Final Statement of the Antiochian Conference
The Antiochian Unity conference came to a close today, and a statement has been issued summarizing the events and outcomes of the Conference. This statement was published online by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East.
OF THE ANTIOCHIAN CONFERENCE
ANTIOCHIAN UNITY: DIMENSIONS AND EXIGENCIES
On June 25th through 28 2014, His Beatitude John X the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, together with the Fathers of the Holy Synod, called the faithful to the Hill of Balamand for a conference on the Antiochian unity. The Conference concentrated around the Antiochian Unity in its dimensions and exigencies. Participants in the conf included metropolitans and bishops, and Church delegations from all the dioceses of the Antiochian See in Syria, Lebanon and the whole Diaspora. Throughout the conference the kidnapped bishop Paul of Aleppo was present in our thoughts and prayers, and we asked God for his safe and quick return to his church and people.
During the opening ceremonies, we were overjoyed to welcome their Holinesses and Beatitudes the Patriarchs of the East, who addressed the conferees with words full of life, inspired from our common Antiochian heritage and the legacy of our Saints. Furthermore, they stressed the importance of one witness of Christians to the Gospel in the lands of the Antiochian See, to which we all belong. The presence of their Holinesses and Beatitudes enhanced brotherly love, and assured the necessity of serving people in “All the East”, where God has made them shepherds of His People. The Patriarchs’ visions and words were very well received by all attendees. They comprehended the necessity of taking theological and pastoral initiatives, in the goal of demonstrating Christ’s full presence in the one Antiochian family. This Antiochian togetherness in Christ would constitute the pattern of the Universal Christian Unity that we all hope for and aspire to.
His Beatitude Patriarch John X addressed the conferees with fatherly statements that included his vision and aspirations, and emphasized the fact that the faithful are the treasure of the Church, since the latter is primarily composed of humans as opposed to stones. He insisted that Antiochian unity which is the subject of the conference does not imply that our Christian children are scattered, but rather invites them to fortify the bonds of unity among them, bonds which began in the baptismal font and assembled them by the one Chalice. He further clarified that work in the Church is an endeavor, towards which both clergy and laymen contribute.
The conference focused on five different subjects. Those subjects included:
- Activation of consultation and interaction among parishes and dioceses, as well as amelioration of the dioceses complementing one another.
- Financial and Wakf Property Development
- Social Work
- Effective Presence in Society
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