world council of churches

Special Commission on Orthodox Participation in the WCC
Background materials for the first meeting of the Special Commission
(Morges, Switzerland, December, 1999)

The documents in this dossier have been collected as reference materials to assist the work of the Special Commission on Orthodox Participation in the WCC. They are only a selection from a vast number of related texts. While they are for the most part chronologically ordered, they are not to be seen as a comprehensive documentary history of the relationship of the Orthodox churches to the WCC.

Furthermore, the question could easily arise as to why, if the concerns being addressed by the Special Commission are being seen as running across confessional lines, the origin and focus of these texts lies with the Orthodox churches. Here one may recall that while each of the concerns raised by the Orthodox can find echoes among other confessions, the Orthodox have consistently expressed all of them. Also, and for that very reason, the initiative for the Special Commission came from the Orthodox churches.

The following can additionally be recommended as useful resources:

  • Constantin Patelos, ed., The Orthodox Church in the Ecumenical Movement: Documents and Statements 1902-1975 (Geneva: WCC, 1978).
  • Todor Sabev, ed., The Sofia Consultation: Orthodox Involvement in the World Council of Churches (Geneva: WCC/OTF, 1982).
  • Gennadios Limouris, ed., Orthodox Visions of Ecumenism (Geneva: WCC, 1994).
  • Georges Lemopoulos, ed., The Ecumenical Movement, the Churches, and the World Council of Churches: An Orthodox contribution to the reflection process on "The Common Understanding and Vision of the WCC" (Geneva/Byalistok, WCC/Syndesmos, 1996).
  • Thomas FitzGerald, Peter Bouteneff, eds., Turn to God -- Rejoice in Hope: Orthodox Reflections on the Way to Harare (Geneva: WCC/OTF, 1998).
Finally, the October 1999 issue of The Ecumenical Review is dedicated exclusively to essays and texts related to the work of the Special Commission.

WCC Mixed Staff Group on the Special Commission.

Morges Dossier Contents

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