“The Council will not be held in Istanbul. The position of the Russian Church was accepted. We proposed Athos, or Rhodes, or some other place, but the Patriarch of Constantinople proposed Crete,” Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia told reporters after ending his visit to Shambesy, Switzerland, where Orthodox church leaders met earlier to discuss preparations for the Pan-Orthodox Council.
This Greek island is under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople, this place was proposed because “it has the most favorable conditions: there is a room for 400 people, accommodation, and Crete is a venue for very many of different conferences, including theological ones,” the Russian Church leader said.
“We know this place well and, of course, we accepted Crete as the Council venue,” Patriarch Kirill said.
For his part, the Patriarch’s spokesperson Priest Alexander Volkov told Interfax-Religion that the Council will begin on June 19, the Holy Trinity Day.
The Pan-Orthodox Council has not been convened in over 1,000 years and preparations have been underway for over half a century now. In 2014 Orthodox church leaders decided to convene the Pan-Orthodox Council in Istanbul on 2016, but with a reservation: “unless impeded by unforeseen circumstances.”