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“The Pan-Orthodox Council is an historic event, no one must be absent”

Interview with Chrysostomos Savatos, Metropolitan of Messinia: “May the Holy Spirit enlighten the minds of primates. We need to get across an image of unity”

Introductory Notes on author and interview:

This bishop has been rebuked by the Holy Synod of Greece for not informing them of decisions they (as reps of the Church) made in the dialogue with the Latins.

He was one of the authors responsible for the changes to the texts last Oct. - changes which have now been condemned as unorthodox by many Local Orthodox Churches. He is also largely responsible for keeping the hierarchy in the dark about the text "Relations...", which was overhauled in October.

He is the same hierarch which supports the so-called baptismal theology", even though he presents his views as somehow unique and not identical to the Protestant ideas on common baptism. (See my paper delivered to the Conference in Piraeus for more on his positions.)

Note! in the interview, how now the *pressure* is on for all to be present, "or else the *image* of unity" will be lost. This is it: substance matters little, appearances matter!

Note: they pushed through changes at the last minute, the Primates - not the Local Synods of Hierarchs - accepted them (under pressure, to be sure), only to encounter serious opposition upon return to their Church from the bishops and faithful. But now all are supposed to honor their commitment to come in spite of there being no SYNODICAL acceptance of the texts. Is this the treasured "conciliarity" so touted by the Phanar? This is not the Orthodox vision of synodikotita. It is closer to papalism. Nonetheless, the chant goes on: pan-orthodox decisions! You must honor them! . . . I shudder to think what will we hear after the Council.

They say that all disagreements should be submitted at the Council. What they don't tell us is what is possible at the Council. A council at which bishops do not have a vote, Primates and their entourages do. A council at which each bishop will have only 10 min. to speak. A Council at which all changes to the texts must be unanimous, which means the best the Churches can hope for is NO TEXT AT ALL PASS, for certainly the EP will not consent to the proposed changes (as he himself says below). And, finally the likely possibility that Pat. Bartholomew's idea of unanimity will be observed, namely, that the dissenting churches will have their disagreements noted in the minutes, but will nevertheless be expected to sign the texts as is, as a show of unity! What a farce!

Note the double speak of the Metropolitan: in this interview he appears as opposed to the removal of the reference to church for the Vatican parasynagogue and is even indignant at the suggestion that RCism is not a Church. However, in his multi-page epistle to the hierarchy he accepted the proposal to remove the reference to churches! As an experienced ecumenist he speaks out of two sides of his mouth depending on who he is speaking to! Mollify them and tell them what they want to hear!

Likewise, please note who the main media outlets of the Vatican go to for their interviews, and also how the EP uses Vatican media sources to undermine Orthodox unity! Chrysavgis with Crux, now Messinias with Vatican Insider. How far they have come in their alienation from Orthodoxy, to use the Vatican propaganda machine to pressure the Orthodox to conform. Shameless!



“The pan-Orthodox Council is an historic event, no one must be absent”

Interview with Chrysostomos Savatos, Metropolitan of Messinia: “May the Holy Spirit enlighten the minds of primates. We need to get across an image of unity”

Chrysostomos Savatos



“May the Holy Spirit enlighten the minds of primates, this is an historic moment and none of the Orthodox Churches must be absent from this pan-Orthodox Council. We need to get across an image of unity…”.

Chrysostomos Savatos, the 55-year-old Metropolitan of Messinia, in the Greek region of the Peloponnese, is a professor of dogmatics at the University of Athens, a member of the council for dialogue and Christian unity and will represent the Greek Orthodox Church at the pan-Orthodox Council which begins this coming 19 June in Crete. As is known, the event has been clouded by various factors in recent weeks, the latest of these being the request put forward by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church for the event in Crete to be postponed due to disagreements over the preparatory texts.

On Monday 6 June, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople published a statement reminding all dissenting parties that the decisions regarding the date, the procedures and the texts to be discussed during the pan-Orthodox Council - the first to take place in centuries – were taken based on a mutual agreement between primates of all Churches. Therefore, any disagreements, amendments or proposals may be presented during the course of the Council discussions.

Metropolitan Chrysostomos, what is going to happen in the end? Are all Orthodox Churches going be taking part in the Council?

“We await the action of the Holy Spirit, we are going through a difficult moment but it is possible for everyone to reach an agreement. Everything was decided at the meeting of primates held last January. Everyone voted for the pan-Orthodox Council to be held in Crete starting 19 June. I am certain that the Holy Spirit will enlighten the minds of primates. I do not understand why this change has come about.This is an historic moment and none of the Orthodox Churches must be absent from this pan-Orthodox Council. We need to get across an image of unity…”.

In recent weeks, some bishops of the Greek Orthodox Church proposed some amendments to do away with the word Church in reference to the Catholic faith. What does this mean?

“Some bishops have proposed these changes in the text on relations between Orthodoxy and the rest of the Christian world. The amendment was accepted and will be put up for discussion.”

But until now, were Catholics considered a real Church by the Orthodox?

“Of course they were. The Catholic Church has always been considered a Church. What you are referring to is a proposal put forward by some conservatives who do not want to place the Churches on the same level. But I think it is unlikely the proposal will go through. There are many others who do not agree with this amendment.”

What will be the key points of the pan-Orthodox Council?

“First and foremost, the image of unity all Orthodox Churches, with primates celebrating the divine liturgy together. Secondly, a message for today’s world and for peoples, regarding certain social and ethical problems: the defense of life and the family, the harm divorce causes to the family, peace and the many wars being fought, the defense of creation and the problems facing the environment. Another important point will be the possibility for all Orthodox Churches to resolve certain problems that exist among them, together.”

You mentioned divorce. Orthodox Churches allow the blessing of a second marriage. How can these aspects be reconciled?

“The theological principle of economy, which provides for this, will not be called into question as it was already established in an ecumenical council. But this does not prevent us from reflecting on the fact that divorce harms the family.”

Orthodox Churches have adopted very different positions on dialogue with other Christians, on the ecumenical path towards unity…

“We will discuss the contents and limits of this dialogue. It is true that in some Orthodox Churches there is opposition to this process. This is a characteristic of our Churches, everyone is free to say what he thinks. But this does not mean that someone who thinks in a certain way will have the last word.”…/the-panorthodox-counci…/pagina.html

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