen Anne. The mission was received cordially by the Bishop of London, and the presence of the Greek Orthodox clergy in London created a mild stir among English clergy and laity. Archbishop Arsenius said many English people approached him and asked to be received into the Orthodox Church. He converted a private house into a Greek chapel, where he celebrated the Orthodox Liturgy every Sunday, attended by some English clergy and laity. The visit also prompted an approach from the Anglican Nonjurors in England and Scotland, who proposed a scheme for Church unity, under which communion would be established between the Nonjurors and the Eastern Orthodox. The talks lasted from 1712 to 1725, but failed either because of the death of Tsar Peter the Great, who acted as an intermediary, or because of the intervention of the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Wake.[6]

The Nonjurors’ negotiations involved Patriarch Chrysanthus of Jerusalem and Archbishop Arsenius of Thebas. According to HW Langford, however, Archbishop Arsenius saw his role not as a negotiator of reunion but in easing the submission of the Nonjurors and possibly other Anglicans to Orthodoxy.

Three Nonjuring bishops from Scotland and England, Archibald Campbell, Jeremy Collier and Nathaniel Spinckes, sent a draft concordat to Peter the Great who forwarded it to the Eastern Patriarchs. The Nonjurors described themselves as the “Catholic remnant of the British Churches,” claimed descent from Jerusalem prior to the mission from Rome, and claimed the “most ancient English liturgy” was near the Eastern liturgy. They proposed Jerusalem should be regarded as “the true mother church and principle of ecclesiastical unity whence all the other churches have derived," they accepted the “three other patriarchates,” stressing the equality of Constantinople, emphasised their acceptance of the 12 articles of the Creed of Nicaea and Constantinople, and dealt with the filioque by saying the procession of the Holy Spirit is understood as “from the Father by the Son.” Communion in both kinds was strongly asserted, Roman practice condemned, and a church would be set up in London under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Alexandria. However, the Nonjurors were ill at ease with what they saw as Orthodox teachings on transubstantiation, the Virgin Mary, and the invocation of saints.

Not all Nonjurors were happy with the proposals, and one Nonjuror, Thomas Brett, described the Greeks as being “more corrupt and more bigoted than the Romanists.” On the other hand, the approach came at a time when the Eastern Orthodox Churches were gravely suspicious of Protestant-sounding ideas. This suspicion was a reaction to the teachings a century earlier of Patriarch Cyril Lukaris, who was accused of trying to force the Greek Orthodox Church into a more favourable attitude to Calvinism. His Eastern Confession of the Orthodox Faith had provoked the extreme “Latin” formulations of the Councils of Constantinople (1638), Jassy (1642) and Bethlehem (1672), which condemned his teaching.

The Orthodox reply was drafted by Patriarch Chrysanthus of Jerusalem and approved at a synod in Constantinople chaired by Patriarch Jeremias of Constantinople and attended by the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Jerusalem and several metropolitans and clergy. The reply, although dated April 1718, did not reach England until 1722. By then, the Nonjurors were divided by their own schism, and the tone of the reply came as a shock to the Nonjurors. The proposals about the primacy of Jerusalem and the order of the patriarchates were rejected. The Nonjurors were told they could submit to the Patriarch of Jerusalem, indicating the Patriarchs wanted complete submission by the Nonjurors to the Patriarch of Jerusalem that rather than seeking reunion or inter-communion.

In addition, the Orthodox declared that the liturgy in the Book of Common Prayer was gravely defective, if not heretical .They suggested that if the Liturgies of Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Basil were good enough for the national or Orthodox Churches in the East, they ought to be good enough for the English. In their harshest judgment on the Non-Jurors, the Orthodox said: “Being born and bred in the principles of the Luthero-Calvinists and possessed with their prejudices, they tenaciously adhere to them like ivy to a tree, and are hardly drawn off.”

Meanwhile, Archbishop Wake, who had spent many years in the East as a chaplain in Smyrna, was informed of the talks. He sent a letter to the Patriarch of Constantinople through Thomas Payne, the British Embassy chaplain in Constantinople, condemning the Nonjurors as un-canonical and schismatic, denying the Church of England had any involvement in their approach, and emphasising that he regarded the existing relations between Anglicans and the Eastern Church as most intimate. He described the faith of the two Churches as identical on all points of greater moment, and intimated that it was distance alone that hindered anything more than communion in spirit and intention.

