Latest News
Questions & Answers
What Can You Do?


Results of the Summit of the "New" Pentarchy:
A new mechanism for resolving pan-Ortodox problems as reported by +Chrysostom, Archbishop of Cyprus

The main part of the interview Chrysostomos II, Archbishop of  Cyprus, gave on September 6 to the Greek news agency "" , is devoted to a new mechanism for resolving pan-Orthodox problems which was suggested by the Council of primary patriarchates and the autocephalous Church of Cyprus, held September 1-3 in Istanbul.

The publication explains that until now all decisions affecting all Orthodox were made only by consensus, so that every local Orthodox Church had a right of veto. Answering the interviewer's question about whether by rejecting the principle of consensus and adopting decisions by majority rule (referring to majority of local churches, not the number of their parishioners or bishops), Archbishop Chrysostomos said the following:

"One should always strive for unanimity in overcoming all difficulties. One should always listen to the arguments and counter-arguments to find a balanced solution and to reach agreement. However, if you understand that stubbornness and willfulness are trying to create problems in the one body of Orthodoxy, then the Orthodox Church has the possibility and authority to make decisions by majority vote. "

Noting that the holy canons also provide this way of solving church problems, Cyprus' first hierarch underscored that it has special meaning to "those issues that require immediate resolution. This action, switching to making important decisions affecting universal Orthodoxy by a majority vote of Churches, is carried out in the interests of our flock, 'because some people do not want to help to solve some problems," said the Archbishop. In the context of the final documents of the Pentary Summit, "some people" means the Moscow Patriarchate, which exercised its right of veto at the Pan-Orthodox meeting in Chambésy in February of this year.

Archbishop Chrysostomos also answered a question about his place in the diptychs of the Church. He recalled that the Church of Cyprus was forced to leave its historic fifth place (sixth if you count Rome), when it was given to the Moscow Patriarchate. At the time, the Church of Cyprus was in a humiliating situation, under foreign, non-Christian rule and now, after the liberation, she considers this unfair.

This refers to the 1593 Council of Constantinople of Eastern Patriarchs. This Council confirmed the establishment of the Patriarchate in Moscow, and gave the Moscow Patriarchate fifth place in the diptychs - immediately after the ancient patriarchates of the East. This was done against the wishes of Boris Godunov's government which insisted on the third place in the diptychs (apparently alluding to the idea of   "Moscow - the Third Rome," which, thus, was rejected by the Council of Eastern Patriarchs). This same 1593 Council granted a Tomos of Autocephaly to Moscow. In 1589 a gramota was received from the Patriarch of Constantinople recognizing the Moscow patriarchate, but such recognition would not be valid without a confirmation from the other patriarchs.

On September 3 the Council of primary patriarchates and the autocephalous Church of Cyprus announced the immutability of geographical boundaries established on the basis of Tomoses establishing local churches (and, hence, the Moscow Patriarchate by the Tomos of 1593); however, the Council did not decide on the place in the diptychs - whether it is required to adhere to Tomos and in this case.

The Russian original may be found here:


Related Documents


To view documents you will need Adobe Reader (or Adobe Acrobat)