Moscow Patriarchate: Statement on the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church

Statement of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church

On the situation caused by the refusal of several Local Orthodox Churches to participate in the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church

For many decades the Russian Orthodox Church took and continues to take an active part in the preparation of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church. Since the 1st Pan-Orthodox Conference in 1961 on Rhodes, the outstanding hierarchs and the best theologians of our Church have made their contribution to the work on a great number of the Council’s topics, including those which were not to be included later in the agenda of the Holy and Great Council. For the sake of the earliest convocation of the Council, the Russian Orthodox Church has repeatedly re-affirmed her readiness to achieve decisions mutually acceptable for all the participants in the pre-Council process, even if such decisions diverted from the already agreed rules of the Council’s preparation.

However, the principle of pan-Orthodox consensus has been the invariable basis of the pre-Council process…

Read it all


Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Orthodox Church, Other Churches

6 comments on “Moscow Patriarchate: Statement on the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church

  1. Terry Tee says:

    I think the reference to Jerusalem ‘invasion’ of Antioch territory refers to the establishment by Jerusalem of an Orthodox church in Qatar, which would provide for the many Indian Syrian Orthodox Christians there.
    You read this long-winded document and weep. The global interest is sacrificed to the local, hierarchs are twitchy about their rights … so sad.

  2. driver8 says:

    1. Well, that’s very sad.

    2. I hadn’t realized that decisions between Orthodox Primates required both participation by all and unanimity. Anglicans might have been spared much heartache if we had a kindred understanding.

  3. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Who can fathom it all?

  4. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    “The Patriarchate of Antioch will not take part in the Holy and Great Council until all the reasons impeding its participation in the Divine Liturgy in the course of the Council are removed”

    Perhaps it comes down to those who think that black hats are more important than beards, reconciling with those who know that beards are more important than black hats.

  5. Terry Tee says:

    PM, you know, I am sure, that Moscow is never timid about asserting its rights. The tiny Constantinople patriarchate at the Phanar (tiny, that is, in numbers, thanks to slow asphyxiation by Turkey) is always being loomed over by the wealth and numbers of Moscow. I doubt if Putin’s recent visit to Athos was motivated by a thirst for spirituality. Moscow wants to make sure that it is seen as the lead power in speaking for Orthodoxy. That would be my analysis.

  6. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    #5 Thanks for the perceptive analysis, Fr Tee. I recollect that the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Moscow Patriarchate were in a dispute over ownership of a pre-revolutionary church in Cannes or Nice, dating from the time when the Russian Court used to holiday there; and I also recollect that the Russians have a problem with one of the Baltic States Orthodox churches [Estonia? Latvia?]. Then there are the Georgians and Ukrainian Orthodox at odds with Moscow just as their nations are.

    It all seems horrendously complicated and one probably needs a doctorate in the subject to understand the Orthodox churches, though it seems to owe as much to national and ethnic rivalries as to power plays.

    Perhaps that is why Orthodoxy does not change much – change requires agreement and consensus…. and that is something the Orthodox do not do it appears – unless that is they have someone like a Roman emperor like Constantine to bang heads together.