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On September 5, 2017, the Coordinating Committee of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church began its work on Leros Island, Greece.

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR), take part in the meeting, which was opened by a reception at the Metropolis of Leros. Metropolitan Paisius of Leros, Patriarchate of Constantinople, representatives of civil authorities and of the Greek Naval Forces deployed on the island greeted members of the Commission. Words of welcome were delivered by the Commission’s co-chairmen, Archbishop Job of Telmessos, Patriarchate of Constantinople, and Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

In the morning of September 6, the Orthodox and Catholic members of the Commission held separate meetings at which they discussed a new topic of theological dialogue.

Metropolitan Hilarion underscored that uniatism remains topical for the Russian Orthodox Church and for some other Local Orthodox Churches and should be brought up in the new document. He added that the problem of ecclesiological and canonical consequences of the unia have not been considered since the Baltimore plenary session (2000).

The meeting will last to September 8. Metropolitan Hilarion is accompanied by Rev. Alexy Dikarev, a DECR staff member.