This welcome announcement appeared earlier today on the website of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, to which the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America belongs. It responds to the initiative of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem to sidestep the Ecumenical Patriarchate to resolve the matter of the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine as granted in January 2019. For additional context see the extensive Ukraine section in our Archives 2017-19 and Archives 2020.
Patriarch John X of Antioch
A Statement by the Antiochian Orthodox Media Center
Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East
Balamand, February 22, 2020
Following the generous invitation of His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem to His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch, to participate in a consultative meeting of Church leaders in Amman, Jordan, on the twenty-fifth of this month, the Antiochian Church declares that She will not participate in this meeting.
The Church of Antioch acknowledges the concern of the Orthodox Churches’ Primates and their initiatives to what could contribute to finding solutions for the grave crisis that the Orthodox Church is witnessing today. However, She has decided not to participate in this meeting, based on the information that has been provided, and for Her care to avoid whatever increases divergence and deepens the rift between brothers. Her position does not mean that She is not eager to expedite necessary solutions for the reasons that led to the severance of communion between the Church of Antioch and the Church of Jerusalem, even after the Church of Antioch has showed readiness for everything that facilitates these solutions.
On this occasion, the Church of Antioch reiterates Her firm position that the “unanimous consensus” between the Churches, based on the Holy Scripture and the Holy Tradition, is the essential rule in the Orthodox Church, with regards to general decisions on the universal Orthodox level, as well as in resolving outstanding issues. She also affirms Her endeavor, through the continuous communication with the Churches, to what yields an atmosphere of love and to a return to the mutual consultation and unanimity between the brothers, in order for Her to be faithful to the mission of joy, peace, and unity that the Lord wants from His Church.
The Church of Antioch calls upon all of Her children to join together in prayer and work for peace in the Church and the whole world.