Chambésy (Agenzia Fides) - The pan-Orthodox "Holy and Great Council" will be held from 16 to 27 June at the Orthodox Academy of the Greek island of Crete. This was decided by the primates of the autocephalous Orthodox Churches gathered from January 21 to 28 at the Orthodox Centre of Chambésy (Geneva) at the invitation of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. The final communiqué lists the themes, officially approved, that will be part of the agenda of the Synod. Among them, in addition to the "mission of the Orthodox Church in the Modern World", the question of the relations of the Orthodox Church with other Christian churches is also included.
In Chambésy, the Primates of the Orthodox Churches also approved the participation of non-Orthodox observers during the opening and closing sessions of the Holy and Great Council.
The meeting in Chambesy was summoned to define the text that will be on the agenda of the pan-Orthodox synod, which was to be held in Istanbul, but due to the rising tensions between Turkey and Russia, the synod will now be held in Crete. Crete, island under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, was chosen as the new location because it offers more favorable logistical conditions, and for having already hosted theological conferences.
In the final communiqué, sent to Agenzia Fides, the Primates of the Orthodox Churches also expressed their support for the persecuted Christians in the Middle East and their constant concern for the two metropolitans of Aleppo - Greek Orthodox Boulos Yazigi and Syrian Orthodox Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim - abducted in April 2013. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 29/01/2016).