Georgian Proposal for the Reconciliation of the Armenian and Orthodox Churches
- On the issue of Apostolic Succession and its administration, the Armenian and Orthodox Churches agree that:
- The Orthodox Church recognizes the Armenian Church's descent from the Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus; the Armenian Church recognizes the Orthodox Church's descent from the Apostle Andrew.
If the Armenian Church rejoins the Orthodox community, the Armenian Church will be combined into the Georgian Patriarchate of Kartli. The Armenian Church will remain autonomous in all aspects except the appointment of the Patriarch and those aspects discussed at this Council, or at future ecumenical councils.(Struck in compliance with Armenia's request. TankOfMidgets (talk) 01:09, February 25, 2014 (UTC))
- The symbolic Patriarch of Georgia and Armenia shall be appointed by a joint council of the bishops of the Georgian and Armenian churches, requiring a majority vote from both churches for his confirmation.
- The Georgian and Armenian Churches both acknowledge the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople as "first among equals" within the Orthodox community.
- On theological issues, the Armenian Church and Orthodox Church agree that:
- The Armenian Church's interpretation of the Trinitarian relationship as miaphysitic (one unified nature of both human and divine origins, in a single person) rather than dyophysitic (two natures, one human and one divine, in a single person) is technically incorrect. However, the perfect unity of Christ's two natures makes the two positions indistinguishable. Accordingly, the Orthodox Church accepts the miaphysitic position as an orthodox interpretation of the nature of Christ, barring further divine revelations on the subject.
- The Christological doctrines of Monothelitism and Monoenergism are heretical, and shall be tolerated in neither the Armenian nor the Orthodox Church.
- The use of icons of holy figures such as theTheotokos or the Savior encourage worshippers to emulate these sacred persons, and aid in the transmission of divine grace to fallen mankind. Accordingly, the Armenian Church recognizes the utility of these icons in the salvation of souls, and endorses their use in prayer.
- On liturgical issues, the Armenian and Orthodox churches agree that:
- The lack of icons in the Armenian Rite is a serious impediment to the extension of God's grace into the Armenian Church. Accordingly, the Armenian Church shall endeavor to acquire suitable sacred icons for its liturgies as soon as possible, purchasing these from the icon-makers of the Roman Empire where possible.
- The Armenian and Orthodox Churches shall convene a joint conference of bishops to examine the structure of the Armenian liturgy and determine whether it is the ideal form of the Eucharist. Until such a conference has been convened, the Armenian Church may continue to use its present form of the Eucharist.
The marriage of Armenian priests is acceptable to the Orthodox Church, and shall continue unchanged.(Removed per Lx's suggestions, since it was common practice on both sides. Thanks, Lx - I thought it was tolerated, but not expected, which shows how little I know. TankOfMidgets (talk) 23:56, February 20, 2014 (UTC))
(If either of the other two parties has a counter-offer, list the terms you've changed and post them here. I don't expect this to be a purely take-it-or-leave-it discussion, and am willing to talk it over.) TankOfMidgets (talk) 22:22, February 20, 2014 (UTC)
The thing about priest marriage is redundant as orthodox non-monastic priests are unofficialy expected to be married before ordination-Lx (leave me a message) 22:33, February 20, 2014 (UTC)
The only thing the Romans question is the merging of the Armenian and Georgian churches into one, and as such would like to hear the rational behind such a decision. "This is not your grave but you are welcome in it." 03:10, February 21, 2014 (UTC)
The Georgian Patriarch understands the hesitance of the Romans in approving such a shift in Church structure: the merging of two Patriarchates into one is not a decision to be undertaken lightly, as too much accumulation of power in a single body could enable another Bishop of Rome to overstep his authority and attempt to dictate policy for the entire Church. Indeed, the Georgian Church is willing to accept advisors from the Patriarch of Constantinople in order to ensure the purity of Christian doctrine in the newly-united Church. In this case, however, the Georgian Church respectfully notes that the proposed merger merely returns the Orthodox Church in the Caucasian region to its status quo prior to the departure of the Armenian Church from the greater Orthodox community in the mid-6th century.
Prior to the Armenian Church's departure from the greater Orthodox community, the Georgian and Armenian Churches typically convened joint congregations of both churches to discuss responses to doctrinal questions and to coordinate evangelization efforts in the then-pagan Caucasus. As the Kingdom of Armenia and the Kingdoms of Colchis and Iberia formed the boundary between the Christian Roman world and the pagan Scythians, this joint administrative arrangement enabled the two Churches to more effectively respond to challenges from other faiths such as the Zoroastrianism of the Persians. Though this alliance came unglued at the Third Council of Dvin, in which the Georgian and Armenian Churches fell out over the merits of the Chalcedonian position on the nature of Christ, it nonetheless solidified this portion of the Roman frontier until the rise of Islam in the 7th and 8th centuries.
The present situation in the Caucasus mirrors the ancient one: once more, the Christian world is beset by foes on all sides, and needs a unified religious response to resist the invaders. Given the historic ties between the Georgian and Armenian Churches, the Catholicos Shio II believes the combination of these two Churches into a single body offers the best chance of ensuring the continued growth of the true Christian church in the Caucasus. If successful, this initiative would also open the path to the reconciliation of the so-called Coptic Churches of Alexandria and the East with Constantinople - a prospect, we imagine, that should greatly please both the Patriarch and the Emperor of the Romans. TankOfMidgets (talk) 19:57, February 21, 2014 (UTC)
- Shio II, Patriarch of Georgia: TankOfMidgets (talk) 19:43, February 20, 2014 (UTC)
- Paul II, Patriarch of Armenia: TankOfMidgets (talk) 06:12, March 7, 2014 (UTC) (Belatedly signed - treaty has been in force since the late 1420s.)
- Joseph II, Patriarch of the Roman Empire: "This is not your grave but you are welcome in it." 21:29, February 22, 2014 (UTC)