Russian Orthodox Church insists on the need to postpone the date of the Pan-Orthodox Council
On June 13, 2016, at its extraordinary session, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church considered the situation, which has arisen because of the refusal of a number of Local Orthodox Churches to participate in the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church. The Council was planned to be held from June 18 to 26, 2016, on the Island of Crete.
As a result of the discussion, the Holy Synod adopted a statement on this problem to be sent to the Primates of Local Orthodox Churches (Minutes No. 40).
Considering the position taken by the Patriarchates of Antioch, Georgia, Serbia and Bulgaria and taking into account the ground necessary for convening the Holy and Great Council, namely, the existence of ‘the consent of their Beatitudes the Primates of the universally recognized Local autocephalous Churches’ (Organizational and Working Procedure of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, Article 1), the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church noted that such consent is obviously absent.
According to the Synod members, the only possible way out in this case lies in the continuation of preparations for the Holy and Great Council and subsequent achievement of pan-Orthodox agreement on its holding at a different date.