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Source: AMERICA – The National Catholic Review Council of Crete embraces outward-looking leadership During the week of June 19 on the island of Crete, the first global Orthodox Council to meet in more than 1,000 years—known as the “Holy and Great Council”—brought together more than 290 delegates, mostly bishops, representing 10 self-governing local Orthodox churches. I was privileged to serve as an external correspondent of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Press Office, headed by Rev. John Chryssavgis. Together with other members of my team, I lived through the dramatic events leading up to the council and was present at some conciliar sessions.…

Source: Crux Filipe Domingues July 9, 2016 SPECIAL TO CRUX Despite the fact that four of the fourteen independent Eastern Orthodox churches of the world opted not to show up, an expert on Orthodoxy insists that the “Holy and Great Council” in Crete in late June was significant, arguing that meeting together to hash out issues is part of the DNA of Orthodoxy. From June 19-26, leaders of ten of the fourteen “autocephalous,” or independent, Eastern Orthodox churches of the world met together on the island of Crete, marking the first time such a representative summit of Orthodox churches had…

Source: AMERICA – The National Catholic Review Paul L. Gavrilyuk Russia’s influence seen behind the scenes During the week of June 19, the leaders of the self-governing Orthodox churches worldwide gathered in council on the island of Crete. As the first global Council of the Orthodox Church in more than 1,000 years, this historic event promised to usher in a new era of conciliarity. I had a rare privilege of serving as an external correspondent for the Press Office of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, under the leadership of the Rev. John Chryssavgis. Together with other members of our team, I…

Source: In Communion by NICHOLAS SOOY By now, everyone has left Crete. Everything has been wrapped up. My skin, for its part in this, is a shade darker and a shade redder. The Council has ended. But the conciliar process has not. One of the phrases that is used in the Council documents is “liturgy after the liturgy.” This phrase is meant to capture the manifold ways in which prayer, love, and sacramentality are to shape the whole of life and the cosmos, and not just the experiences we have during liturgical services. After the liturgy each day at the Council,…

Source: Pravoslavie.ru Greek media is reporting that at least two documents put forth by the recently concluded Pan-Orthodox Council on Crete were not signed by all delegates. While the names of all delegate bishops from each of the ten represented Local Churches were added to each document by the Secretariat of the Holy and Great Council, there were those who abstained from signing the documents “The Sacrament of Marriage and its Impediments” and “Relations of the Orthodox Church with the Rest of the Christian World.” It is reported that Met. Hierotheos (Vlachos) of Nafpatkos and Agios Vlasios, who had a…

Source: Pravoslavie.ru The Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church concerned itself with the matter of the canonical organization of the Orthodox Diaspora. Therefore, the respective documents were discussed concerning the Orthodox Diaspora and the Rules of Operation of Episcopal Assemblies in the Diaspora, which were submitted by the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference (Chambésy, 2009), and by the Synaxis of Primates of the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches (January 21-28, 2016), approving them with some minor amendments as follows: It is affirmed that is the common will of all of the most holy Orthodox Churches that the problem of the Orthodox…

Source: Pravoslavie.ru The Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church concerned itself with the matter ofAutonomy and the Means by Which it is Proclaimed. Therefore, the respective document, which was submitted by the Fifth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference (Chambésy, October 10-17, 2009) was discussed and was approved with some minor amendments as follows: The questions of the text examined by the Council addressed: a) the concept, nature, and various forms of the institution of autonomy; b) the prerequisites for a local Church to request autonomy from the autocephalous Church to which it belongs; c) the exclusive prerogative of an autocephalous…

Source: Pravoslavie.ru ENCYCLICAL OF THE HOLY AND GREAT COUNCIL OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit With a hymn of thanksgiving, we praise and worship God in Trinity, who has enabled us to gather together during the days of the feast of Pentecost here on the island of Crete, which has been sanctified by St. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, and his disciple Titus, his “true son in the common faith” (Tit 1.4), and, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to conclude the sessions of this…

Source: Pravoslavie.ru The Orthodox Church, as the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, in her profound ecclesiastical self-consciousness, believes unflinchingly that she occupies a central place in the matter of the promotion of Christian unity in the world today. The Orthodox Church founds the unity of the Church on the fact of her establishment by our Lord Jesus Christ, and on the communion in the Holy Trinity and in the sacraments. This unity is expressed through the apostolic succession and the patristic tradition and is lived out in the Church up to the present day. The Orthodox Church has the…

Source: Pravoslavie.ru The contribution of the Orthodox Church in realizing peace, justice, freedom, fraternity and love between peoples, and in the removal of racial and other discriminations. For God so loved the world that he gave his Only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (Jn 3:16). The Church of Christ exists in the world, but is not of the world (cf. Jn 17:11, 14-15). The Church as the Body of the incarnate Logos of God (John Chrysostom, Homily before Exile, 2 PG 52, 429) constitutes the living “presence” as the sign and image…

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