Despite New Pullout by Russia, Orthodox Synod to Take Place as Scheduled

Despite New Pullout by Russia, Orthodox Synod to Take Place as Scheduled


According to an article  in the Associated Press by Patrick Quinn and Derek Gatopoulos, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I  said the historic meeting of church leaders, the Holy and Great Council, will take place on the Greek island of Crete despite a pullout by Russia.

His All-Holiness, the Patriarch of Constantinople who ranks as “the first among equals,” said he hopes the Russian church and three others who have chosen not to come will change their minds.

The weeklong Holy and Great Council, which is to begin on Pentecost Sunday, was meant to bring together the leaders of the 14 autocephalous Orthodox churches to promote unity among the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians.

Earlier today, the Serbian Orthodox Church announced it would take part in the historic meeting, but added it would pull out if “all questions, problems and differences” among the different Orthodox churches, including the ones which will not be present, “are not taken into account.”


The article went on the clarify that “Unlike the Roman Catholics, the Orthodox churches are independent and have their own leadership… regardless of the size of their flock.”


The article also reported that Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis,  Archdeacon of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and spokesperson said the other churches attending have been puzzled about what had changed in five months to prompt the pullouts.

“All 14 decided to come, nothing has changed but their minds,” he said.

Click here for the full article.

More information on the Holy and Great Council

For more information on the Holy and Great Council go to the official website You can also visit the Ecumenical Patriarchate Press Office at


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