A website, www.orthodoxcouncil.org, provides background information on the Holy and Great Council, which will meet in Crete June 16-27 and gathers representatives from the 14 autocephalous (internally self-governing) Orthodox Churches to discuss issues ranging from the mission of the Orthodox Church in the modern world and its relations with other Christian churches, to the importance of fasting and the sacrament of marriage.
The patriarchs of the 14 Churches, including the ancient churches of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, as well as more recent churches of Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Lands and Slovakia, Georgia, Greece, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Poland, will also discuss how the Orthodox Church determine autonomy and matters related to the Orthodox diaspora. The Churches have been preparing for this unprecedented Council for almost a century.
In a video announcing the Council, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew explains that “the foremost goal of this Pan-Orthodox Council is to demonstrate and declare the unity of the Orthodox Church as well as proclaim and pronounce a message of hope and love to the world.”
The website, www.orthodoxcouncil.org, includes the video from the Ecumenical Patriarch, along with other videos explaining the Holy and Great Council, resources for media and Orthodox parishes, and a listing of experts available for interviews. They include Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis, theological advisor to the Ecumenical Patriarch; Rev. Dr. Nathanael Symeonides, director of the Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America; Rev. Dr. Nicolas Kazarian, who teaches on political geography in Paris; and Dr. Brandon Gallaher, a professor of theology who is a member of the Exeter, UK parish of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Archdiocese of Russian Churches in Western Europe.
To Contact directly the Press Office of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, twitter: @EcPatrPress, email: EPpress@patriarchate.org, call: +1.212.774.0332