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Albanian, Cypriot Orthodox leaders defend pan-Orthodox council

June 10, 2016

Amid calls for the postponement of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, which is scheduled to begin on June 19 in Crete, Orthodox leaders in Albania and Cyprus came to the defense of the council and its agenda.

“The convening of the Great Council was decided unanimously by two Synaxes of the Primates of the Orthodox Churches without any objection being raised,” Archbishop Chrysostom of Cyprus said in a June 9 statement. “This reality ensures unity and unanimity among us, which is why we believe that any other statement or proposal, at the last moment, jeopardizes this unity; those who are complicit—knowingly or unknowingly—in disrupting this unity will bear the burden.”

“The cancellation of the convocation of the Holy and Great Synod cannot occur without a new decision taken by the body who decided on this convocation,” the Albanian Orthodox Church said in a statement issued the previous day. “It cannot be canceled at the last minute through declarations and messages delivered from various directions.”

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, as has the Serbian Orthodox Church.


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