The Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, also known as the Pan-Orthodox Council, is a planned synod of the bishops of all autocephalous local churches of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. The Council is set be held on the Greek island of Crete on June 16-27, after more than 50 years of preparations. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church, the Antiochian Orthodox Church, and the Serbian Orthodox Church refused to participate in the Council.
“This raises questions over its status. If a certain church — and we currently have three churches, which suggested to postpone the council — does not attend it, it is difficult to speak about pan-orthodox status of the council,” Legoyda told the Rossiya 24 television channel.
Earlier this week, the Russian Orthodox Church proposed to the Patriarchate of Constantinople to hold an extraordinary meeting no later than June 10 in the light of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church’s refusal to participate in the Pan-Orthodox Council. The proposal was denied, with the Patriarchate of Constantinople saying that the Council would be held despite the Bulgarian Church’s move, as no institutional structure could revise the conciliar process once it began.