Moscow, January 13, 2016
The meeting devoted to preparation for the Pan-Orthodox Council, scheduled for January 21 this year, may be moved to a suburb of Geneva, instead of the Council itself, as was mistakenly reported earlier by some media.
The meeting of primates of all the fifteen Local Orthodox Churches – the Synaxis – formerly scheduled for January 21, will most probably be postponed to a later date and will be held in Geneva instead of Istanbul, reports TASS.
Chambesy, a suburb of Geneva where the Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is located, can become the venue of this meeting, reported the Secretary for Inter-Orthodox Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR) Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk to TASS.
“It seems to us that because of the current difficult political situation around Turkey the Council may be moved to Geneva,” the archpriest said. However, he noted that “there have been yet no official statements concerning this”. According to him, it is expected that the document will be published “one of these days”.
DECR Chairman, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk, more than once reported concerning the difficulties that have emerged during the preparations for the Pan-Orthodox Council. In one of his latest speeches Chairman of the newly-established Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for Relations of the Church with Society and News Media, Vladimir Legoida said that, “In the course of the correspondence between primates of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Patriarchate of Constantinople, no one has been able to reach a consensus on important issues in the preparation of the Pan-Orthodox Council.” In addition to this, the Special Inter-Orthodox Committee that was formed to draw up the procedural rules for the coming Pan-Orthodox Council “encountered difficulties that it has not yet been able to overcome,” he related.