Catholic World News

Russian Patriarch discourages high expectations for pan-Orthodox council

February 03, 2016

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has warned against what he regards as unrealistic expectations for the outcome of the pan-Orthodox council that is scheduled to be held in Crete in June.

The unprecedented meeting of all the world's Orthodox patriarchs should not be described as an "ecumenical council," the Russian prelate said. The meeting has been called not to settle doctrinal questions, he explained, nor to "introduce any innovation in the liturgical life of the Church and her canonical order." 

"Certainly, no union of the Orthodox Church with the non-Orthodox is even mentioned" in the preparatory documents for the council, Patriarch Kirill said. He said that the meeting would focus on the relations between the Orthodox churches and other Christian bodies. 

As with other historic gatherings of Church leaders, Patriarch Kirill said that the meeting in Crete could be judged only in a broad historical context. The results of any Church council, he said, "become clear only after some-- sometimes very long-- time."

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