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Orthodox Patriarch underlines importance of worldwide Synod

March 21, 2016

"Orthodoxy is the Church of collegiality," Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople writes in an encylical letter released in preparation for this year's pan-Orthodox Synod meeting.

"The discernment between truth and lies, between orthodoxy and heresy, is not always easy," the Ecumenical Patriarch explains. Since the Church must proclaim the truth, he says, questions must be resolved. "The Orthodox Church in this case recognizes one, single authenticity: the Synod of its canonical bishops."

The Orthodox Patriarch's letter emphasizes the crucial importance of the coming meeting of all the world's recognized Orthodox leaders. He notes that for many years such meetings have not occurred "for historical reasons," and the restoration of a worldwide consensus is necessary. 

Although "the world is waiting to hear the voice of the Orthodox Church on many of the burning issues that concern mankind today," Patriarch Bartholomew writes that this year's world Synod meeting will be devoted primarily to internal questions, to establish clear agreement on fundamental issues of Orthodox belief and governance. 

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