On 29 March 2016, the first meeting of the Pan-Orthodox Secretariat of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church began at the Orthodox Centre of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Chambésy, near Geneva, under the chairmanship of Metropolitan Jeremiah of Switzerland (Patriarchate of Constantinople).
The Pan-Orthodox Secretariat was established in compliance with a decision of the Synaxis of Primates of the Local Churches held in Chambésy on January 21-28. Each generally recognized autocephalous Church delegated one representative to make up the Secretariat. According to the decision of the Synaxis, the Secretariat has the following tasks:
- To post the texts that are on the Council’s agenda and were adopted by the pan-Orthodox pre-Council conferences and the Synaxes of the Primates, on a special web page created for that purpose;
- To inform the mass media, with the assistance of special advisers, about the proceedings and goals of the Council;
- To provide, on the recommendation of the Orthodox Churches, accreditation to the journalists and correspondents expressing interest in the Council’s work; and
- To tackle other issues related to the secretarial support of the Council.
With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the Russian Orthodox Church will be represented at the Pan-Orthodox Secretariat by archpriest Nikolai Balashov, vice-chairman of the Department for External Church Relations. Rev. Anatoly Churyakov takes part in the meeting in his capacity as the DECR interpreter.
Among those participating in the meeting of the Pan-Orthodox Secretariat are also: Archbishop Job of Telmessos (Patriarchate of Constantinople); Metropolitan Alexandros of Nigeria (Patriarchate of Alexandria); Metropolitan Silvan of Buenos Aires (Patriarchate of Antioch); Prof. Theodoros Yiangou (Patriarchate of Jerusalem); Metropolitan Andrei of Gorij and Aten (Georgian Patriarchate); Bishop Irinej of Bačka (Serbian Patriarchate); Metropolitan Nifon of Târgovişte (Romanian Patriarchate); Metropolitan Joan of Varna (Bulgarian Patriarchate); Metropolitan Basilios of Konstantia (Orthodox Church of Cyprus); Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Messinia (Orthodox Church of Greece); Metropolitan Joan of Korça (Albanian Orthodox Church); and Bishop Jerzy of Siemiatycze (Polish Orthodox Church); Archbishop Michal of Prague (Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia).
DECR Communication Service