Wake had effectively derailed the scheme and the Orthodox party soon lost interest. However, Nonjuring interest in the Orthodox Church went further than proposals for unity, and the Scottish Episcopalian Primus, Thomas Rattray, based his "Office for the Sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist" on the Eastern Orthodox Liturgy of Saint James.

Since then, there have been at least four Anglican episcopal consecrations in which bishops of the Patriarchate of Constantinople have assisted. In 1870, Archbishop Lycurgus of Syra and Tinos assisted the Bishop of London, John Jackson, at the consecration of Henry Mackenzie as Bishop of Nottingham. The Eastern Churches Association was founded in the 1870s under the influence of a group of Anglicans, including WE Gladstone, to foster good relations between the Orthodox Churches and the Church of England. However, the opportunities for Anglican-Orthodox contact were limited: in the early 20th century there were only five Orthodox Churches in Britain – four Greek churches in London, Manchester, Liverpool and Cardiff, and a Russian Embassy Chapel in London, which was closed in 1917 – and few people in either Ireland or England considered themselves to be members of the Orthodox Church.

Roman Catholic-Orthodox relations

Since the election of Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, ties have improved visibly between the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches. When Patriarch Bartholomeos I of Constantinople visited Rome in 2005, the Pope confirmed that papal primacy could safeguard legitimate differences. Time and again, Benedict XVI has reiterated that the restoration of full unity is his priority. Benedict XVI paid a return visit to Constantinople in November 2006, invited Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens, who is not known for his openness to ecumenism and dialogue, to Rome, and is said to be planning a meeting soon with Patriarch Alexei of Moscow.[7]

When Metropolitan John Zizioulas of Pergamon, co-chairman of the International Commission for Theological Dialogue, visited the Vatican in June 2006, Benedict XVI said he looked forward to celebrating the Eucharist with Orthodox Christians as a sign of full communion. Since then, the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches has resumed its meetings after a six-year break.

The head of the Russian Synod’s theological commission, Metropolitan Filaret, recently told an Italian newspaper that East and West both belong to the one holy, Catholic and apostolic church. The Russian Orthodox Church’s representative to the European Union, Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev – who visited the Irish School of Ecumenics in Dublin in May 2007 – has called for a fuller Roman Catholic-Orthodox alliance to respond to European issues, and believes Orthodox leaders are expecting a breakthrough in ties under Benedict XVI, since he can be relied on to oppose the secularism, liberalism, and relativism prevailing in modern Europe. He believes a Roman Catholic-Orthodox alliance could act as an authoritative partner in dialogue with the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the Council of Europe, and could represent traditional Christianity in dialogue with Judaism, Islam, and other world religions.

The renewed dialogue between the Vatican and the Orthodox world is a process that has serious implications for Anglicans. John Luxmoore, a freelance writer who covers religious news from Oxford and Warsaw, believes that at a central level “it is possible that we are witnessing a redrawing of the ecumenical map.” He believes the tempo of ideas and initiatives being shared by Rome and the Russian Orthodox could leave Anglicans in danger of being passed by.[8]

Recent Anglican-Orthodox relations

New opportunities for Anglican-Orthodox dialogue began to appear in the 1920s. A series of conferences at St Albans had broken ground in a number of areas, promoted informal contact, fostered friendships, and provided limited opportunities for common worship, There was no intercommunion, but the liturgy was offered each day at the same altar, providing a symbolic focus for the hope of future full unity.

In 1922, the Synod of the Church of Constantinople accepted the validity of Anglican orders. Patriarch Meletios Metaksakis communicated the decision to other Orthodox Patriarchs and to the Archbishop of Canterbury. In his subsequent encyclical on Anglican orders, the Ecumenical Patriarch accepted the ordination of Matthew Parker as Archbishop of Canterbury and subsequent Anglican episcopal ordinations” fully included “those orthodox and indispensable, visible and sensible elements of valid episcopal ordination – viz., the laying on of hands, the epiclesis of the All-Holy Spirit and also the purpose to transmit the charisma of the episcopal ministry.” The encyclical said Orthodox theologians who had scientifically examined the question “have almost unanimously come to the same conclusions and have declared themselves as accepting the validity of Anglican Orders.” It went on to say that “the practice in the Church affords no indication that the Orthodox Church has ever officially treated the validity of Anglican Orders as in doubt, in such a way as would point to the re-ordination of the Anglican clergy as required in the case of the union of the two Churches.”[9]

