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Source: The National Herald By TNH Staff / Dennis Menos Amid all the speculation in the media concerning the upcoming Holy and Great Orthodox Council, and of the many opportunities and challenges that it will confront, it is only natural for Orthodox faithful to be hopeful but also apprehensive. Will the Council, is a question often heard, turn out to be Orthodoxy’s greatest moment in the modern era? What about the key issues that confront the Church? Will the Council be successful in resolving them and help guide the Church into a more productive tomorrow? With respect to the first question,…

Source: Change.org / A Plea for Pan-Orthodox Unity June 12, 2016 Feast of the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council An Open Letter of the Orthodox Scholars around the World To the most venerable Primates of the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches Your All-Holiness and Your Beatitudes, We, the undersigned international group of Orthodox scholars, address this letter to the leadership of the Orthodox Church, to all Orthodox Christians around the world, and to all people of good will. We write out of profound concern for our Church, whose unity makes the new life in Christ visible to all humanity. We…

Source: Holy and Great Council Kolymvari, Crete, Greece – The Messaging Committee for the Holy and Great Council convened for the fourth day at the Orthodox Academy of Crete.  His Eminence Metropolitan Amphilohije of Montenegro, a senior Metropolitan of the Church of Serbia, presided this morning over the Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal and Stavropegial Monastery of “Gonia”.  His Eminence Metropolitan Amphilohije explained to the congregation about the importance of the Holy and Great Council which will “gather in the same place” 20-25 June in the Orthodox Academy of Crete. He added that the Council will convene with the participation of…

Source: The National Herald By Theodore Kalmoukos BOSTON, MA – The Moscow Patriarchate’s Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, spoke with TNH about the Orthodox Church’s Holy and Great Council, scheduled to begin on June 16 in Chania, Crete. Essentially, Metropolitan Hilarion is first in ranking after His Beatitude Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. The interview follows. TNH: Your Eminence, what are your thoughts about the upcoming Holy and Great Council? MH: The Holy and Great Council ought to be the most wide-ranging and representative of the Councils of the past thousand years. It was been in direct preparation for more…

Source: Holy and Great Council Kolymvari, Crete, Greece June 11, 2016 Orthodox Churches Plant Seeds for Unity Despite Tough Conditions Messaging Committee Convenes in Communion  The budding fruits of the upcoming Holy and Great Council began forming when the “Messaging Committee” convened. Τhe Messaging Committee is a gathering that expresses faith in collective roots despite a rocky history, which stretches across hundreds of years and unimaginably diverse cultures. The Orthodox Churches of the world are working together to unite perspectives of the Message, showing unprecedented collaboration by simply gathering to talk together at a table. His Eminence Metropolitan George of Paphos presided…

Source: Pravoslavie.ru by Met. Hierotheos Vlachos The Great and Holy Council, which is due to gather in June of 2016 in Crete, was “the expectation” of many whose vision it was, and who tired in order to prepare for it, and now the Council finally moves towards its convocation. The question here put forth is whether the Holy and Great Council really is the one awaited by those who originally envisioned it. Much has been written and said about this subject. Some express their joy, because the longed for hour has finally come. Others express deep concern, deep hesitation, and others…

Source: Sputnik News Russian Orthodox Church spokesman Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk has not departed for Crete to attend the Pan-Orthodox Council on the Greek island of Crete after the church decided to suspend its participation following the refusal of several orthodox churches to take part, a church source told RIA Novosti Friday. MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, also known as the Pan-Orthodox Council, is a planned synod of the bishops of all autocephalous local churches of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. The Council is set be held on the Greek island of Crete on June 16-27, after more than 50 years of preparations. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church,…

Source: Orthodox England Two Local Orthodox Churches, Bulgaria and Antioch, have withdrawn from the Crete meeting, organized by Phanar bureaucrats in Constantinople. The Georgian Church, savagely insulted by the Phanar (just as it also insulted the Bulgarian Church, causing a diplomatic incident, and the Church of Greece, whose canonical territory it invaded) for its faithfulness to Orthodoxy, may not attend. The Serbian Church has called for the meeting to be postponed and the Russian Church, 75% of the whole, has called for an emergency conference to convene to discuss the problems and mediate. If the Russian Church does not attend…

Source: Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Church 1. Message of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church concerning the convocation of the Holy and Great Council to be held on  Crete on the occasion  of the feast-day of the Holy Trinity, from 17th to the 27th of June 2016. The Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church № 62/min. 164 25. Мay 2016 Belgrade МESSAGE OF THE HOLY ASSEMBLY OF BISHOPS OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH to Primates and Holy Synods of the Local Orthodox Churches In the days of the most joyful Christian…

Source: Ecumenical Patriarchate by Rev. Cyril Hovorun Although only a few days remain until the Eastern Pentecost, when the Pan-Orthodox council has been scheduled, uncertainty remains whether the gathering in Crete will take place. It is the same uncertainty which I described more than two years ago in my CWR article “The Fragile Promise of the Pan-Orthodox Council”. In recent days, the promise of the Council has become particularly fragile. The final meters of the pre-conciliar marathon, which the Orthodox Churches have ran for more than fifty years, has turned into a tense drama. As the race becomes a sprint…

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