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Russian Orthodox Church pulls out of Crete council

June 13, 2016

The Russian Orthodox Church will not send representatives to the Pan-Orthodox Council that is scheduled to open in Crete on June 19, the Moscow patriarchate has announced.

"We will not be able to participate," said Metropolitan Hilarion, the chief ecumenical official of the Moscow patriarchate. 

At an emergency meeting, called in response to decisions by several Orthodox bodies to pull out of the gathering, the Russian Orthodox Synod called for postponement of the gathering. 

The withdrawal of the Russian Orthodox Church, which is by far the largest of the world's Orthodox bodies, ends the hopes that the Pan-Orthodox Council-- an unprecedented gathering that has been planned for 50 years-- would be a worldwide demonstration of unity among the Orthodox churches.


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  • Posted by: stpetric - Jun. 14, 2016 6:51 PM ET USA

    I've had a longstanding love for Orthodoxy, and I pray regularly for reconciliation between us. But they don't appear even to want unity among themselves, much less with us. This is very discouraging.