Thursday, February 27, 2020

What hath Amman wrought?

(ROC) - Press release on the results of the fraternal meeting of the Orthodox Primates and delegates (26 February 2020 – Amman, Jordan)

On February 26, 2020, a meeting of Primates and representatives of Local Orthodox Churches was held in Amman, Jordan, with the primary view of unity and reconciliation within the Holy Orthodoxy. The participants noted their understanding of the anguish of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem for the imminent danger of schism within our Orthodox Communion.

Participating in the meeting were delegations of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem led by His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, the Russian Orthodox Church led by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the Serbian Orthodox Church led by His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, the Romanian Orthodox Church led by His Eminence Metropolitan Nifon of Targoviste, the Polish Orthodox Church led by His Eminence Archbishop Abel of Lublin and Chelm, and the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia led by His Beatitude Metropolitan Rastislav of the Czech Lands and Slovakia.

The participants expressed their gratitude to His Majesty King Abdullah II, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Hashemite Custodian of the Christian and Muslim Holy Places in the Holy Land and to the people of Jordan for facilitating the hosting of this gathering in their capital city, Amman, noting His Majesty’s outstanding work in promoting interfaith dialogue internationally.

The participants also thanked the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos for all the relentless efforts aimed at paving the way for dialogue and bringing brothers together in the precious spirit of unity, noting that the light that emanates from Jerusalem stands as a witness to that Holy City which continuously proclaims its multi-faith and multicultural tapestry rejoicing in its existence as the warm home for the three Abrahamic faiths, Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

The delegations declared that this gathering was to strengthen the fraternal bonds between brothers and their Churches, to promote the bonds of peace in Christ among them, to advocate for the unity of the Orthodox Churches, and to renew dialogue in the prayerful hope of bringing reconciliation where there has been discord.

In the atmosphere of fraternal love, those gathered for the meeting agreed that decisions concerning issues of Orthodox-wide importance, including the granting of autocephaly to particular Churches, should be finalized in a spirit of pan-Orthodox dialogue and unity, and with pan-Orthodox consensus.

Concerning the current ecclesiastical situation in the Ukraine the participants also recognised that a pan-Orthodox dialogue is necessary for healing and reconciliation. Not a lot of meat to chew on there.

In the matter concerning North Macedonia, the delegations stated that this matter is to be solved through dialogue within the Serbian Orthodox Church and with pan-Orthodox support.

Regarding Montenegro, the participating delegations urged the relevant authorities to respect and uphold the fundamental right of ownership of property including that of the Church.

The delegations agreed that they should gather as brothers, preferably before the end of this year, to strengthen the bonds of fellowship through prayer and dialogue. The participants hope that His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew with his known seniority of honour (πρεσβεια τιμής) will join this dialogue along with his brother Primates.

The delegations embraced the call of their brother Patriarch Theophilos III to hold a prayer for the world, for an end to war, sickness and suffering, and for the Christians as well as for the unity of the Orthodox Church. This prayer is to be held in the Mother Church, the Church of the Resurrection (Holy Sepulchre) in Jerusalem, before the Holy Tomb of Christ, from which He rose and proclaims peace to the world.


  1. What was there to talk about, really? Moscow is not willing to even consider a conditional recognition of the OCU in some form, so there is no way forward. The only Churches that attended were those who have already sided with Moscow. The dialogue has to happen between the EP and MP first. The meeting between Metropolitan Hilarion and Archbishop Elpidophoros in America is an example of what actually needs to happen. The EP and MP have to sit down, and Metropolitan Onuphry AND Epiphany must also be at the table.

    Any "Pan-Orthodox" meeting at this point is just the EP or MP rallying their "factions." HAH Bartholomew was quite right when he said exactly this.

    I think Archbishop Elpidophoros and Metropolitan Hilarion being the point men for these negotiations with Antioch moderating in America is a good format, with Metropolitan Onuphry and Epiphany also there. Just those four men at the table, with Archbishop Joseph as the mediator.

    1. Moscow will not recognize the OCU because it is a pseudo "church" of laymen playing pretend by dressing like clergy.

  2. "I think Archbishop Elpidophoros and Metropolitan Hilarion being the point men for these negotiations with Antioch moderating in America is a good format..."

    But David, do we know this is in fact what was happening? The point of that meeting could have been something far darker, like how a divorce couple still meets amicably to discuss how to sell the house, and who has the kids on which weekends...

  3. Friends, war is upon us. Now is the time to put aside our disagreements and pray. Pray to God that this will not lead to a nuclear exchange.

  4. Jake, I tend not to think along those lines. That isn't delusional, but trust in Divine Providence. The EP and MP have to talk with each other directly. There is no other way. The MP is trying to "gather" the other Churches to force the EP's hand. It doesn't work like that, and the EP said as much in their second letter to Jerusalem. Whatever you think of the EP's position on primacy or whatever, I think they are right on this point.

    The only way for this to be worked out, is for the MP to open a line of communication to the EP directly. It needs to be Patriarchate to Patriarchate. No one else. That is why Antioch and the others who are otherwise sympathetic to Moscow balked at this meeting. They realize the truth of the matter. Send a delegation to the Phanar to talk. The EP would receive them. Does anyone think that Archbishop Elpidophoros would have had that meeting with Metropolitan Hilarion without HAH Bartholomew's blessing? The line of communication is open. Jerusalem should have gone to the EP directly to talk about it. Why be indirect? Why play political games?

    EP, MP, OCU, UOC-MP. That's it . Nobody else should be in the conversation yet. The Church isn't a street gang. This indirect political mess will only further the conflict. A 4 way meeting.

    Wallace, there is no war. Prayer is always needed, especially now as we enter Great Lent.

    1. The suffering people of the Middle East need our love and prayers, we can agree on that.

    2. So what role does tikhons play? He has, in my humble opinion, been much too cozy with elphy as of late,,,,,but they do say keep your enemies closer,,,,too bad kyrill will not be on the USA this summer

    3. Given the controversial nature of the OCA's autocephalous status, I don't think they would be a good facilitator for such discussions.

      The fact that the GOA and the OCA are growing closer should be a cause for celebration, not derision. Archbishop Elpidophoros is his own man, as the fireeaters will soon discover (much like they were wrong about Metropolitan Epiphany, who is not a "Philaret puppet" as they sanctimoniously predicted).

    4. AB Elpidophoros is the author of the disgraceful teaching of Bartholomew as "first without equals". Epiphany was a puppet of he is a puppet of Bartholomew. The OCA would be wise to run very far from the GOA. They are crashing and burning.