Anglican and Oriental Orthodox Churches have taken a major step towards reconciliation with a joint statement on the incarnation of Christ.
The Oriental Churches include the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. The issue of how to describe the incarnation has divided them from the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches, and hence from the Protestant tradition, since the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD. At issue was how to express the belief that Christ was both human and divine in a theologically accurate way.
Now, however, the Anglican-Oriental Orthodox International Commission, co-chaired by Rt Rev Geoffrey Rowell and His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy, has produced an "Agreed Statement on Christology" which brings the two sides together and means that each recognises the other as doctrinally orthodox. The statement stresses that in Christ two natures, "distinguished in thought alone", "continue to exist without separation, without division, without change, and without confusion".