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Phanar, 30 November 1979


We, Pope John Paul II, and the Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I, give thanks to God who has granted us the possibility of meeting to celebrate together the feast of the apostle Andrew, the one first called and the brother of the apostle Peter. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" (Eph 1:3).

Seeking only the glory of God through the accomplishment of his will, we affirm again our resolute determination to to everything possible to hasten the day when full communion will be reestablished between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church and when we will at last be able to concelebrate the divine Eucharist.

We are grateful to our predecessors, Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I, for everything they did to reconcile our Churches and cause them to progress in unity.

The progress made in the preparatory stage permits us to announce that the theological dialogue is about to begin and to make public the list of the members of the mixed Catholic-Orthodox commission that will be responsible for it.

This theological dialogue aims not only at progressing towards the re-establishment of full communion between the Catholic and Orthodox sister-Churches, but also at contributing to the multiple dialogues that are developing in the Christian world in search of its unity.

The dialogue of charity (cf. Jn 13:34; Eph 4:1-7), rooted in complete faithfulness to the one Lord Jesus Christ and to his will over his Church (cf. Jn 17:21), has opened up the way to better understanding of our mutual theological positions and, thereby, to new approaches to the theological work and to a new attitude with regard to the common past of our Churches. This purification of the collective memory of our Churches is an important fruit of the dialogue of charity and an indispensable condition of future progress. This dialogue of charity must continue and be intensified in the complex situation which we have inherited from the past, and which constitutes the reality in which our effort must take place today.

We want the progress in unity to open up new possibilities of dialogue and collaboration with believers of other religions, and with all men of goodwill, in order that love and brotherhood may prevail over hatred and opposition among men. We hope to contribute in this way to the coming of true peace in the world. We implore this gift of him who was, who is, and who will be, Christ our one Saviour and our real peace.


Phanar, on the feast of St Andrew 1979.



The Catholic-Orthodox Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue


Catholic Members

His Eminence
Cardinal Johannes GM. Willebrands
Archbishop of Utrecht
President of the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity

His Eminence
Cardinal William Wakefield Baum
Archbishop of Washington

His Eminence
Cardinal George Basil Hume
Archbishop of Westminster

His Eminence
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
Archbishop of Munich and Freising

His Eminence
Cardinal Roger Etchegaray
Archbishop of Marseille

His Excellency Most Rev. Mario Brini
Titular Archbishop of Algiza,
Secretary of the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Churches

His Excellency Most Rev. Nicolas Foscolos
Archbishop of Athens

His Excellency Most Rev. Habib Bacha
Archbishop of Beirut and Gibail of the Melkites

His Excellency Most Rev. Mariano Magrassi
Archbishop of Bari

His Excellency Most Rev. Alfred Pichler
Bishop of Banjaluka

His Excellency Most Rev.
Ramon Torrella Cascante
Titular Bishop of Minervium
Vice-President of the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity

His Excellency Most Rev. Antal Jakab
Titular Bishop of Astigi
Coadjutor of the Bishop of Alba Julia

His Excellency Most Rev. Miroslaw Marusyn
Titular Bishop of Cadi
Vice-President of the Pontifical Commission 
for the revision of the Code of Oriental Canon Law

His Excellency Most Rev. Georges Abi-Sader
Bishop of Lattaquié of the Maronites 

His Excellency Most Rev. Alfons Nossol
Bishop of Opole

Rev. Mons. Michele Maccarrone
President of the Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences

Rev. Jean Corbon
Secretary of the Ecumenical Commission 
of the Assembly of the Patriarchs and the Catholic Bishops of Lebanon

Rev. Professor Frederic Mc-Manus
Lecturer in Canon Law at the Catholic University of America

Rev. Professor Dimitri Salachas
of the clergy of Athens
Lecturer in Canon Law in the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas

Rev. Professor Ernst Suttner
Lecturer in Patrology and in Oriental Theology
in the University of Vienna

Rev. Professor Hermann Vogt
Lecturer in Patrology in the University of Tubingen

Rev. Emmanuel Lanne, OSB
of the Monastery of Chevetogne

Rev. Professor Jean M.R. Tillard, OP
Lecturer in the Dominican Faculty
of Theology in Ottawa

Rev. Professor Andre De Halleux, OFM
Lecturer in Patrology and Oriental Theology in the
University of Louvain

Rev. Professor Miguel Arranz, SJ
Lecturer in Liturgy
in the Pontifical Oriental Institute

Rev. Peter-Hans Kolvenbac, SJ
Provincial for the Middle East

Rev. Louis Bouyer
of the Oratory of France

Rev. Professor Waclaw Hryniewicz, OMI
Lecturer in the University of Lublin

Rev. Professor P. van der AALST, AA
Lecturer in Oriental Theology in the University of Nijmegen

Dr. Vittorio Peri
of the Apostolic Vatican Library

Co-secretary of the commission:

Rev. Pierre Duprey, M.Afr.
Under-secretary of the Secretariat for Promoting
Christian Unity


Orthodox Members

Ecumenical Patriarchate

His Eminence Most Rev. Stylianos
Greek-Orthodox Archbishop of Australia

Professor Jean Zizioulas

Patriarchate of Alexandria

His Excellency Most Rev. Parthenios
Metropolitan of Carthage

His Excellency Most Rev. Thimoteos
Metropolitan of Central Africa (substitute)

Professor Stylianos Papadopoulos

Patriarchate of Antioch

His Excellency Most Rev. Georges Khodr
Metropolitan of Mount Liban

Rev. Fr. Georges Atifah

Patriarchate of Jerusalem

His Excellency Most Rev. Germanos
Metropolitan of Petra

Professor Georges Galitis

Professor Vlassios Pheidas

Patriarchate of Moscow

His Excellency Most Rev. Kyrill
Archbishop of Vyborg

Rev. Archpriest Livery Voronov

Patriarchate of Serbia

His Excellency Most Rev. Savas
Bishop of Soumadie

Rev. Deacon Radomir Rakic

Patriarchate of Romania

His EminenceMost Rev. Nicolas
Metropolitan of Banat

Rev. Fr. Stephane Alexe

Patriarchate of Bulgaria

His Excellency Most Rev. Joan
Bishop of Dragovitsa

Rev. Econome Stavrophore Nicolas Sivarof

Church of Cyprus

His Excellency Most Rev. Chrysantos
Metropolitan of Morphou

Mr Makarios Papachristoforou

Church of Greece

His Excellency Most Rev. Chrysostomos
Metropolitan of Peristeriou

Professor Megas Farantos

Church of Georgia

His Excellency Most Rev. Nikolai
Bishop of Soukoumi and Abkhazi

His Excellency Most Rev. David
Bishop of Batoum and Shemokmedi

Church of Poland

His Excellency Most Rev. Savas§
Bishop of Lodz and Poznan

His Excellency Most Rev. Simon
Bishop of Lublin


[Information Service 41 (1979/IV) 25-26]