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It is Official: The Inter-Orthodox Council will not be ‘an Eighth Orthodox Council’

On a visit to the Saint Petersburg Theological Academy on 2 November 2011, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokalamsk spoke of preparations for the Inter-Orthodox Council (the so-called ‘Pan-Orthodox Council’). He said quite clearly that if this Council does actually take place – and he and Archbishop Mark of Germany and Great Britain are the key Russian Orthodox representatives at pre-Conciliar talks – it will not be some kind of ‘Council of Antichrist’. This, he said, is what is being asserted by certain extreme propaganda which is trying to scare Orthodox.

He stated quite clearly that, ‘this Council will not be the Eighth Universal Council, it will not abolish or revise any decisions of the Seven Universal Councils. This Council will not abolish any fasts, will not introduce a married episcopate, will not allow a second marriage for clergy, will not recognise the power of the Pope of Rome over the Orthodox Church, will not sign a unia with Roman Catholics – in a word, it will not do anything which certain ‘defenders of Orthodoxy’, who show a zeal not according to knowledge, fear today. If – God forbid - something that is opposed to the letter and the spirit of the Seven Universal Councils, which is opposed to the age-old Tradition of the Orthodox Church, happens at this Council, the Russian Church will not recognise it and will not accept it, just as it did not at the Council of Florence-Ferrara in 1441. I do not think that the other Local Orthodox Churches would recognise such a Council in such a case either’, he added.

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