The news that the Bulgarian Orthodox Church will not be taking part in what was supposed to be a ‘Pan-Orthodox’ meeting in Crete this month, because it disagrees with the draft documents proposed (like most Orthodox everywhere), and that the Patriarchate of Antioch will probably not take part, was followed by an announcement of the Synod of the Russian Church on 3 June.
This was a call for an extraordinary ‘pre-Conciliar’ conference to take place before the 10 June in order to iron out the mass of methodological problems and problems of syncretism in the documents – if not the Russian Church will not take part. (Metr Agafangel of Odessa has already refused personally to take part in the Russian delegation because he disagrees so profoundly with the documents proposed).
However, yesterday, on 6 June, the Patriarchate of Constantinople completely rejected this proposal, thus ensuring that the Russian Church will not take part. It is clear that Constantinople’s arrogant, top-down attempt to impose on the Orthodox world and people its syncretistic and anti-Orthodox views, dictated to it by the US State Department, has failed.
On 28 May the well-known Russian Orthodox layman and prominent businessman, Konstantin Malofeev, speaking on the Tsargrad TV Channel, confirmed what we had all along suspected. This is that the venue for the Crete meeting is full of CIA and FBI agents, who have been called in ‘to ensure the security of the Orthodox bishops against terrorism’’. In fact, they are bugging the venue and in fact will control all its proceedings.
In other words, if a meeting is to take place, it must first of all take place with a list of real problems of the Church – e.g. the divisive and politically-enforced introduction among a few Orthodox of the Catholic calendar for the fixed feasts, the invasion of Russian canonical territory in Finland, Estonia and elsewhere by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and ending the jurisdictional divisions in the Diaspora caused by the Patriarchate of Constantinople after 1917.
Secondly, such a meeting must take place with Patriarchs freely chosen by the Synods of the Local Churches (and not in a back room in the US State Department) and it must take place in a free country, in the absence of spies. For nine years now we have been suggesting the now fully restored New Jerusalem Monastery outside Moscow. Perhaps there a meeting could be held which would become a real Pan-Orthodox Council rather than a farcical and expensive junket.