ADDRESS AT THE 43rd CLERGY LAITY CONGRESS OF THE ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AMERICA ON THE EVALUATION OF THE HOLY AND GREAT COUNCIL IN CRETE
(Nashville, Tennessee July 7, 2016)
Your Eminence Archbishop Demetrios Geron of America,
Your Eminences Holy Hierarchs
Beloved Presbyters and Deacons
Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
Leadership of the Philoptochos Society
Delegates of the Parish Church Councils
Dear Sisters and Brothers in the Lord,
The Holy and Great Council was surely a unique blessing and experience for all of us who participated in it. I am really grateful to His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who invited me to be part of the delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. To be honest, at first, I was very worried about the outcome of the Council, because no one knew how it would actually progress.
As you know, there were many negative voices and different opinions regarding the agenda and the texts of the Council. On the other hand, the absence of the four Autocephalous Churches had caused a heavy atmosphere. However, after the Divine Liturgy of Pentecost at the Church of St. Menas Cathedral in Heracleio Crete, I felt the dynamic presence of the Holy Spirit which lead us during the meetings of the Holy and Great Council.
Some other times it seemed difficult for the Council to continue and the discussions had reached a dead – end. But, through the power of the Holy Spirit the difficulties were overcome and thus, we arrived at a successful ending. It is commonly accepted that the endless patience and democratic attitude on the part of our Patriarch as well as his tremendous efforts lead to this result.
I am grateful to God for this unique blessing and experience. It will always be an inspiration in my whole life and in my missionary ministry.
I thank you very much.
+ Metropolitan Ambrosios of Korrea