Pan-Orthodox Council in Crete Declares Orthodox Church Unity

© AP Photo / Holy and Great CouncilIn this Friday, June 17, 2016 photo released by Holy and Great Council, leaders of ten Orthodox churches pose for a family picture at the Orthodox Academy of the Greek island of Crete
In this Friday, June 17, 2016 photo released by Holy and Great Council, leaders of ten Orthodox churches pose for a family picture at the Orthodox Academy of the Greek island of Crete - Sputnik International
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The Orthodox Church has declared its unity during June 20-26 Pan-Orthodox Council.

KOLYMVARI (Sputnik) — The Orthodox Church has declared its unity in the message of the Pan-Orthodox Council which took place in Crete on June 20-26.

"The key priority of the Council was to proclaim the unity of the Orthodox Church… The Orthodox Autocephalous Churches do not constitute a federation of Churches, but the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church," the message reads.

The Council was convened after over 50 years of preparations. Of the 14 national Orthodox churches, four did not attend the event, including the Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Georgian and Bulgarian Orthodox Churches, as well as the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East.

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