Pan-Orthodox Council: Preparation, Agenda and Context


The Russian Factor in the Failure of the Pan-Orthodox Council in the 1920–1930s

The article explores the failed attempt of the all-Orthodox (Ecumenical) Council in the 1920–1930s through the prism of relations between the Constantinople Patriarchate, the Russian Church, and the Soviet government. In the situation of a strong Church discord in Russia, provoked by anti-religious policy of the Bolsheviks, the Patriarchate of Constantinople claimed the role of mediator between the Russian Church (“Tikhonovskaia”) and the Pro-Soviet Renovationist schism.

Debates About the Right to Convoke Pan-Orthodox Council in the End of the 19th and the First Half of the 20th Century

The author examines the question of who has the right to convoke a Pan-Orthodox Council with references to contemporary historical circumstances. He proves that this right never exclusively belonged to the Patriarch of Constantinople, technically the first among equals, and this was accepted by some among Greeks. The attempt to grant this right to the Patriarch of Constantinople stems from the situation shaped just after the fall of the Russian Empire when a battle for primacy started to unfold.

The Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Russian Church before the Revolution

The article deals with the ideological and political aspects of the relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. The Russian imperial idea was strongly influenced by the idea of Orthodox oikumene, first shaped in Byzantium.

Orthodox Vision of the Modern World. Context, Нistory and Meaning of the Synodal Document on Church Mission

The paper deals with the history and the theological context of the document “The Mission of the Orthodox Church in Today’s World,” to be presented and adopted by the Pan-Orthodox Council in 2016. The paper makes an overview of Western-Christian and Eastern Orthodox intellectual and theological resources that had an impact upon the discussions over the document and its final text. Debates and arguments that occurred throughout the process showed various theological and political orientations existing within the Orthodox churches.

Controversial Ecclesiological Issues of the Pan-Orthodox Council Agenda and the Question of Sovereign Power in the Orthodox Church

The article discusses ecclesiological issues that were included in the agenda of Pan-Orthodox Council but found no solution in the pre-conciliar debates: the Orthodox Diaspora; proclamation of autocephaly; the role of the Diptychs. The author then examines the issue of primacy in the Universal Church. All these questions can be combined and connected with the issue of the supreme or sovereign power in the Orthodox Church: its localization and mechanics for the implementation.

’The Calendar Question’: Conciliar Discussions Throughout History and Today

This article examines the role of church councils in reaching a common date for Easter in the first millennium (the Quartodeciman debates, the First Ecumenical Council and after), as well as attempts towards a pan-Orthodox solution of the calendar issue in the 20th century (with a special focus on Russia).

The Agenda of Vatican II Council and of Pan-Orthodox Council it the Preparatory Period: Parallels and Differences

The article compares the agenda of the II Vatican Council of the Catholic Church (1962 – 1965) and the themes of the Pan-Orthodox Council during many years of its preparation. The author points to the thematic parallelism of the two conciliar processes, which reflected the desire of the Catholic and Orthodox churches to respond to the challenges of contemporary world.

History of the Preparation of the Pan-Orthodox Council

The present article addresses the history of the preparations of the Pan-Orthodox Council since 1923, when the Pan-Orthodox Conference was held in Istanbul, until January 2016, when the Synaxis of the Primates was held in Chambésy, Switzerland. This article describes distinctive features and main events of the pre-conciliar process at its different stages as well as retraces the formation of the Council’s agenda and the evolution of its preparatory procedure.

The Pan–Orthodox Council: Shaping New Orthodox Geopolitics

The Orthodox Church is a complex geopolitical reality, and it does not constitute a homogenous block. On the contrary, the rise of irredentism during the 19th century has created the basis for constant territorial fragmentation throughout the 20th century. Surprisingly, the worldwide Orthodox population continues to increase. The convergence of these two phenomena is a starting point for a reinvestigation of Orthodox power in international affairs, as well as a profound strategic change affecting the communion of the fourteen local Orthodox Churches.

All-Russian Church Council of 1917–1918 as a Phenomenon of the Conciliar Practice of the Church

The author considers All-Russian Church Council of 1917 – 1918th as a special phenomenon of the conciliar practice of the Orthodox Church. He analyses the composition and arrangement of the Council in its historical context, paying particular attention to the role of the laity and bishops. A strong representation of laity allowed to avoid the conflict between married and monastic clergy.