Dr. Paul Meyendorff, Professor Emeritus at Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Yonkers, NY, and Editor of Saint Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly, was one of numerous Orthodox delegates who participated in the Plenary Session of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches.
Held in Nanjing, China June 13-19, 2019, the gathering was hosted by the China Christian Council, which Dr. Meyendorff noted is an organization recognized and controlled by the Chinese government. With the blessing of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, he represented the Orthodox Church in America.
“Orthodox representation was quite good with numerous delegates and staff members,” Dr. Meyendorff reported. “Of note is that the Russian Orthodox Church, represented by Archpriest Vladimir Shmalyi, resumed its participation in Faith and Order.”
Dr. Meyendorff serves on a subcommittee that received and analyzed responses to “The Church, Toward a Common Vision,” a significant convergence statement on the nature of the Church.
“The Commission has thus far received over 70 responses, and I am a member of the drafting team that is preparing a summary report of the subcommittee’s analysis, with recommendations for further Faith and Order work,” said Dr. Meyendorff. “Of particular note was the official announcement of an upcoming World Conference on Faith and Order, to be held in 2025 to commemorate the 1700th anniversary of the First Ecumenical Council, the focus of which will center on issues of Apostolic Faith.”
A group from Faith and Order was tasked with preparing and organizing this conference, he added.
Dr. Meyendorff’s sub-group will meet in Bossey, Switzerland, in January 2020 to continue working on the analysis of “The Church, Toward a Common Vision.”
The next plenary meeting of the entire Commission is scheduled for January 14-20, 2021.
“In the meantime, the various sub-committees will continue to meet,” Dr. Meyendorff continued. “We were informed that it is at the 2021 meeting, a nominations committee will consider candidates for the next Commission.”