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The Church: Towards a Common Vision

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A Commentary in Light of the Inter-Orthodox Consultation at Agia Napa in Cyprus

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The 2013 convergence document, The Church: Towards a Common Vision (CTCV) incorporates several aspects of the response of the Napa Inter-Orthodox Consultation to The Nature and Mission of the Church (NMC) which, as its subtitle suggests, was A Stage on the Way to a Common Statement, namely The Church. Eastern and Oriental Orthodox responders (jointly!) point to the imprecise use of the term, ‘church’, the World Council of Churches (WCC)’s understanding of ‘the limits of the Church’, and to the ‘branch theory’ implicit in NMC, an ecclesiology toned down in CTCV. Bordeianu proposes a subjective recognition of the fullness of the church in one’s community as a possible way forward. Simultaneously, Orthodox representatives have grown into a common, ecumenical understanding of the relationship between the Kingdom of God and the church’s work for justice; attentiveness to the role of women in the church; and accepting new forms of teaching authority in an ecumenical context. The positions of various churches are no longer parallel monologues, but reflect earnest change and convergence.

Affiliations: 1: Duquesne University in


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