Towards the Council

12 February 2016

A brief history

The idea of the convocation of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church dates back to the early twentieth century, the pan-Orthodox Congress of Constantinople of 1923. Seven years later, Ecumenical Patriarch Photios II convened the meeting of an inter-Orthodox preparatory committee in 1930 at the monastery of Vatopedi on Mount Athos, during which they established an initial list of 17 topics, which were raised to be addressed, including inter-Orthodox relations, the relations of the Orthodox Church with other Churches and Christian confessions, the question of the calendar and various questions of disciplinary order. This council was necessary following the significant changes that the Orthodox Church had witnessed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century by the emergence of new autocephalous Churches, and the challenges the new century threw at the Church, already shaken by the First World War.

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