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Pan-Orthodox Council not to address Ukraine issue, transition to unified calendar

Source: Interfax-Religion

Chambesy, Switzerland, January 27, 2016

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said the issue of all Orthodox Churches transitioning 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 while some follow the Gregorian, "and so as to allow every Church to follow its own adopted calendar it was decided that the calendar issue will not be addressed by the council."

The patriarch also said all documents approved by the heads of the Orthodox churches and which will be addressed by the council will be published in the very near future.

"Our Church insisted that there should be no block on these documents, but that people should be able to become familiar with them because many critical views on the upcoming council have been formed due to the absence of information. People didn't 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."

Edited by OrthoChristian.com


27 / 01 / 2016

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Rdr Pavel:
Response to Fr. Thomas and Hank- Patriarch Kyrill may appear to be consolidating his power by addressing the question of the Ukraine, but he may also simply be answering a question that was put to him by reporters. Further, I think everyone agrees that the calendar issue needs to be addressed. The Council, wisely in my opinion, chose to start with matters where there is broad agreement. However, it appears this broad agreement may be slow in coming to expression though, because I now have the news the Council will either be delayed or will lack full participation at the June 2016 date.
Response to Fr. Thomas below - it is sad that an Orthodox priest is more focused on making slanderous comments about the Patriarch of Moscow than actually leaving a comment that makes any sense at all. What issues are Patriarch Kirill not addressing? Why are you accusing him of being more focused on "Russian hegemony?" What?
Fr. Thomas:
It is sad that Patriarch Kirill is more focused on Russian hegemony than addressing the issues confronting the worldwide Orthodox Church
If everything is decided before the council why have the council?
After reading about Patriarch Bartholomew I discussions about the celebration of Pascha with the Church of England, Pope of Rome, and the Coptic Orthodox Church, I am relieved that the choice of calendar will not be discussed. Thanks be to God and the Patriarch of All Russia!
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