Statement of the Secretariat of the Holy Synod of Antioch on Decision of Ecumenical Patriarchate

Source: Antiochian Patriarchate

Balamand, June 1, 2016


The Patriarchate of Antioch has received with much
distress and astonishment the decision of the Holy Synod
of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, dated Tuesday, March 31st,
2016, calling for the setting up of a committee of
representatives from both the Patriarchates of Antioch and
Jerusalem, under the coordinating responsibility of the
Ecumenical Patriarchate. This committee is to begin
meeting right after the Holy and Great Council, for the
purpose of finding a solution acceptable to both parties
for the current conflict.

The Church of Antioch painfully recognizes, through this
aforementioned decision, that all the efforts undertaken
in the past three years, from the time of the aggression
of the Jerusalem Patriarchate on the canonical
jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Antioch in Qatar, and
all the peaceful initiatives that the Antiochian
Patriarchate has initiated through the Ecumenical
Patriarchate in order to find a final solution to the
aggression, have failed.

It is more painful to see that all the efforts were
intensified on the eve of the Holy and Great Council,
which had as a purpose to find a permanent and an
ecclesiastical solution for the aforementioned aggression.
These efforts have been specifically made before the
beginning of the Holy and Great Council, so that this
Council would be an expression of Orthodox Unity. This
unity is best manifested in the Divine Liturgy on the day
of Pentecost, with the concelebration of all the Orthodox
Autocephalous Churches. This act of concelebrating is the
right way to deal with the issues pertaining to the
Orthodox Church worldwide, and to express unanimity about

This new development, which is the call to postpone
solving the issue of the aggression till after the Holy
and Great Council meeting, invalidates the purpose of the
Holy and Great Council, being as the “Expression of
Orthodox Unity.” The indifference of the Jerusalem
Patriarchate towards several Antiochian peaceful
initiatives threatens the convocation of the Great and
Holy Council at its specified meeting date, a matter which
the Antiochian Church has repeatedly warned about.

Today, we call upon all the Autocephalous Orthodox
Churches to work diligently in order to preserve Orthodox
Unity, facing all what threatens this unity. Our Holy
Synod has kept its meetings open, and will meet in the
next few days in order to study the special developments
related to the Holy and Great Council, and take the proper
decisions about them. As we await the coming of Pentecost,
we pray together, and hope from the Holy Spirit, to
inspire the Church and Her leaders, that they may find the
right way to witness for the unity which the Lord called
us to fulfill, today more than ever before.

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