A new book by His Eminence Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Messinia,Greece has just been published in Greek," 'Significant' For the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church-the suppression and support in the preparation and the aftermath."His Eminence is a professor in the Theological Faculty of the University of Athens and well-known for his deeply theological and patristic style.For example,he concludes that:
Therefore,we should behave in a way that honours the Conciliar institution,and not contribute to its destruction,which is ultimately the destruction of the Church's own unity;recognising and accepting the work of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church as a project of unity,freedom,society,respect,solidarity,fairness,peace and ministry between peoples and nations.*
Among many other related points covered in his work are these,which may suggest the flavour of his book:
1.The Pan-Orthodox Synod seems to be a requirement of the times,and the course towards it was inexorable,as well as the closer communication of the Orthodox Churches then isolated from each other because of the various socio-political situations.
2.It should be admitted that in Crete (June 2016) an undisputed and essential step was taken to overcome the "autoimmune introspection" of some local Orthodox Churches,which for many centuries afflicted the Churches;while,at the same time,redefining the course towards a new operation of Synodality with timid but decisive steps.
3.Eventually,the case of the Holy and Great Council was critiqued by so-called fundamentalist circles,who do not make a constructive,legitimate critique,but try to break its collegial character by characterising it as a robbery or defeat,thus weakening the unity of the ecclesiastical body and devaluing the Conciliar institution,with the primary aim of challenging the important,coordinating and essential role of the Ecumenical Patriarchate as first in the ministry of unity of the Orthodox Church.All of this leads to the development of a blatant scandal and unwarranted argumentation,while unity is disturbed.
4.The counterpoint to such a divisive tendency cannot be the diametrically opposed "ecclesiastical or religious" construct,but the collaboration of the Orthodox Christian Churches with the other Christian Churches,even with other religions,in order to cultivate a spirit of cohesion,solidarity and unity.
5.It seems that this,which we initially characterised as the "Cold War" of East and West in reference to the Holy and Great Council,is not far from the reality we face today.The political leader with theocratic concepts of a Christian ideal,medieval type,with the collaboration of ecclesiastical leadership and the "flag" of anti-Westernism,creates an ideological and spiritual counterpart to corresponding forms of theocratic leadership,for example,the theocratic Islamist regimes,which are not far from its method,exclusivity,pursuits and redundancies.