George Demacopoulos and Aristotle Papanikolaou
As many readers of Public Orthodoxy well know, the fate of the Holy and Great Pan-Orthodox Council, scheduled to begin next week, is presently uncertain. At the time of writing, the Patriarchates of Bulgaria, Antioch, and Georgia have retracted their prior consent to take part in the Council, citing insurmountable difficulties. The Patriarchates of Serbia and Russia are presently considering their options. Without the delegations of these local Churches, this Council will likely be transformed into another pre-conciliar Synaxis or it will be postponed altogether.
While recognizing that some issues remain unresolved, a global community of Orthodox scholars–not only theologians, but public intellectuals and pastors committed to Orthodox unity–believe that the painful process of overcoming misunderstanding and division needs to begin now and that the best vehicle for healing is the Pan-Orthodox Council itself.
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