As it does every two years, St. Nersess Seminary hosted the annual U.S. Roman Catholic--Oriental Orthodox dialogue on Thursday and Friday, June 9-10, 2005.
Clergy and lay representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and the Armenian, Coptic, Syrian, Syro-Malankara (Indian) and Ethiopian Churches met at the Seminary to discuss a range of practical and theological issues which confront their work and relationships in the United States.
The meeting was co-chaired by Bishop Howard Hubbard, Roman Catholic Bishop of Albany, New York, and by V. Rev. Chorepiscopos John Meno, Chancelor of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, headquartered in Teaneck, NJ.
The primary topic of discussion at this year's consultation was the relationship between the Oriental Orthodox Churches in the United States and the Eastern-Catholic Churches, sometimes referred to as the "Uniate" churches. These are eastern churches which have come into communion with the Pope of Rome. In some places their existence and work has caused pain and conflict for Orthodox Christians.
Also discussed were the Roman Catholic Church's policies for evangelizing in countries such as Russia and Armenia, where the majority of the population are at least nominally members of the home Orthodox Church.
"The U.S. Roman Catholic--Oriental Orthodox Dialogue has for many years played a signficant role in the worldwide ecumenical movement," said co-chair Fr. John Meno.
"The blessed founder of this seminary, Abp. Tiran Nersoyan, was a founding member of the Roman Catholic--Oriental Orthodox Dialogue," said Seminary Dean, Fr. Daniel Findikyan, as he welcomed the distinguished guests. "He believed fervently that the Armenian Church has a providential role to play in the ecumenical movement, and that spirit abides in our vision and work at St. Nersess Seminary today," he said.