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Chambesy Bankrupt

As a result of its economic crisis, the Greek government has stopped funding for the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s ecumenical centre in Chambésy (Switzerland). Largely built with Protestant funding and according to their designs, the centre is now on the verge of closure.

It should be recalled that the centre has done very little for years. This situation began with the collapse of Communism, and therefore ecumenism, and the return of the Russian Orthodox Church to the world scene after its liberation from the Soviet system. According to the Bulgarian website ‘Doors to Orthodoxy’, the centre does not actually do anything now and has a drastically reduced staff. The office staff, many of them redundant, had been preparing papers for a theoretical Pan-Orthodox ‘Council’, which Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople used to talk about.

It seems likely now that any future Pan-Orthodox administrative meetings may take place in an Orthodox country, perhaps in Russia. Notably, in the next few years the restoration of the New Jerusalem Monastery outside Moscow, built in the 17th century to accommodate international groups of Orthodox and in the 20th century ravaged by the Nazis, will be completed.

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