World Orthodoxy: Preparations for “Ecumenical Council” to Resume in June

(Interfax) The 4th all-Orthodox pre-conciliar consultation is to be held in the Constantinople Patriarchate Orthodox center in Chambésy on June 6-13, 2009.

“Participants will touch upon the topic of organizing Orthodox diaspora (Orthodox believers living out of borders of any local Orthodox church),” Acting Secretary of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Priest Igor Yakimchuk has told Interfax-Religion on Tuesday.

He noted that several centuries had passed after the last seventh Ecumenical Council and “there are a lot of questions that need all-church solution for the sake of strengthening unity and avoiding schisms in one Orthodox Church.”

“To settle these questions it is planned to hold the Holy and Great Council of the Eastern Orthodox Church in foreseeable future,” the priest said.

It was decided to get ready for the Great Council by way of convening all-Orthodox pre-council consultations and inter-Orthodox preparatory commissions.

Three all-Orthodox pre-conciliar consultations (Chambésy 1976, 1982, 1986) and five inter-Orthodox preparatory commissions (Geneva, 1971, Chambésy 1986, 1990, 1993 and 1999) were held in the past.

Ten-year break in holding meetings and preparatory commissions was caused by complications in inter-Orthodox relations connected with disagreements between the Moscow and Constantinople Patriarchates on church structure in Estonia. The Istanbul meeting of primates and representatives of Orthodox Churches in October 2008 made it possible to resume inter-Orthodox cooperation for getting ready to the Council.

Next session of the inter-Orthodox preparatory commission is planned for December 2009.

Saint Theophan of Poltava on the End Times

You ask me about the near future and about the coming last times. I do not speak from myself, but I relate to you what was revealed to me by elders.

The coming of the antichrist is nearing and it is already very close. The time which separates us from his arrival can be measured in years, in best case in decades….

I know nothing of the Eight Ecumenical Council. I can only quote the words of Saint Theodore the Studite, “Not every gathering of bishops is a council; only the gathering of bishops who stand in truth.” True, the Ecumenical Council does not depend on the number of those gathered, but on whether it will [vainly] philosophize or teach in the Orthodox manner. If it steps away from the truth, it will not be ecumenical, even if it calls itself that. The infamous “council of thugs” (sobor razboinikov) was in its time more numerous than many ecumenical councils, but even so it was not recognized as an Ecumenical Council but got the name “council of thugs”.

Venerable Kuksha of Odessa (+1964)

The last times are starting. Soon, there will be an ecumenical council called “holy”. But that will be the very “Eight Council” which will be the assembly of the godless. All faith[s] will unite into one at that council.

Then, all fasts will be canceled, monasticism will be completely destroyed, bishops will be married. The new calendar will be implemented in the Universal Church.

Be vigilant. Make sure to go to God’s churches while they are still ours. Soon, you won’t be able to go there. Everything will change. Only the chosen will see this. They will be forcing people to go to church, but we should not go there under any circumstances. I beg you, stand in the Orthodox Faith until the end and you will be saved!