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Patriarch of Constantinople calls prelates to prepare for Pan-Orthodox Synod

Catholic World News - January 07, 2014

Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople has called together the patriarchs and metropolitans of the Orthodox world to prepare for a Pan-Orthodox Synod in 2015.

The Ecumenical Patriarch, the acknowledged “first among equals” of the world’s Orthodox prelates, is asking all Orthodox leaders to gather in Istanbul in March to plan for next year’s Synod. The Pan-Orthodox Synod is seen as a major effort to bring unity to the Orthodox world, providing for cooperation among national churches.

However, plans for the Synod have encountered resistance from the Russian Orthodox Church, the world’s largest Orthodox body. The Moscow patriarchate has resisted Constantinople, and rejected the notion that the Ecumenical Patriarch enjoys a sort of primacy in the Orthodox world.

In a related development, the Patriarchate of Constantinople has released a statement criticizing the Russian Orthodox leadership for its stance on primacy. The Moscow patriarchate “is merely formulating a sophistry” in its argument against accepting the primacy of Constantinople, the statement argues.

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