Moscow, June 13, 2016
The Pan-Orthodox Council can only be legitimate if all local Churches without exceptions participate in it, the Moscow Patriarchate said.
"Some people now say that it's their problem that they have refused, they don't have to participate, but we will go ahead anyway in the composition that will be there and will make decisions and they will become binding for everyone. It doesn't happen that way," Metropolitan Hilarion, the head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations, told a briefing in Moscow on Monday.
He said that all Churches have to participate in the Pan-Orthodox Council and "that is the only situation in which decisions made by this Council will be legitimate."
In a statement obtained by Interfax-Religion, the Synod of the Russian Church called for support of the proposal made by the Antioch, Georgian, Serbian and Bulgarian Churches, which have proposed to reschedule the Pan-Orthodox Council for a time to be established later following a general Orthodox debate and with the consent of the heads of all Orthodox Churches.
"Do everything to continue the efforts to strengthen the general Orthodox cooperation in the preparations for the future Holy and Grand Council, which is expected to become a true testimony of the unity of the Holy, Christian and Apostolic Church," the statement said.
The Synod called for the intensification of the work of the Pan-Orthodox secretariat on studying proposals on the solution of problem issues relating to the Council, the solution of differences and work on the necessary documents, and also said that all bishops of local Churches should participate in the Council.