Timeline of Chalcedonian-Miaphysite Reconciliation

Posted on May 9, 2013


NOTE: a major point on this timeline lacking is the period from 1993-present. If anyone can point me to better information about progress since then toward full communion, it would be most appreciated 

Chalcedonian Orthodox Joint Cooperation Non-Chalcedonian (Miaphysite) Orthodox
1902 Joachim III’s Encyclical on Ecumenism[1]1920 To All Christians Everywhere[2]1930 Pan-Orthodox council[3]

1951 Encyclical of Athenagoras[4]

1961 Rhodes Pan-Orthodox Council[5]

1963 Rhodes Pan-Orthodox Council

1964 Rhodes Pan-Orthodox Council



1968 Chambésy Pan-Orthodox Council


1971 8.18 Inter-Orthodox Commission for O Dialogue[6]




1975 Chambésy Pre-Synodal Pan-Orthodox Consultation






1982 Chambésy Pre-Synodal Pan-Orthodox Consultation


1986 10.28-11.6 Chambésy Pre-Synodal Pan-Orthodox Consultation[7]


 1963 8 F&O helps formalize O/E meeting[8]

1964 Aarhus – 1st O/E Consultation[9]

1967 Bristol – 2nd O/E Consultation[10]

1970 Geneva – 3rd O/E Consultation[11]

1971 1 Addis Ababa – 4th O/E Consult[12]

1973 Joint Sub-Committee plan for dialogues [13]

1974 Joint Sub-Committees plan for dialogues[14]

1975 Joint Sub-Committees plan for dialogues[15]
1975-91 Formal/Informal gatherings[16]

1979 2.7-11 Joint Sub-Committees plan for dialogues [17]
4.30-5.5 Joint Symposium on Monasticism[18]

1985 12.10-15 Chambésy 1st Official Dialogue[19]

1987 11.16-9 Middle East Council of Churches[20]

1989 Wadi al-Natrun 2nd Official Dialogue[21]
Alexandria, Ethiopia, India[22]


1990 Chabésy, 3rd Official Dialogue[23]

1993 Chambésy, 4th Official Dialogue[24]

 1965 Addis Ababa[25]





1972 Standing Committee of the Oriental Orthodox Churches[26]

[1] Suggests discussions for “Western Orthodox” church created from Old Catholics, relations with Catholics and Protestants, Calendar reform

[2] Encyclical of Ecumenical Patriarch calling for support of the Ecumenical Struggle following the Great War

[3] It sought to engage the charitable hope “for rapprochement with the other Churches: Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, Chaldean, Jacobite [i.e., Malankara Indian] … which latter also aim at the same goal” (Yossa, Common Heritage, Divided Communion, 96)

[4] 500th anniversary of Chalcedon: Oriental Orthodox “brothers who on the pretext of Chalcedon have separated themselves from the [Eastern] Orthodox Church, but in fact maintain the Orthodox teaching” (Yossa, 96)

[5] Orientals invited by Ecu Patr Athenagoras; discussion over issues, special ecumenical committee appointed

[6] Meets in Addis Ababa and appoints three E theologians to work with O theologians in official dialogue

[7] Provides pan-Orthodox statement on Ecumenism; emphasized anathema and post-Chalc councils issues for dialogue

[8] Organized by WCC members Nikos Nissiotis (Ecu Patr) and Paul Verghese (Malankara), and Lukas Vischer (Swiss Reformed)

[9] On the occasion of the concurrent F&O meeting; 15 E/O theologians gather with supervision/support from three WCC staff (Vischer, Nissiotis, Verghese); clarified differences; in one week overturned Chalcedonian vs. Cyrillian myth finding that both sides condemn Nest and Eutych (Yossa, 100)

[10] Gave recommendations for further depth in dialogue

[11] General agreement already made at this point (“common Tradition of the One Church in all important matters”) on doctrine, worship, spirituality and canonical expression; brought up problems of recognition of councils, anathematizing saints, and jurisdiction; recommends creation of official joint commission to work out communion

[12] Short 2 day conference; only two papers presented; discussions on anathemas

[13] Sub-Committees from both meet to prepare plan for official dialogues; desire “exhaustive” studies on the reasons for Christological controversies on thought of Severus and John Damascene, as well as Leo and Cyril; essentially work out how unity will be achieved

[14] Athens

[15] Addis Ababa

[16] Ten gatherings took place during this time in Orthodox majority countries to discuss pastoral issues and modern questions (Yossa 114 n61)

[17] Purpose from the Eastern side to “speed up dialogue” and offer concrete proposals to Orientals (Yossa 110ff.)

[18] 5th in series lead by WCC Inter-Orthodox Consultation addressing also contemporary issues. Yossa calls this “a testament to the success of the inter-Orthodox collaboration established in the consultations” (111); recommended pan-Orthodox group from WCC Orth to research monasticism/parish life.

[19] Seven position papers given on the theme “towards a common Christology;” new subcommittee made to prepare common texts

[20] All Christians; includes common Christological statement that avoids disputed terminology; common exhortation to see each other as brothers and sisters

[21] Dialogue renamed to “Joint Commission of Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches;” agreed statement on Christology acknowledging despite ‘one faith’ in both; appoints new sub-committee for pastoral issues

[22] Holy synods all accept agreed statement (Yossa, 122)

[23] Largest gathering yet with 34 theologians representing 17 countries; agreed statement, but without full agreement on post-Ephesus councils, but recommendation for lifting anathemas; laid out common subjects of praxis on contemporary issues (Yossa, 120ff.)

[24] For working out necessary procedures for ecclesiastical reconciliation; searched for an appropriate way to come into communion (who has the authority to do this?); makes recommendation that a simultaneous signing of an ecclesiastical Act by all the heads of the Orthodox Churches would produce immediate communion; made further recommendations on common life (Yossa, 126ff.)

[25] Orientals affirm ecumenical orientation, Ecu Patr committee lays down guidelines for future dialogues (Yossa, 103)

[26] Appoints three O theologians for sub-committee planning team with their E counter-part