Istanbul (AsiaNews ) - The "sacred and great" pan-Orthodox
Synod will be held in Istanbul in 2016 at the Cathedral of St. Irene. In the
meantime, the Orthodox Churches, a
Preparatory Commission - composed of a bishop from each church will begin preparatory
work "in a fruitful manner" for the meeting . The same group will
then serve as the secretariat during the meeting. This was decided by the Synaxis
, the meeting of all the heads of the Orthodox Churches, gathered at the
initiative of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I.
Prior to this pan-Orthodox meeting , convened in theory to discuss the
situation in the Middle East and Ukraine , the head of the Phanar and the
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill had a long private discussion . Kirill's
participation was in doubt until the
very last, as the Russian patriarch had asked for "another date and another
location" for the meeting . In the end, however, he was present when the
According to some reports, the great Synod of the Orthodox Churches will
be attended by 20 bishops from each Church (if each church has that many),
every church will have a single vote during the final voting , decisions will
be taken by consensus (ie, by the unanimous vote of the Fathers present).
In the Orthodox world historically there the autocephalous patriarchates
of Alexandria , Antioch and Jerusalem , while the Ecumenical Patriarchate of
Constantinople is called the " Mother Church", as she gave birth to
the Churches of Moscow , Bulgaria, Serbia , etc. .
Currently, two realities coexist within the Orthodox world . Firstly, Constantinople, towards which the
patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Sofia, Belgrade, the Churches
of Greek language and culture , and the Church of Albania look. Secondly, the
Patriarchate of Moscow which includes Georgia and the Churches of Poland and
the Czech Republic; and, surprisingly, the Patriarchate of Romania. The Moscow
Patriarchate does little to hide its hegemonic ambitions, especially among the
Orthodox diaspora .
The decision to
convene a pan-Orthodox Synod seems to finally draw to a close an issue that has
lasted for at least five decades. The Eastern Churches are autocephalous, and
the internal discussions of the Orthodox world, there have been significant divisions
that have prevented the possibility of a joint discussion . Perhaps the most
critical moment was when Moscow - at the time led by Alexei II - ceased to name
the patriarch of Constantinople in liturgies, as a reaction to Bartholomew I's
proximity to the Orthodox Church of Estonia. The tension between the two
patriarchates - derived from a theological discussion on the issue of "primus inter parese"
- had effectively barred any progress on the preparation of a pan-Orthodox