An historic conference in Crete begins today between all Patriarchs and Archbishops of the Eastern Orthodox Churches concerning unification.
His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew arrived in Crete on June 15th, expressing his “joy of fulfillment of our historical mission” and urging the Orthodox Church across the world to join him.
The Holy and Great Council, he said, is “our sacred mission.” Although the joy of the historic events are clouded by the decision of some churches not to attend, “the responsibility for their decision lies with those same churches and their primates, since, just five months ago, at the Synaxis of the Orthodox Primates in Geneva, we made a decision and put our signatures to it, that we should come to Crete in June and realize this vision held over many years, which all our churches cherish, to declare and proclaim the unity of our Orthodox Church, and to examine and reach a common resolution of the problems that are of concern to the Orthodox world.”
It is not too late for those churches to reconsider, he added, “even at this very last moment, and honor their signatures and come to Crete, where, along with the joy of the fulfillment of our historical mission, we shall also have the joy of partaking of the hospitality and nobility of all Cretans, from the most elderly among them, to the youngest child.”
His All-Holiness also expressed his thanks to those who have worked for months in order for the Holy and Great Council to take place, “together as a group and each one individually who have worked zealously, selflessly and with great willingness for this great event of the Holy and Great Council of our Orthodox Church to take place.”