Istanbul, January 9, 2016
According to the Romfea agency, Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople says that there can be no justification for nonparticipation by any Local Orthodox Churches in the coming Pan-Orthodox Council.
Romfea has also reported the Council’s previously planned venue of Istanbul, may be changed because representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church will probably not be able to come to Phanar after the Russian government recommended Russian citizens to refrain from going to Turkey due to the strain in relations between the Russian Federation and Turkey, reports Pravlife.org with reference to Sedmitza.ru.
Meanwhile, Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and All Greece, primate of the Church of Greece, will not be able to participate at the Council because he is currently at variance with primate of the Church of Constantinople Bartholomew I.
There are also problems with participation by representatives of the Orthodox Church of Antioch in the Council inasmuch as Eucharistic communion between the Patriarchate of Antioch and the Patriarchate of Jerusalem was broken off due to the problem of Qatar. The Jerusalem Patriarchate has opened a church in Qatar, which traditionally falls under the canonical jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Antioch. After Jerusalem did not responded to Antioch’s requests to remedy the situation, Antioch broke off communion with Jerusalem.