Russian Orthodox Church will not attend the Pan-Orthodox Council

Tuesday, 14 June, 2016 - 01:15

The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church called on June 13 for the postponement of the Pan-Orthodox Council due to start in Crete in a few days, saying that if the council was not postponed, the Russian church would not attend.

A statement by the Russian church’s Holy Synod said that its decision “took into account” the positions of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Antioch, Georgian and Serbian patriarchates.

With the Bulgarian church having been the first, those Orthodox Christian churches all in recent days have taken a similar course of action – either calling for postponement and stating that they would boycott unless there was a postponement, or saying outright they would not attend the so-called Pan-Orthodox Council.


Background from Katehon:

Ecumenism. The Ecumenical Patriarch will pray together with the Pope, which the rest of the Orthodox Church considers to be a heretic.

According to canonical norms, the Patriarch of Constantinople should be deposed from his rank. By participating in the Council, which is convened by Constantinople, all other local churches formally recognize his seniority, and therefore favor a policy of rapprochement with the heretics. The documents, which speak of relations with other Christian confessors, are sustained in an ecumenical spirit. In particular, it approved the activities of the World Council of Churches.

The draft document "of the Orthodox Church's relations with the rest of the Christian world" provoked the greatest debate and criticism in the various Local Churches. It is of great concern that Christians, who have fallen away from the Church, are not called by traditional theological terms as heretics and schismatics anywhere in the project, and only the "Christian churches", "confessions" (p. 6), "near and far" (p. 4). Observers from the Protestant religious communities that ordain women and sodomites will attend the Council.