THE GREAT ORTHODOX COUNCIL: ANTIOCH IS DIFFERENT

Source: First Things by Andrew Stephen Damick and Samuel Noble In his toast this past Thursday night on the eve of the Holy and Great Council, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, the first among equals of the bishops of the Orthodox Church, expressed his sympathy for the Church of Antioch, which is suffering in the face of militant Islam. He decried the intense and intricate problems, which the brother Primates and local Orthodox Churches face on the account of intolerance … [Read more...]

Holy and Great Council Convenes

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 … [Read more...]

Orthodox Primates celebrate Saturday of the Souls

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 … [Read more...]

Antiochian perspective on the “Holy and Great Council”: Harbinger of Storm or Passage to Calm?

Source: Ancient Faith Radio Archpriest Patrick B. O'Grady offers an Antiochian perspective on the "Holy and Great Council" currently taking place in Crete. Fr. Patrick is the pastor of St Peter the Apostle Antiochian Orthodox Church in Pomona, California, and Associate Fellow of The Antiochian Orthodox Institute, La Verne, California. Listen Here (Audio courtesy of Ancient Faith Radio)     Transcript Harbinger of Storm or Passage to Calm? by … [Read more...]

Orthodox Christian leaders make last-minute appeal for unity

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 … [Read more...]

Synaxis: Primates Acknowledge Pain in Absence of Missing Churches

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 … [Read more...]

Livestreaming of Holy and Great Council Events

Source: Press Office of the Holy and Great Council Several events of the Holy and Great Council, an historic gathering for the Orthodox Christian Churches and the first of its kind in 1200 years, are available to the public via livestreaming. The following events will be available at https://www.holycouncil.org/live at the listed times in local Crete (UTC +3): Sunday, June 19, 8:00 -- Orthros and Divine Liturgy of Holy Pentecost Monday, June 20, 11:00-14:00 -- Opening Session of the … [Read more...]

Greek foreign minister hosts welcome dinner for Primates

Source: Press Office of the Holy and Great Council His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew highlighted the importance of the Holy and Great Council at an official dinner hosted 16 June by Nikos Kotzias, minister of foreign affairs for the Hellenic Republic, for the Primates of the Orthodox Church who are presently in Crete.  His All Holiness emphasized that the “world is turning its attention with great expectations to the Orthodox Church, the ark of the pure Christian … [Read more...]

The Orthodox Church Stays in the Dark Ages

Source: Bloomberg View By Leonid Bershidsky Pope Francis' enormous popularity -- his Twitter accounts in different languages have a total of about 30 million followers, about as many as Bill Gates and more than Adele -- is a consequence of his openness to diversity and a softer approach to dogma. He represents a modernized Catholic Church. By contrast, the world's second biggest Christian denomination is proving so resistant to modernization that its plans to adopt some timid changes … [Read more...]

Primates continue to arrive, voice support for Holy and Great Council

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, … [Read more...]