Patriarch Damianos of Jerusalem wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Randall Davidson, in 1923, addressing him as “the First Hierarch of all the Anglican Churches,” and the “First Hierarch of All England, our most beloved and dear brother in our Lord Jesus.” Patriarch Damianos said several meetings of the Synod of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem had accepted Anglican orders “as having the same validity which the orders of the Roman Church have, because there exist all the elements which are considered necessary from an Orthodox point of view for the recognition of the grace of the holy orders from apostolic succession.” Patriarch Damianos said the resolution “constitutes a progress in the pleasing-to-God work of the union of all Churches.”[10]

The Archbishop of Sinai also expressed his Church’s acceptance of the decisions by Constantinople and Jerusalem. Soon after, Archbishop Cyril of Cyprus and the Synod of the Church of Cyprus agreed that “the apostolic succession in the Anglican Church by the sacrament of order was not broken at the consecration of the first archbishop of this church, Matthew Parker.” They said “there is no obstacle to the recognition by the Orthodox Church of the validity of Anglican Ordinations in the same way that the validity of the ordinations of the Roman, Old Catholic, and Armenian Church are recognised by her. Since clerics coming from these Churches into the bosom of the Orthodox Church are received without re-ordination, we express our judgment that this should also hold in the case of Anglicans … “[11]

In 1925, the Synod of the Church of Romania said that “from the historical point of view no obstacle exists to the recognition of the apostolic succession of Anglican orders.” It said that from the dogmatic point of view the validity of Anglican orders depends upon the Anglican Church recognising Holy Orders to be a mystery (sacrament). After an Orthodox delegation led by Patriarch Meletios, formerly of Constantinople and now in Alexandria, attended the Lambeth Conference of 1930, the Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria joined in the Orthodox recognition of Anglican orders. The decision was announced in a letter on Christmas Day from Patriarch Meletios to Cosmo Lang, Archbishop of Canterbury. The Patriarch said the declarations endorsed at the Lambeth Conference amounted to “complete and satisfying assurance” on apostolic succession, the real presence in the Eucharist, and the mystery (i.e., sacrament) of ordination. The Church of Alexandria also pronounced that if priests ordained by Anglican bishops acceded to Orthodoxy they should not be re-ordained, “as persons baptised by Anglicans are not re-baptised."[12]

A delegation of four Anglican bishops and six theologians was sent to Bucharest by Lang in 1935, and the Anglican delegates accepted “without reservation” the doctrine of the Orthodox Church on the Sacrament of Holy Orders. On 20 March 1936, Patriarch Miron Cristea of Bucharest and the Sacred Synod of the Orthodox Church of Romania recognised the validity of the Anglican orders, but added that the resolution would become “definitive as soon as the final authority of the Anglican Church ratifies all the statements of its delegation concerning the Mystery of Holy Orders in regard to the points of importance comprised in the doctrine of the Orthodox Church.”[13]

These developments were followed closely by the Archbishop of Dublin, John Gregg, who had been elected president of the Irish branch of the Anglican and Eastern Churches Association in 1929. Gregg noted in 1937 that the Anglican Church “had never been separated from these ancient bodies of the Catholic Church, with a tradition unbroken back to the very earliest days.”[14]

These dramatic moves appeared to be bringing Anglicans and Orthodox towards an inevitable union. There has been a strong Anglican commitment to the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius since it was founded in 1928 by members of the Eastern Orthodox and Western Christian Churches. It exists to pray and work for Christian unity, and provides opportunities for Orthodox Christians and Christians of Western traditions to meet and get to know one another, and so to deepen their understanding of each other's spirituality, theology and worship. However, the momentum was lost during World War II. Despite contacts at many levels, the official process of dialogue was not revived formally until 1973

