Metropolitan Ignatius: Antioch staying home also because of documents, not only Qatar

June 23, 2016

The position of the Patriarchate of Antioch towards
the ongoing Council on Crete has been reiterated in a
video released by Met. Ignatius (Al-Houshi) of France,
reports Romfea.

The metropolitan emphasized that from the first moment of
the idea of the Council, Antioch showed great interest and
participation, realizing its importance. However, in the
end, there were several factors that prevented the
Antiochian Patriarchate from being able to make the trip
to Crete, including issues with the Council itself.

At the Council’s June 21
press briefing, the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s
Met. Job of Telmessos stated that the Antiochian
representative to the January Synaxis of Primates in
Chambesy declined to sign three documents—those
concerning marriage, the regulations of the Crete Council,
and the decisions of the January synaxis—“not
because they had some disagreements with the content of
these documents but as a sign of protest because the issue
over Qatar was not resolved yet,” referring to the
ongoing jurisdictional dispute between the Antiochian and
Jerusalem Patriarchates.

Contrary to this statement, Met. Ignatius notes that while
the Qatar issue has indeed caused consternation within the
Antiochian Patriarchate, and is among the reasons why its
delegation is not participating in the Council on Crete,
it is not the only reason.

As the bishop makes clear in the video, the Patriarchate
takes issue with the content itself of the disputed
documents. Therefore, the Patriarchate is not merely using
them as a pretext for protest.

It should be noted that in his article “The Pan-Orthodox Council Must and Will
Proceed,” Archdeacon John Chryssavgis, also
of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, acknowledges this
situation: “the Moscow Patriarchate argues that
the Council cannot go forward, because the Churches of
Bulgaria, Antioch, and Georgia have all withdrawn,
citing disagreements over Council documents and
procedures.”

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