The leaders of the autocephalous Orthodox Churches have arrived in Crete to take part, along with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, in the Great and Holy Council of the Orthodox Church. Between Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th, the Archbishop of the Check Republic and Slovakia, Rastislav; the Patriarch of Serbia, Irinej; the Archbishop of Cyprus, Chrysostomos; the Patriarch of Romania, Daniel; the Archbishop of Warsaw and all Poland, Sawa; the Archbishop of Tirana, Durres and all Albania, Anastasios; the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, Ieronymos, and the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos, landed in the Greek Island. After the last-minute ‘yes’ of the Patriarch of Serbia, Irinej, only the four Orthodox Patriarchates of Bulgaria, Antioch, Georgia and Moscow are missing. On Wednesday, 15th June, on arriving in Crete, Patriarch Bartholomew told them they are still in time to reconsider their positions, “even at the last minute, to honour their signature and come to Crete”.
On his arrival in Crete, the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, Ieronymos, stated: “We will make every effort to consider and address the problems of the world, of our parishes and our Church, and therefore to be up to the situation, as our times and the Christian people demand us to be”. The Orthodox primates were also welcomed by the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Kotzias: “The Greek State will help in every way to promote unity and love, care and cooperation between the Orthodox Churches, and between all Churches and the lay world”.