Russian Orthodox Church won't take part in work on Pan-Orthodox Council message — source

Source: TASS

Moscow, June 10, 2016

    

The Russian Orthodox Church's representative will not take part in the drafting of the message of the Pan-Orthodox Council, which should be ready one week before the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church is convened, a source from the Russian Orthodox Church told TASS on Friday.

"The representative of our Church won’t take part in drawing up the message," the source said, noting that the work was to be done by Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), the Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate's External Church Relations Department.

"He was to be in Crete these days, but under the circumstances when Churches are one after another refusing to attend the Pan-Orthodox Council, there isn’t much point to us taking part in work to draft the message from just several Churches," the source said.

Under the Pan-Orthodox Council regulations, texts or new issues that were not unanimously approved by Pan-Orthodox pre-Council conferences and meetings of the primates cannot be submitted directly for Council discussion with the exception of the Council’s message.

Its draft will be prepared by a special all-Orthodox Commission one week before the Council is convened and will be subject to approval by the primates of the Orthodox churches, the document says.

Over the recent days, Orthodox Churches have been one after another refusing to attend the Council.

Problems sprang up in the course of final preparations for the assembly recently, with the Bulgarian Orthodox Church saying its clerics will not attend the Council, since more preparations are needed.

The Georgian Orthodox Church, too, voiced objections against the documents on Christian marriage and the contemporary mission of the Church.

On Tuesday, Syria’s Antiochian Orthodox Church said it was unprepared to attend the Holy and Great Council. The Serbian Orthodox Church declared its refusal to attend on Thursday.

Should at least one of the 14 churches be absent from the Council, it will lose the Pan-Orthodox status. The Russian Orthodox Church proposed convening an urgent pan-Orthodox consultative conference before June 10 ahead of the Holy and Great Council. The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on June 6 made a decision to proceed with routine preparations for the Council, due in Crete on June 17-26.

TASS

6/10/2016

See also
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“To my knowledge, I can bring you the good news that our Russian Orthodox Church will after all announce that it will not be taking part in the Pan-Orthodox Council on the island of Crete,” said the vice president of the “Jerusalem” Russian Spiritual and Cultural Heritage Center, Oleg Fomin.
Russian Orthodox Church to hold emergency meeting of its Holy Synod Russian Orthodox Church to hold emergency meeting of its Holy Synod Russian Orthodox Church to hold emergency meeting of its Holy Synod Russian Orthodox Church to hold emergency meeting of its Holy Synod
The Russian Orthodox Church will hold an emergency meeting of its Holy Synod to determine how to proceed in the situation where a number of Local Orthodox Churches have refused to participate in the Pan-Orthodox Council on Crete, and to decide about its own participation in it, the Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk told RIA-Novosti on Tuesday.
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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.
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