Meeting on the Mediterranean island of Crete, representatives began their meeting with a celebration of Orthodox Pentecost. However, despite Russian Patriarch Kirill saying that he considered the gathering a preparatory session for a synod that will unite all the Churches “without exception,” the Russian Orthodox Church, which represents a third of all Orthodox Christians has decided to not take part.
from the BBC
“There is also a struggle for power between Russia and the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, considered the spiritual head and “first among equals”. He is the driving force behind the meeting.
The disagreements ranged from seating plans to efforts to reconcile with the Vatican.
Moscow also fears that Patriarch Bartholomew will give support to the Ukrainian branch of the Church, fuelling what one Russian state-owned newspaper has called “a simmering religious war”.”
Also choosing not to participate are the churches of Antioch, Bulgaria and Georgia.
image from the BBC