Jerusalem, February 13, 2020
Although the primates of the Local Churches in the Greek world rejected his initial invitation, according to a new report from vimaorthodoxias.gr, His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem has not given up hope of holding a successful fraternal gathering of the primates in Jordan later this month to discuss issues of Church unity against the background of the Ukrainian ecclesiastical crisis.
While the initial invitation did not specify a date, the Patriarch is now inviting the primates to convene in Amman on February 25.
The second letter of invitation is also written in English, like the first—a fact that caused Patriarch Bartholomew great displeasure. In his reply, Pat. Bartholomew also called on Pat. Theophilos to abandon his initiative, based on the idea that only Constantinople can convene the primates.
While the primates of Greece, Cyprus, Alexandria, and Albania have fallen in line with this belief, the Patriarch of Jerusalem appears to be serious about gathering his brothers for the good of the Church.
In an article published on Romfea last month, Greek theologian Nicholas Mann noted that the Patriarch of Jerusalem has initiated many such councils and gatherings over the centuries, the most notable being the Council of Jerusalem of 1672, which was declared to be a “Holy and Great Council” in the Encyclical produced at Patriarch Bartholomew’s Crete Council in 2016.
According to informed sources, it is unlikely that His Beatitude Patriarch John of Antioch will attend the gathering.
Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the Chairman of the Russian Church’s Department for External Church Relations, recently confirmed that His Holiness Patriarch Kirill will attend the summit.
“However, the Patriarch of Constantinople does not show any desire to solve the problem he created. He’s just trying to get everyone to accept his lawless decision. But the Local Orthodox Churches mostly do not recognize these decisions, because they are anti-canonical,” Met. Hilarion stressed.
Greek media recently reported that His Beatitude Metropolitan Sawa of Poland rejected Jerusalem’s invitation, though his assistant later denied this information, though he did not say that the Polish primate was definitely attending.