20 June 2016, 12:45
Crete forum not to address Ukrainian issue - Constantinople Patriarchate
Moscow, June 20, Interfax - The meeting between the heads of the Orthodox Churches on Crete will not address the address of Ukraine's Verkhovnaya Rada to Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew and other issues associated with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
"The Ukraine issue is not on the agenda of the Council, and it cannot be changed," Archbishop Job of Telmessos, a representative of the Constantinople Patriarchate, who is taking part in the Crete forum, said.
According to earlier reports, the Verkhovnaya Rada last week issued an address to Patriarch Bartholomew calling for the issuance of a tomos on the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine and the invalidation of the act of 1686 according to which the Kiev metropolitan was allegedly attached to the Moscow Patriarchate 'in violation of canons'.
At the same time, Archbishop Job did not rule out that the official address of Verkhovnaya Rada deputies will be discussed by the Holy Synod of the Constantinople Patriarchate, "as it happens with every important issue," when Patriarch Bartholomew receives it.
The Crete forum opens on Monday. It will last until June 25. The forum will address six issues: relations between the Orthodox Church and the rest of the Christian world, attitudes to fasting, marriage, the church's mission in the contemporary world, spiritual guidance of Orthodox Christians in the diaspora, and methods of proclaiming the autonomy of Orthodox Churches.
The Bulgarian, Antioch, Georgian, Serbian and Russian Churches earlier called for the Council to be rescheduled to resolve differences and make improvements to its draft documents. However, the Constantinople Patriarchate, which is in charge of preparations for the forum, declined the initiative and insisted on holding the Council on the designated dates.
The Serbian Church agreed to take part in the forum, reserving the right to leave the meeting if its participants refuse to take into account the existing issues, problems and differences.
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