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Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America CHANIA, Crete (Greece) – The people, the island and the Church of Crete welcomed warmly His-All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew who arrived in Chania International Airport yesterday, June 15 to convene the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, which will take place June 19-26. At hand for the welcome were His Eminence Archbishop Irinaios of Crete, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Yiannis Amanatidis, the Governor of Crete Stavros Arnaoutakis, the Chief of Protocol Ambassador Aghi Balta, high ranking officers of the Armed Forces, local officials and clergy. Upon his…

Source: Press Office of the Holy and Great Council The Primates of the Orthodox Church arrived in Crete on June 16, 2016, to carry out their sacred mission, the convocation of the Holy and Great Council. They expressed their gratitude to the Greek people for hosting this historic meeting.  The Holy and Great Council will be held at the Orthodox Academy of Crete. The Orthodox Primates decided five months ago in Geneva, during their Synaxis, to realize a vision of many years and proclaim the unity of the Orthodox Church.  As His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania arrived in Crete,…

Source: Press Office of the Holy and Great Council On 16 June, leaders of the Orthodox Churches continued to arrive in Crete for the Holy and Great Council. His Beatitude Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, Ieronymos, stated this afternoon at the airport of Chania, Crete, that His Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem Theofilos, His Beatitude Patriarch of Serbia Irinej, and His Beatitude Archbishop of Albania, Anastasios, have all arrived, in order to participate in the Holy and Great Council, fulfilling a great mission. “We will make every effort to see to and approach the problems of all the world, of our…

Source: Ecumenical Patriarchate The arrival of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at Chania airport for the Holy and Great Council in Crete. His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew arrives at Chania airport in Chania, Crete accompanied by members of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America, for the Holy and Great Council. Στο αεροδρόμιο των Χανίων αφίχθη πριν από λίγη ώρα ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος συνοδευόμενος από μέλη της Αγίας και Ιεράς Συνόδου του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου και τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Γέροντα Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριο. Ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος θα προεδρεύσει των εργασιών της Αγίας…

Source: Pravoslavie.ru Alexandria – Theodoros II, the Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, appealed to all Local Orthodox Churches to participate in the Pan-Orthodox Council on Crete, reports Sedmitsa.ru, with reference to Romfea. In an interview given to radio station 98.4, Patriarch Theodoros regarded as an historical Church Council that which is to take place in June 2016 on the island of Crete. The Alexandrian Patriarch stated that “the Orthodox Church should be far from political, national, and racial affiliations. “It’s impossible to imagine that it would be possible in the last minutes to not come to the Church Council, in…

Source: New York Times By ANDREW HIGGINS MOSCOW — After 55 years of preparation, a landmark effort to promote unity among the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians turned into a showcase of disarray on Tuesday after the Russian church, the biggest of 14 Orthodox jurisdictions, announced that it would not take part in a historic conclave of church leaders scheduled to start this weekend. The gathering, known both as the Holy and Great Council and as the Pan-Orthodox Council, is scheduled to begin Sunday on the Greek island of Crete and to run through June 26. It had been under…

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity Heavenly king, Comforter, Spirit of truth, Who are present everywhere and fulfilling all things; Treasury of blessings and Source of Life: Come abide in us, Cleanse us of all stain And save our souls, O Good One. The members, friend and boards of Orthodox Christian Laity pray this prayer to the Holy Spirit along with our other prayers for positive results as the Holy and Great Council begins its deliberations with whoever is in attendance.  Be open to the Holy Spirit and work in synergy with the Holy Spirit.  The time to deliberate in a conciliar…

Source: Pravoslavie.ru by Athanasios Zoitakis Athonite monasticism has always stood on guard for the purity of Orthodoxy. Athonites have actively participated in the work of Church councils and came out against the unions of Lyons and Florence. Ecumenical contacts have repeatedly come under criticism from Athonites (letters to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, proclamations, reports of the Holy Kinot), however most Athonite monks throughout the whole history of the Holy Mountain have avoided zealous demonstrations and indiscriminate criticisms of the hierarchy. With filial respect and love and veneration Athonites have expressed their opinions, suggestions, and warnings, even ready, when danger hung over Orthodoxy,…

Source: Russia Today The landmark meeting of the heads of all Orthodox Christian churches could be postponed as five out of 14 churches have pulled out. The head of external relations at the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Hilarion, explains the situation to RT. After decades of preparation, the historic Pan-Orthodox Council was scheduled for June 16-25 in Crete, but several churches have either refused to attend, or called for the event to be postponed, including the Antiochian, Bulgarian, Georgian and finally Russian. “There are many problems among various Orthodox Churches… These disagreements might seem small but, for historical churches, these…

Source: National Catholic Register NEWS ANALYSIS: Denying Catholics status as “Church” is only one point of controversy for the foundering pan-Orthodox Council. BY VICTOR GAETAN The Holy and Great Council of Orthodox patriarchs, meeting for the first time in 1,139 years, appears to be unraveling. June 19 — Pentecost Sunday for Eastern-Orthodox Christians — is when the Pan-Orthodox Council is scheduled to open at a theological academy on the island of Crete. But on June 1, leadership of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church announced the council should be postponed until numerous unspecified issues are addressed, from guest seating and procedures for…

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