The Moscow Patriarchate Diocese of Korsun greets the participants in the 4th Pan-Orthodox Pre-Council Conference who have gathered in Chambesy, Switzerland, and wishes you blessed success in your work ahead for the good of the entire Orthodoxy.
Aware of the significance of questions posed by this Conference, we hope that its participants will pay their kind attention to the problems existing in the Orthodox world in France and to the experience accumulated by the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops in France in the recent ten years.
This experience shows that for independent Local Orthodox Churches in France it is important to have a body for coordinating their work in this country. The experience gained in this area can also benefit others. At the same time there are also real threats to Orthodoxy in France, which make us all think deeply over its future as we see increasingly alarming tendencies. Throughout the recent years we have seen a growing tendency of one jurisdiction’s dominance at the expense of the principle of conciliarity inherent in the Orthodox Church. The Assembly of Orthodox Bishops in France becomes ever more a tool for one jurisdiction to achieve its own goals, as its representative is the Assembly’s permanent chairman. This happens at a time when in all similar religious structures in France, including the Roman Catholic Church, the chairmen are elected by their fellow members.
The time has come to state unequivocally: the chairman of the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops should be elected by all its members since it is in the interests of all the Orthodox Churches. This will ensure a successful and fruitful coordination work of Orthodox Assemblies.
We consider it our duty to report these ideas and proposals to the participants of your distinguished assembly and assure you of our continuous prayers.