Patriarch of Antioch refuses to participate in Amman Primates’ Council

Patriarch of Antioch John X. Photo:

The Primate of the Church of Antioch said he would not participate in the Primates’ Council, since this meeting could "increase divergence" in Orthodoxy.

Patriarch John X of Antioch Church refused to participate in the Primates’ Council, which will be held in the capital of Jordan, Amman, on February 25-27, 2020. This was reported by orthodoxtimes resource.

The First Hierarch, in response to an invitation from the Primate of the Church of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, stated that the upcoming meeting could "deepen the rift between brothers."

“The Church of Antioch acknowledges the concern of the Orthodox Churches’ Primates and their initiatives to what can contribute to finding solutions for the grave crisis that the Orthodox Church is witnessing today. However, She has decided not to participate in this meeting,” the message says.

Patriarch John substantiated his refusal to participate by striving “to avoid whatever increases divergence and deepens the rift between brothers.”

At the same time, the text speaks of the need for consensus and unanimity between the Churches:

“The Church of Antioch reiterates Her firm position that the “unanimous consensus” between the Churches, based on the Holy Scripture and the Holy Tradition, is the essential rule in the Orthodox Church, with regards to general decisions on the universal Orthodox level, as well as in resolving outstanding issues. She also affirms Her endeavor, through the continuous communication with the Churches, to what yields an atmosphere of love and to a return to the mutual consultation and unanimity between the brothers, in order for Her to be faithful to the mission of joy, peace, and unity that the Lord wants from His Church.”

Recall, on December 28, 2019, a meeting was held at the patriarchal residence in Damascus between Patriarch John and Archbishop Christopher Kyriakopoulos, the representative of the Patriarch of Jerusalem in Amman, who extended the Primate of Antioch an invitation to the "fraternal gathering" in Amman.

Then Patriarch John reaffirmed the position of the Church of Antioch, voiced by the Holy Synod of the Antioch Patriarchate, which had previously advocated the need for a meeting of the Heads of the Local Orthodox Churches to jointly resolve outstanding Orthodox issues.

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