Pro Oriente


22. April 2024
Thema: 60th Anniversary of PRO ORIENTE

Tiran Petrosyan

Eminences, Excellencies, esteemed President of the Foundation Pro Oriente, dear guests,

As Chairman of the Council of Churches in Austria, but also as a Bishop of the Armenian-apostolic Church I am very honored to be with you today and to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Foundation Pro Oriente.

Today, when we celebrate this important anniversary, we remember with gratitude the blessed memory Cardinal König, who had the great vision of establishing such a foundation.

The experience of the Foundation over the past 60 years has actually proven how important it is to create mutual understanding between churches of different traditions from East and West. Through numerous contacts, consultations and initiatives, PRO ORIENTE has built bridges with the Eastern Churches, built trust and paved the way for meetings and agreements at an official level.

One of milestones in this fruitful dialogue is the Vienna Christological Formula from 1971.

It has theological implications: With it, a common reinterpretation of the Christology of the Council of Chalcedon was found, which settled earlier Christological disputes for both churches. This formula made it clear that the two church families essentially mean the same thing when they speak of Christ as “true God and true man.”

Especially grateful is the foundation's role in its commitment to persecuted Christians, particularly in the Middle East and other countries.

Even if the visible unity of the churches has not yet been achieved, we as churches can give a common witness to the world thanks to influential institutions and foundations such as “Pro Oriente”. Today's conditions make it clear to us that dialogue and mutual understanding have no alternative.

Dear friends,

Cordially I wish the foundation many years of fruitful work, infinite inspiration and many new jubilees.

I pray that the Almighty Lord will pour out His grace and blessing upon the Foundation for the prosperity of its efforts and ministry to the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Bishop Tiran (Petrosyan)