Resolution of the University of Thessaloniki’s Theology Department Regarding the Holy & Great Synod

www.atlmetropolis.org– June 2016

RESOLUTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THEOLOGY OF THE ARISTOTLE UNIVERSITY OF THESSALONIKI (AUTH)

REGARDING THE CONVENING OF THE HOLY AND GREAT SYNOD OF THE THE ORTHODOX CHURCHES

The Department of Theology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), conscious of its debt to church life, in the alarming climate proceeding the Holy and Great Council, decided to remind, with all due respect to the Orthodox Primates and Hierarchs, priests and laity, many of whom have studied theology and received diplomas from the Department, the following reminder regarding the idiosyncrasy of the Orthodox Churches:

– The Councils, beginning from the First Apostolic and onwards, were convened when serious problems arose in the life of the Church and its witness in the world, which were solved by conciliar work and decisions.

– The Holy and Great Council, following a long process, was decided to be convened by the plenary meetings of the Orthodox Churches at the Synaxes of the Phanar in 2014 and Chambésy in 2016.

– The recent retractions and negative statements offend the invaluable conciliarity and threaten the precious unity of the Orthodox Churches.

– The convening of the Council was decided by the Synaxis of the Primates and only the Synaxis of the Primates may be decide to cancel it.

– The observations and suggestions of the local Orthodox Churches regarding the ratification of the documents of the Holy and Great Council do not prevent it from being convened. Instead they make it imperative, in order that solutions may be discussed during the Council, facilitating inter-Orthodox dialogue.

We appeal to the Orthodox spiritual leaders to realize their responsibility

– for the devaluation of conciliarity and the undermining the unity of the Orthodox Churches.

– to use the term “consensus” (consensus, unanimity), adopted for decision-making in the proceedings of the Holy and Great Council. Consensus in no way legitimizes the cancellation of the Council, which has already been decided, using its tactical orderly abstention from the proceedings.

– of the confusing picture of Orthodoxy, which is shown to the rest of the world, and the shock of her spiritual authority, with the disruptive effects of an ethno-phyletistic character.

– of creating frustration among young people, if they are unable to overcome their own weaknesses and avoid opening up in modern society, providing answers to their needs and vision in their search.

The tactics of “we decided to go to the Synod, but in the end we are not going and such we traumatize its prestige” denotes individual separatist considerations, trapping ourselves and refuses the mission of the Church to evangelize peace to those near and far until the ends of the earth.

Thessaloniki June 10, 2016
Feast of the Ascension of the Lord

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