Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople has called together the patriarchs and metropolitans of the Orthodox world to prepare for a Pan-Orthodox Synod in 2015.
The Ecumenical Patriarch, the acknowledged “first among equals” of the
world’s Orthodox prelates, is asking all Orthodox leaders to gather in
Istanbul in March to plan for next year’s Synod.
The Pan-Orthodox Synod
is seen as a major effort to bring unity to the Orthodox world,
providing for cooperation among national churches.
However, plans for the Synod have encountered resistance from the
Russian Orthodox Church, the world’s largest Orthodox body.
patriarchate has resisted Constantinople, and rejected the notion that
the Ecumenical Patriarch enjoys a sort of primacy in the Orthodox world.
In a related development, the Patriarchate of Constantinople has
released a statement criticizing the Russian Orthodox leadership for its
stance on primacy.
The Moscow patriarchate “is merely formulating a
sophistry” in its argument against accepting the primacy of
Constantinople, the statement argues.