Panagiotes Nellas

The Holy and Great council of the Orthodox Church

pages: 4-15

Abstract

Lately one hears in the Orthodox Church voices for and against the convocation of the planned Ecumenical Council. In the first part of his article the author describes general dogmatic considerations concerning the Council in the Orthodox Church. The Council is, first of all, a mystery and a sing, which reveals God's holy love towards the world, which constitutes the very nature of the Church. Therefore, the main theme, which should be dealt by the future Council is God's Revelation to the world in Christ through the Church, i. e. the salvation of the world and mankind. Christ’s Incarnation and His salvific assuming of human nature, and by this of the world, is the axis around which the vhole life and work of the Church and her Councils should revolve.

In the second part the author sets forth his pastoral and canonical considerations facing the Council. He points to the few problems, which have accumulated in the world and Church since the last Ecumenical Council and suggests that they should be solved wisely and soberly, stressing the need that the Orthodox should spell out their position towards other Christians separated from the Orthodox Church. He also argues that Palamite theology and the XIV Century Councils should be taken as inspiration at the work of the new Council.

In the third part the author speaks about the preparation of the future Council, which should be prepared without haste, seriously and thoroughly. To this end he suggests that each local Orthodox Church establishes a special Committee for the sake of theological research and preparation of the Council. The Committee should make ready papers and themes for the fathers of the Council, as well as to develop the conciliar consciousness among the laity.

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