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Russian Orthodox Church insists on the need to postpone the date of the Pan-Orthodox Council

Russian Orthodox Church insists on the need to postpone the date of the Pan-Orthodox Council
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13 June 2016 г. 20:04

On June 13, 2016, at its extraordinary session, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church considered the situation, which has arisen because of the refusal of a number of Local Orthodox Churches to participate in the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church. The Council was planned to be held from June 18 to 26, 2016, on the Island of Crete.

As a result of the discussion, the Holy Synod adopted a statement on this problem to be sent to the Primates of Local Orthodox Churches (Minutes No. 40).

Considering the position taken by the Patriarchates of Antioch, Georgia, Serbia and Bulgaria and taking into account the ground necessary for convening the Holy and Great Council, namely, the existence of ‘the consent of their Beatitudes the Primates of the universally recognized Local autocephalous Churches’ (Organizational and Working Procedure of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, Article 1), the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church noted that such consent is obviously absent.

According to the Synod members, the only possible way out in this case lies in the continuation of preparations for the Holy and Great Council and subsequent achievement of pan-Orthodox agreement on its holding at a different date.

In connection with the above, the Holy Synod, in keeping with the Russian Orthodox Church Bishops’ Council’s Decision of February 2-3, 2016 (Resolutions, Par. 6), resolved:

1) that support be given to the proposals of the Orthodox Churches of Antioch, Georgia, Serbia and Bulgaria to postpone the convocation of the Pan-Orthodox Council for a time which will need to be established as a result of a pan-Orthodox discussion and under the indispensable condition that the Primates of all the generally recognized Local autocephalous Orthodox Church agree to it;

2) that an appropriate proposal be immediately sent to His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and all the Primates of Local Orthodox Churches;

3) that in case of this proposal is not accepted by the Most Holy Church of Constantinople while the Council on Crete is still convened despite the absence of the consent of several Local Orthodox Churches, the participation of the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church in it, with profound regret, be considered impossible;

4) that effort to consolidate pan-Orthodox cooperation in preparing the future Holy and Great Council be continued by all possible means, as it is called to become a true witness to the unity of the Holy Universal and Apostolic Church;

5) that the opinion be expressed once again that a successful accomplishment of the Council’s preparation could be promoted by the more intensive work of the Pan-Orthodox Secretariat as a body which makes it possible to examine proposals for the resolution of problematic issues, to settle the existing differences, to finalize the necessary documents and to remove all the obstacles for the convocation and God-pleasing completion of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church;

6) to consider it desirable that, taking into account the proposals expressed in many Local Orthodox Churches, the future Council could be attended by all the hierarchs of the Holy Churches of God without restrictions, since it will certainly enhance the authority of the decisions made by the Council.

Patriarchal Press Service

Версия: Russian, , Moldavian