Monday, May 31, 2010

+Patriarch Bartholomew is willing to advance convening of the All-Orthodox Coucil

Strelna, May 31, Interfax - Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople thinks it necessary to advance convening of the All-Orthodox Council with the participation of all local Orthodox Churches.

"We decided to facilitate the process of convening the holy and great Council of all Orthodox Churches," Patriarch Bartholomew said in an interview to Vesti 24 TV which was recorded Sunday in the Constantinovsky Palace in Strelna near St. Petersburg.

He referred to the Council as one of the major objectives for the Constantinople Church and stated that the Council and its outcomes would "have the greatest impact on the entire Orthodox world."

According to him, the event's agenda "has been already set up and is well-known to the Orthodox community," it covers ten major points, including the principles of autocephaly and autonomy of the Orthodox Churches, challenges of fasting, and a set of issues related to diptych (the order of mentioning Churches during service - IF.)

"Our Orthodox Church continuously seeks to keep up with the times avoiding to give up anything of its teaching, but at the same time, respond to the spirit of the time helping believers to stand up to the current real world," Patriarch Bartholomew said.

The preliminary work to convene the Council was started as far back as 1960s. The All-Orthodox Council is preceded with the meetings of All-Orthodox Pre-Council Conference and Inter-Orthodox Preparatory Commission. The Council shall decide the problems which have been accumulating within several centuries, from the time of the last 7th Ecumenical Council, which should be addressed by the entire Church.


rick allen said...

Would this gathering be considered the eighth ecumenical council by the Orthodox, or something short of that?

Chris Jones said...

It is not really possible to tell in advance that a given council is genuinely "ecumenical." No council that is now venerated as ecumenical was universally recognized as such at the time that it convened -- even the first council at Nicaea was not generally accepted for the better part of a century after it met. And many councils that were intended to be "ecumenical" were ultimately rejected by the Church at large (e.g. the Robber Council of Ephesus and the iconoclast council of Hieira).

So the only answer to your question is, time will tell.

Fr John W Fenton said...

In the light of Vatican II and other attempts to "update" religion, this statement sticks out as a matter of concern:

"Our Orthodox Church continuously seeks to keep up with the times..."

Perhaps the original text is not as it sounds to my ears.

Chris Jones said...

Fr John,

That quote brought me up short as well, but it is good to keep in mind that there is at least one translation -- and possibly two -- between what His All-Holiness said and what we read in this English version. Presumably the Patriarch was speaking in Greek, and the Interfax report of his remarks was a Russian translation, which was then translated into English. Clearly the English translation is a poor one, since the English version is not quite grammatical ("avoiding to give up anything of its teaching" is certainly not correct English usage).

In these circumstances it is difficult to say exactly what the Patriarch really meant. I don't care for the notion of "keeping up with" the times; but the idea of "standing up to" the world is more in keeping with a proper Christian attitude to the present age. Unfortunately it is impossible to tell whether either of these English idioms properly reflects the Patriarch's meaning.

reader joseph said...

yes, but IIRC, some of the 10 points given earlier had to do with fasting, the marriage of Orthodox to non-Orthodox, the calendar, and some other things that were rather remarkable to my ears.

does anyone know where that list of 10 points is on the internet? i know it was published, but can't find it.

Anonymous said...

God help us if our Hierarchs try to take on anything beyond orderly administration of the Eastern Churches.