Piraeus, March 29, 2016
A theological conference organized by four Metropolises of the Church of Greece: Gortyna, Kythira, Glyfada and Piraeus was held in the Greek city of Piraeus. The event was held at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in the city of Piraeus in front of a vast gathering, reports Аgionoros.ru with reference to the Romfea Greek news agency.
Hierarchs, abbots and abbesses, Athonite monks, prominent theologians, public figures and around 1000 laymen were present at the hall. Metropolitans Seraphim of Piraeus, Hierotheos of Nafpaktos, Pavlos of Glyfada, Seraphim of Kythira, and other famous theologians and scholars were among the speakers at the plenary meeting on March 23, 2016.
Bishop Longin of Banchensk (Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate) greeted the members of the conference and priest Matei Vulcanescu spoke on behalf of Metropolitan Gabriel of Lovech (Bulgarian Orthodox Church).
During the conference the participants unanimously adopted a resolution pointing to “the lack of theological fullness, clarity and unambiguousness” in the documents prepared for the Pan-Orthodox Council.
The resolution stresses that “the nonparticipation of absolutely every Orthodox bishop in the Council is alien to the canonical and conciliar nature of the Church.” Moreover, the refusal to grant this Council Ecumenical (universal) status “under the pretext, not withstanding any cricitism, that ‘Christians of the West’ will not be able to take part in it, contradicts the Church Fathers who organized Church Councils without heretics.”
As for the coming Council, “it cannot be characterized even as a Pan-Orthodox Council because not all Orthodox bishops in the world will participate in it.” The conference participants found the principle, "one Local Church – one vote" to be unacceptable and uncanonical: “All the bishops without exception should vote,” they said.
The resolution harshly criticizes the document "The Relations of the Orthodox Church with the Rest of the Christian World" which has been described as "theologically inconsistent and contradictory."
The participants of the theological conference have expressed their concern that at the upcoming Council an attempt will be made “to expand the canonical and charismatic boundaries of the Church and to grant the heterodox the status of 'Church.'"