The 2nd meeting between the Old Catholic Church and Armenian Orthodox Church, Catholicosate of Cilicia, took place in Utrecht, on October 1-3rd, hosted by the Archbishop of Utrecht, Dr. Joris Vercammen. Following the guidelines of the first meeting in Antelias (held on February 15-17th, 2018). We focussed our attention on the following 3 areas: the Sacrament of Baptism, Euthanasia, and a special research project on Islamized Armenians in Turkey.
In regards to Baptism, both churches keep the early tradition of the Christian church, where for any person (adult or child), Baptism, Chrismation/confirmation, and Eucharist are performed during one ritual. Even through our minor differences, the theology behind the sacraments is the same.
In regards to Euthanasia. These and similar socio-ethical issues, are issues that the faithful of all churches face in different ways. Therefore we believe that such issues need to be discussed in a broader ecumenical context with the participation of all churches, in order that the churches together may be able to develop guidelines to deal with these issues.
In regards to the research project, a short summary was presented to the group. This topic points to a fertile and relevant area of deeper investigation. It would be a great engagement if Bern University could adopt this research project.
Our next meeting will be held in Antelias, in two years’ time, in 2021. First, in choosing our discussion topics, we need to avoid generalities. Secondly, only one group member presents a paper on a given topic, and a member from the other church responds. The nature of the response is expected to be speaking about the commonalities and divergences, by also substantiating the argument. And this will be followed by discussion in the plenary. Third, we have to deal with two parallel areas, general theological and socio-ethical (two topics from each). This will require two working days with this methodology.
Minutes from Rev Hayr Hrant