Κυριακή, 3 Δεκεμβρίου 2017

THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH: THE HOLY AND GREAT COUNCIL IS A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH, BUT NOT A PAN-ORTHODOX A BINDING TO ALL AUTOCEPHALOUS ORTHODOX CHURCHES




THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH: THE HOLY AND GREAT COUNCIL IS A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH, BUT NOT A PAN-ORTHODOX A BINDING TO ALL AUTOCEPHALOUS ORTHODOX CHURCHES

The relevant paragraphs of the most recent published report are as follows:
38. The Council of Bishops (of the Moscow Patriarchate) approves the assessment of the Council of the Primates and Hierarchs of 10 Local Orthodox Churches held in Crete on 18-26 June 2016, as contained in the decision of the Holy Synod of July 15, 2016 (No. 48). This Council cannot be regarded as Pan-Orthodox, and the decisions made on it are not mandatory for all Orthodox Churches, since in the lack of the consent of a number of Local Autocephalous Churches for holding the Council on the earlier agreed terms, the principle of consensus was violated. At the same time, the Council in Crete should be recognized as a significant event in the history of the Orthodox Church.
39. An analysis of the documents of the Cretan Council conducted on behalf of the Holy Synod by the Synods Biblical and Theological Commission showed that some of them contain ambiguous wording, which does not allow us to regard them as exemplary expressions of the truths of the Orthodox faith and the Tradition of the Church. This is especially true in the document "Relations of the Orthodox Church with the rest of the Christian world", which was not signed by the 2/3 of the members of the delegation of the Serbian Orthodox Church, as well as by individual hierarchs of a number of other Local Churches who participated in the work of the Council in Crete, which indicates significant differences of opinion in relation to this document, even among the participants of the Cretan Council.
40. Members of the Council have taken an ambiguous attitude towards the Council held in Crete in the family of the Local Orthodox Churches, noting, among other things, the comments of the Holy Synods of the Patriarchates of Antioch (of June 27, 2016), of Bulgaria (from November 15, 2016) and of Georgia (December 22, 2016), expressing a critical attitude towards the Cretan Council. Also, the hierarchs of a number of other Local Churches, and the Sacred Community and the monasteries of Mount Athos, also made substantial comments on the documents of the Cretan Council and on the procedure for making decisions.
41. The Holy Synod expresses its confidence that the preservation and strengthening of the unity of the Holy Orthodox Church, irrespective of the attitude towards the Council held in Crete, is the common task of all the Local Autocephalous Churches, both those who participated in the work of the Council in Crete and those who abstained from participating in it. In this regard, the strengthening of inter-Orthodox relations is of particular importance.