27 January 2016, 16:23
Pan-Orthodox Council not to address Ukraine issue, transition to unified calendar
Chambesy, Switzerland, January 27, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said the issues of all Orthodox churches' transition to a unified calendar will not be on the agenda of the Pan-Orthodox Council scheduled to be held in June.
"It is very important that the calendar issue has been removed from the issues addressed by the Council. It concerned our believers greatly because false rumors were spread that everyone will be required to go over to the new style," Patriarch Kirill told reporters following a visit to Chambesy, Switzerland, where the heads of the Orthodox Churches met to discuss preparations for the Pan-Orthodox Council.
The patriarch recalled that many churches follow the Julian calendar and some follow the Gregorian calendar, "and a decision was made that the calendar issue will not be addressed by the Council to enable every Church to act in accordance with the adopted calendar."
The patriarch also said all documents that have been approved by the heads of the Orthodox churches and that will be addressed by the Council will be published in the very near future.
"Our Church insisted that there should be no embargo on these documents, but that people should be able to become familiar because many critical views on the upcoming Council were formed due to the absence of information. People did not know anything about the Council," he said.
The patriarch also said he expects "a good document on the mission of Orthodox faith in the modern world," and also a document on marriage, family and obstacles to marriage.
Responding to a question as to what he expects from the upcoming Council, the patriarch said: "Even more consolidation of the Orthodox world. I know that the Council will not address the Ukrainian issue, it will not address the possibility of granting autocephaly [to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate] or legalization of the schism, and that has been publicly confirmed by Patriarch [of Constantinople] Bartholomew."
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