First-Hierarchs of all of the Orthodox Autocephalous Churches are gathered in preparation of the upcoming Holy & Great Council

This was News to me:

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew invited all the First-Hierarchs of the Orthodox Churches to gather to deliberate on matters pertaining to the entire Orthodox Church through out the world - an 8th Ecumencial Council?!

I wonder what topics are affecting the entire Orthodox Church in every single corner of the world that is triggering such a huge event?

Anyone have any guesses on what topics may be addressed?


Yes it is! Although I don’t have a dog in this hunt, I am very curious.

Any idea on what might be impacting the entire Orthodox Church for an Ecumencial Council to be called together?

Which Bishop is presiding?


Great question! I’m not sure which Bishop will preside.

It was His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew who gave the invite.

I guess this answers the question from another thread: Now that there is no longer a Roman Empire and therefore, no longer a Roman Emperor to call an Ecumencial Council - which was how all 7 of the Ecumencial Councils were called in the past…who calls an Ecumencial Council together if there is a need for one? Well, now we know that answer.

My question is - why do we need one?

What is the issue or issues affecting the whole Church that requires the Holy Spirit guide all the Church through an Ecumencial Council?

My interest is peaked! This inquiring mind wants to know.

I don’t recall seeing anything about this on the news, and it seems like it would be newsworthy. Maybe all the journalists are busy misinterpreting Pope Francis.

Here’s some popcorn while we wait :popcorn:

The Patriarch’s most immediate problem is the persecution he faces from the Turkish government.


The Council of Chalcedon - 451 A.D. was called by Byzantine Emperor Marcian.

The Second Council of Constantinople - 553 A.D. was called by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I and Pope Vigilius.

The Third Council of Constantinople - 680-681 A. D. was called by Byzantine Emperor Constantine IV.

The Second Council of Nicaea - 787 A.D. was addressed to Empress Irene, then acting as regent for her son Emperor Constantine VI (780-797) who was still a minor by Patriarch Paul IV of Constantinople and his successor Patriarch Tarasius.


What topics? I’m going to guess something boring and irrelevant to Orthodox Christianity as it is actually lived. :stuck_out_tongue:

In all seriousness, though, even though it isn’t particularly interesting or relevant to me, and I like the OP do not understand why it is being called (I have read some speculation from EO friends that there will be an attempt to sort out the jurisdictional issues in the USA, but I don’t know), I do wish all involved a divinely guided and productive council. If nothing else, whatever results from it will be food for thought for those of us not in union with your communion. We OO have had various meetings since Ephesus (of course!), most notably in Addis Ababa in the 1960s at the behest of Emperor Haile Selassie, though I don’t know of anyone rushing to call these meetings (which did not produce any dogmatic declarations, as far as I know, but were more like reaffirmations of our positions on various things) the “fourth council” in our tradition. :slight_smile: I should think that such things take time, and I have also heard from various EO sources that the number of councils in your church, though conventionalized as 7, is sometimes argued to be 8 or even 9 already. I suppose it all depends on the arguer’s perspective.

Anyway, may God bless and guide the Patriarchs of the Eastern Orthodox Church as they meet to discuss matters of importance to their Church at this time.

Thanks for sharing, but now that I’ve tasted Kettle Corn, Popcorn just isn’t good to me anymore :wink:

True, but that isn’t a problem of the entire Orthodox Church. Plus persecutions in various parts of the Orthodox world have been on-going for centuries so there must be some other issue at hand for an Ecumenical Council to be called now.

In my opinion, Item one should be to solve the jurisdictional problems in North America, Australia and New Zealand, Europe and etc. If even one country can be agreed upon, a precedent could be set for future attempts.

Other than that I am not sure what issues need to be discussed due to my ignorance, but surely there’s a whole swath of topics.

That’s a misunderstanding. For a Council to be Ecumencial it has to be done & accepted by the entire Orthodox Church. The Bishop of Rome has not been Orthodox for centuries.

Plus in the 7 Ecumenical Councils, the Bishop of Rome never attended those either - he sent delegates to attend in his stead.

I don’t know if the invite was extended to Rome. Per the link, I really don’t think any non-Orthodox will be invited.

The Pope was invited & did go to a Divine Liturgy celebrated by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew a years back - I watched the video of it, the Pope was an observer, not a participant as he isn’t Orthodox. If the Pope is invited & attends the Ecumencial Council, it would be the same - observe, but not participate.

The USCCB has outlined the agenda for the council. Here is a link.

Right, after the Emperor Constantine moved the Capitol of the Roman Empire from Rome to Byzantium and re-named it Constantinople, the Roman Emperor was also rightly referred to as Byzantine Emperor - but it remained the entire Roman Empire that he/she was Emperor of.

Yes, that would be a good issue. Even in remote parts of Africa, there are both Greek Orthodox Churches & Alexandria Orthodox Churches.

It makes sense that perhaps the Council will decide that all Churches within a particular country would be all under a single jurisdiction.

And maybe that the language of the Liturgy will be in the official language(s) of the country the Church is in? for example: in Mexico, the Liturgy wouldn’t be in both Spanish & Greek, but in Spanish-only or in Canada, the Liturgy wouldn’t be in Russian, but in English & French.

I wonder, too, if it’ll address the Calendar issue so that all Churches will be forced to go back to the original Church Calendar, the Julian Calendar, OR if it will force all Churches to change to the modified-Julian Calendar?

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