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Source: Deseret News By Tom Heneghan, Religion News Service The Russian Orthodox Church, whose boycott of a major summit of Orthodox Christian leaders in Crete last month threatened to slow down efforts to promote greater unity, has declared the meeting “an important event in the history of the conciliar process.” The church’s synod, in its official reaction to the June 20-26 Holy and Great Council, also said the meeting could not be called “pan-Orthodox” because four of the 14 independent Orthodox member churches did not attend. The Moscow Patriarchate, which represents between half and two-thirds of the world’s 300 million…

Source: Orthodox Ethos An “Open Letter” from Athonite Fathers to the Holy Community of the Holy Mountain of Athos is calling for an immediate convocation of the governing body of Mt. Athos in order to condemn the “false council” of Crete and cease the comemoration of the Patriarch of Constantinople on Mt. Athos. OVER 60 Hieromonk and monks, with a disciple of Saint Paisios, Elder Gabriel of the Kelli of St. Christodoulos (Holy Monastery of Koutloumosiou) at their head, have written an open letter to the Holy Community of Mt. Athos calling upon the Abbots to reject the Council in…

Source: Interfax Moscow, July 15, Interfax – The Council which took place in Crete on June 20-25 cannot be regarded as pan-Orthodox, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church said in Moscow on Friday. “The Holy Synod determined that the Council, which took place in Crete, cannot be regarded as pan-Orthodox, and the documents it approved as expressing a pan-Orthodox consensus,” said the head of the Synodal Department for Church, Society and Media Relations Vladimir Legoyda, commenting on the results of a Synod meeting. The meeting attendees acknowledged that the Council, which was attended by abbots and hierarchs from…

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…

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