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Serbian Orthodox Church joins in plea to postpone Crete Council

June 09, 2016

The Serbian Orthodox Church has joined in the call for a postponement of the Pan-Orthodox Council that is scheduled to open in Crete on June 19.

In a message to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, the Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Irinej writes that because some Orthodox churches have already pulled out of the Council, the Serbian Synod "proposes that it be postponed for a certain time." He goes on to suggest that the meeting in Crete could be transformed into "a pre-synodal, inter-Orthodox consultation" to plan for a more general Council, which could take place "when all disagreements are removed in favor of unity of mind and consensus of churches."

The Serbian Synod did not rule out participation in the Council-- which the Ecumenical Patriarchate has insisted will take place on schedule. However, Patriarch Irinej said that "our Church finds it difficult to participate in the summoned Holy and Great Synod."

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Patriarchate of Antioch have already said that they will not take part in the Council in Crete. The Patriarchate of Moscow-- by far the largest of the Orthodox churches-- has called for postponement of the long-awaited event. 


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