Moscow, February 4, Interfax - Head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Hilarion says there is no grounds for the concerns of some believers about the coming Pan-Orthodox Council.
"Unfortunately, there have been many rumors around this Council. For example, they say it will be 'the eighth Ecumenical Council,' it will be 'anti-Christ,' the union with Catholics will be concluded, all fasts will be abolished, priests will be allowed to marry for the second time, it will be a modernist council," the metropolitan said on Wednesday at a press conference in Moscow, resuming the results of the Bishops' Council.
He says that the DECR receives letters urging not to participate in the 'Ecumenical' or 'anti-Christ' council every day. The hierarch also told that the Russian Church had many concerns about the meeting, for example, that some decisions would be imposed on its participants, for example, approving of a new church calendar.
"We achieved that all decisions in the Pan-Orthodox Council will be taken by consensus," the metropolitan stressed.
According to him, every local church will send a delegation of 24 hierarchs, but each Church will have one voice and if "even one Church is against any decision, this decision won't be taken."
Besides, questions that were not previously agreed will not be put on the agenda and all the documents worked out in course of preparations to the council are published.
The Pan-Orthodox Council has not been convened for more than a thousand years and has been already prepared for more than half a century. In 2014, primates of the Orthodox Churched made a decision to convene the Council in 2016 in Istanbul, though saying "if unseen circumstances would not impede it." At their meeting in Chambesy (Switzerland), Orthodox leaders have decided to hold the Council on the island of Crete from June 16 to June 27.