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MOSCOW, June 9. /TASS/. The Russian Orthodox Church hopes that its idea of calling a pan-Orthodox consultative meeting ahead of the Pan-Orthodox Council will materialize and an Orthodox consensus will be achieved, the chairman of the department for the ROC’s relations with society and the mass media, Vladimir Legoida, has told the TV news channel Rossiya-24.
The Moscow Patriarchate still regards its proposal for a consultative conference as a way out of the current situation.
"There was and still is enough time to achieve a settlement. This is a firm position of ours," he said.
Legoida said the refusal of three churches from participation in the Pan-Orthodox Church will bring about a situation where the Council may be called an inter-Orthodox conference, but certainly not a Pan-Orthodox Council.
Over the past days several Orthodox churches have refused to attend the Pan-Orthodox Council due in Crete on June 17-26. The Bulgarian Church was the first to declare it will be absent. The Patriarchate of Antioch (Syria) followed. And the Serbian Orthodox Church declared its refusal to attend on Thursday.
Should at least one of the local churches be absent, the Council will not be considered Pan-Orthodox and its decisions will not be mandatory for those not in attendance. The Russian Orthodox Church on June 10 put forward an idea of convening a consultative meeting first. In the meantime, the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople made a decision to go ahead with preparations for the Council as planned.