“We consider it of utmost importance to make every effort for the Holy and Great Council to meet and show to the world the Synodal unity of the Church”, reads a statement made by the Episcopal Assembly of the British Isles. The working session of the Assembly took place Saturday, 4 June 2016, in London. The event was held, with the blessing of His Eminence Iosif, Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan of Western and Southern Europe, at St George Romanian Orthodox Parish in the capital of Great Britain.
On the agenda of the Episcopal Assembly of the British Isles, as topic of debate, was the Holy and Great Council.
The session was preceded by the concelebration of the Divine Liturgy by: His Eminence Gregorios, Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain (Ecumenical Patriarchate), His Eminence Elisey, Archbishop of Surozh (Russian Orthodox Church), His Eminence Jean, Archbishop of Charioupolis (Exarchate of Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe), His Grace Athanasios of Tropaios, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain, and His Grace Ignatie of Mureş, Assistant Hierarch to the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Spain and Portugal.
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, on behalf of Metropolitan Iosif, His Grace Ignatie of Mureş addressed thanks to the members of the Assembly:
First of all, I would like to say that it is a great honour for our Romanian Orthodox community and a wonderful blessing that the members of the Pan-Orthodox Episcopal Assembly of Great Britain and Ireland have accepted to come and concelebrate the Divine Liturgy witnessing to the unity of Orthodox faith and our unity of liturgical worship.
Secondly, I hope powerfully that the uncreated light of Christ’s Resurrection, which we are experiencing during this paschal time, will transfigure this world of ours, which, unfortunately, is deeply marked by social instability, poverty, immigration, ideological violence directed at the Christian family and pushing an aggressive militant atheism on our young people.
Christ tells us that if our good deeds are like a light that illumines darkness, then we ourselves will be a living testimony of the Most Holy Trinity, ever transforming us and living in us, which people will have as effective guides to mark out the way to the true and right faith in Jesus Christ.
Finally, I would like to thank all of you, on behalf of our Metropolitan Iosif of Western and Southern Europe, for your endeavour and love to be here praying together through this Divine Liturgy, which we have just celebrated today.
Christ is risen!
Regarding the Holy and Great Council, the Episcopal Assembly issued, at the initiative of His Grace Bishop Ignatie, the following statement:
We the members of the Episcopal Assembly of Britain and Ireland gathered at the Romanian Orthodox Church in London for our regular meeting learned with deep concern of the recent developments which threaten the convocation of the Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church.
Having today concelebrated the divine liturgy in a spirit of unity and love we consider it to be of great importance that every effort should be made so that the Synod could meet and manifest to the world the conciliar unity of the church. In a time of great uncertainty, Orthodox Christians are looking to the Synod for a life affirming message of hope. We call upon the clergy and faithful of our respective dioceses to offer fervent prayers that all obstacles should be overcome and that the grace of the Holy Spirit would gather our Mother Churches together in the unity of Christ.