Cairo, November 24, 2016
While in Orthodox Greece the final documents of the Crete
Council have provoked sharp debate and the demand of some
bishops to refuse their approval by the Synod of the Greek
Orthodox Church, in the Alexandrian Patriarchate the
adopted declarations caused no objections and were
unanimously approved at the recent meeting of the
Alexandrian Holy Synod on November 16, 2016, reports
Russian Folk Line, with reference to the official site of the Alexandrian
In the Alexandrian Church’s synodal decision on the
matter it is noted that preparations for the Crete Council
lasted many years, and while disagreements persisted until
the very beginning of the gathering, nonetheless, the
Council witnessed to the unity of the Orthodox world.
In this connection the members of the Synod expressed
especial gratitude to Patriarch Bartholomew of
Constantinople for the work carried out in organizing the
Council on Crete.
Moreover, the Patriarchate of Alexandria recognized the
existence of different points of view in the Orthodox
world on a whole number of Church questions, but said that
“various approaches to questions of Church life for
us do not represent a deviation from the truth of
Orthodoxy, but an adaptation to the African
For Africa and the Alexandrian Church today missionary
work and dialogue with the non-Orthodox is very important.
Unlike many Local Orthodox Churches, the Alexandrian
bishops do not have today their traditional flock and have
to conduct their pastoral work surrounded by infidels.
Namely, that is why the Alexandrian Church, as opposed to
the Georgian Church, does not have such a strict attitude
towards the World Council of Churches, but seeks ways to
alleviate their situation, including through
“The Alexandrian Church will continue to actively
participate in inter-Christian and inter-religious
dialogues, despite any difficulties and problems which
sometimes arise. Besides our participation in the World
Council of Churches, we intend to increase our activity in
the Pan-African Council of Churches,” the
Alexandrian Synod says in its declaration.
However, it does not mean that Alexandrian Patriarch
Theodoros has entered upon the path of
ecumenism—nothing is said about Orthodoxy having
union with other Christian communities in Africa. On the
contrary, the goal of the Alexandrian Patriarchate is the
active preaching of Christ amongst the African population.