THE TIME FOR ORTHODOX UNITY IS NOW!

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Source: Press Office of the Holy and Great Council CRETE—The official texts of the opening speeches and adresses for the Holy and Great Council are available at https://www.holycouncil.org/documents in their original languages. Translations will be posted as they become available. More than 320 journalists, representing 138 media outlets and 25 countries, have received credentials for the Council. Daily media briefings are broadcast live at approximately 15.30 GMT +3 (8:30 am EDT) at https://www.holycouncil.org/live, and available as video on demand. The Council continues meeting through June 25, concluding with the Divine Liturgy on June 26. On June 25, the Closing Session of…

Source: Press Office of the Holy and Great Council CRETE—On the second day of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, the Divine Liturgy was held at the Sacred Patriarchal and Stavropegial Monastery of Gonia, with His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem presiding from the throne. Afterward, the Hierarchs continued their work in the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Sessions of the Council. The Third Session of the Council continued the discussion on The Mission of the Orthodox Church in Today’s World, while the Fourth and Fifth Sessions focused on The Orthodox Diaspora. Following extensive discussion, various suggestions and…

Source: Press Office of the Holy and Great Council His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew offered a toast on behalf of the Primates of the Local Orthodox Autocephalous Churches, at a luncheon hosted in their honor by the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos.  His All-Holiness thanked the beloved Greek people for their prayerful presence and support of the work of the Holy and Great Council, promising that Orthodoxy shall fulfill her historic duty and responsibility. His All-Holiness added that “Orthodoxy constitutes a real and permanent place of peaceful coexistence and stability in the modern – torn – world, a true source of peace for all the peoples.  The word of the…

Source: Press Office of the Holy and Great Council CRETE—After more than 60 years of planning, the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church convened its opening session on the island of Crete on Monday, June 20, on the Feast of the Holy Spirit. After the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at the nearby Monastery of Gonia, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew formally opened the proceedings of the Council. With one voice and one heart, the Hierarchs of the Council chanted the hymn of Pentecost, invoking the descent of the Holy Spirit to transform their work for the benefit…

Source: Press Office of the Holy and Great Council His Beatitude Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, Theodoros, celebrated the Divine Liturgy on 18 June at the Holy Cathedral of the Annunciation in Kissamos. His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and other Primates of the Orthodox Church attended the service in prayer. Today, Saturday of the Souls, the Orthodox Church commemorates the souls of the departed, offering special prayers for all those, now departed, who worked for the realization of the Holy and Great Council.    The Greek government was represented by Panagiotis Kouroumblis, minister of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction, and Ioannis…

Source: The National Herald By Associated Press Orthodox Christian leaders meeting for a historic council aimed at promoting unity have made a last-minute appeal to the Russian Orthodox Church and three others to attend the first such gathering in more than a millennium. A spokesman for Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I says the leaders of 10 out of the 14 Orthodox churches that were supposed to convene on the Greek island of Crete will seek to resolve the issues that made the four churches decide not to attend. Rev. John Chryssavgis says the church leaders met on Friday and would…

Source: Russian Orthodox Church Department for External Church Relations His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has sent a message to the Primates and representative of Local Orthodox Churches who have assembled in the Island of Crete. Below is the full text of the message. To His Holiness Bartholomew Archbishop of Constantinople – the New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch  To their Holinesses and Beatitudes the Primates of Holy Churches of God  To archpastors, pastors, monastics and laity who have assembled on the Island of Crete  Your Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew, Your Holinesses and Beatitudes, The Most Reverend Fellow-Archpastors, The…

Source: Press Office of the Holy and Great Council CRETE — Following a doxology and morning prayer service, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew convened the Synaxis (gathering) of the Primates of the local autocephalous Orthodox Churches. This meeting was scheduled in January 2016 to provide the Primates the opportunity to review a draft of the Council’s Message, review the Council’s agenda, and address outstanding matters. During their deliberations, the Primates acknowledged that they are pained by the absence of the Patriarchate of Antioch, and the Churches of Russia, Bulgaria, and Georgia. They expressed their prayers that the Holy Spirit would inspire…

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity Interview of Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis by Gayle E. Woloschak, Ph. D Congratulations to the Patriarchate for convening the meeting.   In this age of communication we hope that this is the first of yearly meetings of the Patriarchs or their representatives.  Why not propose that the Orthodox Patriarchs set up a Secretariat where all of them employ their representatives to work on matters on a daily basis.   The world would know where they can call the Orthodox Church and the Church will not be seen as fragmented?  One of the anticipated goals of this Council is…

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