Holy Monasteries of Mt. Athos respond to documents prepared for Pan-Orthodox Council

April 25, 2016

    

The Holy Monasteries of Mt. Athos have responded to the draft documents and methodology of the upcoming Pan-Orthodox Council with letters sent to the Holy Community of Mt. Athos which have been released to the public.

The documents prepared for the upcoming council were sent to the monasteries of Mt. Athos by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and upon reviewing of the documents it was decided to hold a specially called meeting of the representative and abbots of the twenty monasteries, scheduled to take place after Bright Week.

As have several hierarchs, priests, and theologians especially from the Churches of Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia, and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the Athonite fathers have responded seriously and urgently, calling attention to several problems, including:

*the concilarity of the Church being undermined and a theology supportive of primacy being promoted (due to the limited participation of bishops and an excessive authority given to the primates of each of Local Church),
*an unacceptable ambiguity in the pre-synodical texts, allowing for interpretations which divert from Orthodox dogma,
*the basing of the dialogues on "the faith and tradition of the ancient Church and the Seven Ecumenical Councils," such that the subsequent history of the Orthodox Church appears to be somehow lacking or impaired,
*an attempt by some to gain pan-Orthodox confirmation of unacceptable texts by the World Council of Churches,
*and the unacceptable application of the term "church" to schisms and heresies.

Excerpts and full translations of the letters will be forthcoming.

Several of the letters sent to the Holy Community can be read in Greek here.

4/25/2016

See also
Bulgarian Orthodox Church: Outside the Orthodox Church Bulgarian Orthodox Church: Outside the Orthodox Church "there are no other churches, only heresies and schisms" Bulgarian Orthodox Church: Outside the Orthodox Church Bulgarian Orthodox Church: Outside the Orthodox Church "there are no other churches, only heresies and schisms"
On the matter of the Orthodox Church’s stance towards the wider Christian world, the Synod took into consideration a letter from Metropolitan Gavriil of Lovech and priests of his diocese, and a letter from Metropolitan Nikolai of Plovdiv that included a petition signed by 240 priests of his diocese
ROCOR HOLY SYNOD on Pan-Orthodox Council Texts ROCOR HOLY SYNOD on Pan-Orthodox Council Texts
Communication of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia to the Clerics and Faithful—13 April 2016.
ROCOR HOLY SYNOD on Pan-Orthodox Council Texts ROCOR HOLY SYNOD on Pan-Orthodox Council Texts
Communication of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia to the Clerics and Faithful—13 April 2016.
The process of addressing the pastoral needs of any given age is one which requires both tremendous prayer and ascetical devotion from all Christians, but also the dedicated, deliberate work to ensure, in any document the Church may put forward, the faithfulness to the Gospel we have inherited. All such texts, now as throughout history, go through many stages of preparation and revision; and the fact that we, together with others, have identified serious problems with some of the documents pending consideration by the forthcoming Council should be a cause for neither fear nor anxiety. The Holy Spirit Who always guides the Church in love, is not far from us today; and the Church is not in our times, nor has she ever been, without the active headship of her True Head, Christ our God, Whom we trust with full faith will guide His Body in all truth.
Greece: Another hierarch appeals to the Holy Synod concerning the Pan-Orthodox Council Greece: Another hierarch appeals to the Holy Synod concerning the Pan-Orthodox Council Greece: Another hierarch appeals to the Holy Synod concerning the Pan-Orthodox Council Greece: Another hierarch appeals to the Holy Synod concerning the Pan-Orthodox Council
Metropolitan Seraphim expresses his disagreement with the decision of the primates to invite to the Pan-Orthodox Council Catholic, Monophysite, and Protestant observers: “In the 2,000-year history of the Church there have never been non-Orthodox ‘observers’ at Local and Ecumenical Councils.” This practice occurred only at the First and Second Vatican Councils of the Catholic church, said Metroplitan Seraphim, specifiying. “Is it permissible for a Pan-Orthodox Council to take papal practices as its model?” asks Vladyka.
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