Bulgarian Church Demands a Postponement of the Pan-Orthodox Council

Natalya Mihailova | 02 June 2016
2 June. PRAVMIR. The Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church demanded to defer the convocation of the Pan-Orthodox Council, scheduled for 16-26 June 2016, to enable a more thorough preparation of the said Council.

Alternatively, the Bulgarian Church withdraws from participation in the Pan-Orthodox Council, as outlined in the decision of the Synod published on the Church’s website.

The statement listed the reasons which the Bulgarian Church sees as objections to the convocation of the Council.  Among them is the absence from the agenda of topics of particular importance for Orthodox Christianity, “that have contemporary relevance and require timely Pan-Orthodox resolution.” What exactly those topics are the statement does not say.

The other reason for the withdrawal is “the disagreements already officially declared by the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches on the proposed editing of the documents of the upcoming Pan-Orthodox Council,” as well as the ban on the editing of the texts of the Council’s documents in the course of the discussions.  The Council can only adopt or reject documents that have been previously approved and published.

Moreover, the Bulgarian Church considers that the proposed seating arrangements for the Primates of the Orthodox Churches in the room to be used for meetings of the Council “violate the principle of equality of the Primates of the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches.” The Synod also objected to the proposed arrangements of the accommodation of the observers and guests of the Council.

Finally, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church referred to the need to undertake large and unjustified expenses in the event of the Bulgarian Church participating in the Council.

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