The revival of dialogue

In October 1947, delegates of the Orthodox Church and the Irish branch of the Anglican and Eastern Churches Association, held a conference in the Divinity Hostel, Dublin, chaired by Canon WE Vandeleur, and a second conference was held in Drogheda in 1950. Gregg, by then Archbishop of Armagh, took a close interest in these conferences, and so it was not surprising that in 1951 he was involved in the first formal move to put post-war Anglican-Orthodox relations back on a firm footing. Accompanied by the bishops of Derby and Gibraltar, Gregg led an Anglican delegation to Greece commemorating the Apostle Paul’s mission to Greece 19 centuries earlier. He visited Athens, Thessaloniki, Rhodes and Crete, and then went on to visit the Orthodox Church in Yugoslavia, where he was the guest of the Patriarch of Belgrade. Later Gregg observed: “I feel Orthodoxy desires to be on really friendly terms with Anglicanism, but anything more than that us as far off as ever.” He found Orthodoxy intransigent and unwilling to make concessions, yet he continued to take an active interest in the proceedings of the Irish branch of the Anglican and Eastern Churches Association.[15]

The present process of Anglican-Orthodox dialogue began in 1973, when the Anglican-Orthodox Joint Doctrinal Discussions first met in Oxford. The first phase of the dialogue concluded with the Moscow Agreed Statement in 1976, and the Dublin Agreed Statement (1984) concluded the second phase. Both statements recorded a measure of agreement on a range of specific topics, while acknowledging continuing divergence on others. The Dublin Agreed Statement reflected the emphasis on prayer and spirituality. There were important agreements on the mystery of the Church, on faith in the Trinity, on prayer and holiness, and on worship and tradition. The controversial filioque clause was examined further, and ways of reconciling age-old differences in approach were suggested. The commission also asked for clarification of statements about universal primacy made in the ARCIC Final Report.

The next phase of Anglican-Orthodox dialogue began in 1989, when the commission was re-constituted as the International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue under the chairmanship of Metropolitan John of Pergamon and Bishop Henry Hill (succeeded in 1990 by Bishop Mark Dyer). Orthodox members of the commission have included a former Anglican, Father Michael Harper of the Patriarchate of Antioch, who joined the Orthodox Church in 1995.[16]

The commission was asked to consider the doctrine of the Church in the light of the doctrine of the Trinity, and to examine the doctrine of the ordained ministry of the Church. From 1989, the members met on an annual or biannual basis, completing their statements on “Trinity and the Church,” “Christ, the Spirit and the Church,” “Christ, Humanity and the Church” in 1998. In Salisbury (1999) and Volos, Greece (2001), they focussed on the ordained ministry and approved an interim agreed statement on “Episcope, Episcopos and the Church.”

In 2002 at Abergavenny they agreed on an interim statement, “Priesthood, Christ and the Church.” In Addis Ababa in 2003, they began studies on the ministries of women and men in the Church, heresy and schism, and reception. In Canterbury in 2004, they received the first draft of an agreed statement on lay ministries and on the ministries of women and men, including ordination to the diaconate, presbyterate and episcopate. The work on these was completed at Kykkos Monastery in Cyprus (2005,), and the commission meet again in 2006 to finalise the text of the complete cycle of statements.

As the commission continued its dialogue, a number of problems arose for those committed to Anglican-Orthodox dialogue. In 1998, the Russian Orthodox Church downgraded its participation in the World Council of Churches amid complaints about liberal attitudes among Anglicans and Protestants. Five years later, after the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson, the Russian Orthodox Church disbanded a co-ordinating committee with the Episcopal Church in the US. However, the Orthodox Churches also suffer their own deep internal divisions. In Britain, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Bishop Basil Osborne of Sergievo, a former member of Anglican-Orthodox International Commission, was dismissed in May 2006 after applying to transfer from the Patriarchate of Moscow to Constantinople.[17]

A new step on the same path

The publication in February 2007 of the long-awaited agreed statement from the International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue, The Church of the Triune God, concludes the third phase of the Anglican-Orthodox international theological dialogue. The Cyprus Agreed Statement is timely and pertinent to many of the current debates within Anglicanism, and will be debated at the Lambeth Conference in 2008. It also indicates that the door to visible unity between Anglicans and the Orthodox is still open.

