Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Anticipating the "Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church"

I hope all Christians will join me in heeding Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew's call to remember in prayer the upcoming "Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church" that will convene at the Orthodox Academy in Crete June 16-27, 2016.

This event, for which planning began in 1961, has been compared to the Catholic Church's Second Vatican Council in terms of its significance for the life of the Orthodox Churches, internally and in relation to other Christian communions and the contemporary world. It is the first such full council of the Orthodox Churches held since the Seventh Ecumenical Council--the Second Council of Nicaea in AD 787.

Here are some links for those interested in learning more about the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church:

The web site maintained for the Council includes an informative historical overview and texts of key pre-conciliar documents. Among the latter, the document Relations of the Orthodox Church with the Rest of the Christian World may be of particular interest to readers of Ecclesial Theology.

In February 2016 the World Council of Churches issued a press release on preparations by the patriarchs of the autocephalous Orthodox Churches for the Council.

Here is a link to an audio interview with Bishop and Metropolitan Kallistos Ware about the Council.

An article by Crux magazine editor John L. Allen, Jr. published today (June 7) includes text from Allen's interview with Rev. John Chryssavgis, an archdeacon and theological adviser to Patriarch Bartholomew.

Rev. Chryssavgis also wrote an article for First Things offering "brief clarifications on basic questions surrounding the Council."

The venue for the Council, the Orthodox Academy in Crete, was the location for the plenary meeting of the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches that I attended in October 2009 as a representative of the Baptist World Alliance. Below are some photos I took of the facility on that occasion.

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