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Pan-Orthodox Council: Bartholomew I, “it’s not too late. Those who decided not to come may change their minds”

Yesterday, ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew arrived in Crete. The pan-Orthodox Council is beginning on Sunday, the day in which the Orthodox celebrate the feast of the Pentecost. In his speech, the Patriarch expressed his “joy for carrying out our historical mission”, asking the Orthodox Church anywhere in the world to join him. He said: “The Council is “our sacred mission”. Though the joy for this historical event is affected by the decision of some Churches not to participate, “the responsibility for their decision – said Bartholomew – is up to those Churches themselves and their primates, since just five months ago, at the meeting of Orthodox primates in Geneva, we made a decision and signed it: come to Crete in the month of June, called by a vision cherished by all our Churches for years: declaring and proclaiming the unity of our Orthodox Church, examining and making a common resolution about the problems faced by the Orthodox world”. “It’s not too late for those Churches to change their decision of not participating”, added Bartholomew, says a press release of the ecumenical Patriarchate from Crete, “even in the last minute: be up to your names and come to Crete; we will be happy to fulfil our historical mission and will enjoy the hospitality and nobleness of all the people from Crete, from the eldest of them to the youngest”.
His Holiness also thanked those who worked “with passion, self-sacrifice and great will” to the making of the Council. Representatives of the Churches of the Czech Republic, Serbia, Cyprus, Romania, Poland, Albania, Greece, and Jerusalem are due to arrive today.

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