The report was presented at Lambeth Palace to the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomeos I, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams. Patriarch Bartholomeos said the Orthodox and Anglicans had travelled an extremely long road together. There had been difficult occasions, but the object remained fixed: the visible unity of the Church. “We affirm our readiness, despite existing unfortunate hindrances, to continue on the same path.”[18]

Nevertheless, Orthodox leaders point out that new “hindrances” have left the prospect of Orthodox-Anglican unity less obvious than it had been. The co-chairman of the international commission, Metropolitan John Zizioulas, said that by ordaining women as priests, Anglicans had been unduly influenced by social change. Neither side on the commission was convinced by the other’s reasons on women’s ordination, he said. “The Orthodox are not convinced that the reasons for the ordination of women given from the Anglican side are really so serious and so important as to lead to this change which is, as we all know, an innovation in the tradition.” Metropolitan John said that, although once it had seemed that the two Churches might well achieve visible unity, that prospect was now not obvious. “Anthropological” differences in their approaches to the sacraments and to priestly ordination “must be handled with the utmost care so they don’t become irreversible objects to our communion”, he said.[19]

The Anglican co-chairman, the Right Revd Mark Dyer, retired Bishop of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania – who later visited the Church of Ireland Theological College in Dublin and the Church of Ireland General Synod in Kilkenny – said he had never worked with people “so Christ-like gentle to one another and so Christ-like direct in speaking the truth.”

The Cyprus Agreed Statement says there is a very high level of agreement between the Anglican and Orthodox Churches, so much so that in the final sections it asks why the Churches are still divided. It concludes that the issues that are keeping us apart are not so much matters of faith as practical ones that affect the ordinary life of the churches gathered around the Eucharist. It says the consecration of women bishops has raised matters of practice that affect the reception of each other’s churches in an immediate way.

“We find ourselves in an abnormal situation. We are a disrupted Christian people seeking to restore our unity,” the report concludes in a section on heresy and schism. “Our divisions do not destroy, but they damage the basic unity we have in Christ, and our disunity impedes our mission to the world as well as our relationships with each other.” The statement says that Anglicans and Orthodox agree that because God’s one nature exists, not in the abstract, but only in three persons, so the universal Church exists only as a communion of local churches. The report asks whether the diversity that exists between the Churches is a reason for sustaining the division between them. It points out that there has been no formal condemnation for heresy by either Church, and they have shown that they have not departed from the apostolic faith. There is a common recognition of the creeds, and they are able to proclaim the scriptures. The present continuing division is “an abnormal situation.” The ultimate goal is to receive each other “in ministry and church structures as well as in faith.”

Footnotes and references

[1] The Irish Times, 30 March 2007, p. 6.

[2] The Church of the Triune God: The Cyprus Agreed Statement of the International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Dialogue (London: Anglican Communion Office, 2007, £5.95; ISBN 6-00000006-1).

[3] Gregory Cameron, “Ecumenical spring is already here,” The Church Times, 13 May 2007.

[4] Geoffrey Rowell, “Anglicanism and Orthodoxy: 300 years after the Greek College in Oxford,” The Church Times, 8 September 2006.

[5] Rowell, loc cit.

[6] HW Langford, ‘The Non-Jurors and the Eastern Orthodox,’ a paper read to the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius Conference, Durham 26 June 1965, http://anglicanhistory.org/nonjurors/langford1.html.

[7] Jonathan Luxmoore, ‘Warmer words, but little substance,’ The Church Times, 19 January 2007; Patsy McGarry, “Hopes rise of thaw in church relations,” The Irish Times, 20 April 2007.

[8] Jonathan Luxmoore, “An ecumenical thaw – for some,” The Church Times, 4 August 2006.

[9] Encyclical on Anglican Orders, from the Oecumenical Patriarch to the Presidents of the Particular Eastern Orthodox Churches, 1922, www.ucl.ac.uk/~ucgbmxd/ patriarc.html

[10] The Christian East, vol. 4 (1923), pp 121-122.

[11] The Christian East, vol. 4 (1923), pp 122-123.

[12] The Christian East, vol 12 (1931), pp 1-6.

[13] The Christian East, vol. 16 (1936), pp 16-19.

[14] G. Seaver, John Allen Fitzgerald Gregg, Archbishop (London: Faith Press, 1963), pp 290-291.

[15] Seaver, pp 281-295.

[16] See Michael Harper, The True Light: an Evangelical’s Journey to Orthodoxy (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1997).

[17] The Church Times, 19 May 2006, 26 May 2006.

[18] Bill Bowder, “Reunion with East not beyond hope,” The Church Times, 2 February 2007.

[19] Bowder, loc cit.

Canon Patrick Comerford is Director of Spiritual Formation at the Church of Ireland Theological College. He has travelled extensively though the Orthodox world, visiting monasteries in Greece (including Mount Athos), Romania, Egypt and Mount Sinai. This paper first appeared in Search: a Church of Ireland Journal, Vol 30, No 2, 2007.