18:18 GMT +319 September 2018
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    Men dressed as Serbian knights attend an Orthodox Easter service in the St. Sava temple in Belgrade

    Serbian Church Has No Plans to Leave Pan-Orthodox Council in Crete

    © REUTERS / Marko Djurica
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    The Serbian Orthodox Church is not planning to leave the ongoing Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church in Crete, one of the Council's participants said Tuesday.

    KOLYMVARI (Sputnik) — Preparations for the Council took over 50 years as it was set to become the first meeting of the heads all the Orthodox churches in more than 1,000 years. Of the 14 national Orthodox churches, four said that they would 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.

    The Serbian Church had insisted on postponing the Council but eventually decided to send a delegation to the meeting.

    "The question whether or not the Serbian Church will leave is not on the agenda. There are no reasons for this. Representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church are satisfied with how the Council and the discussions are being held," one of the bishops told reporters.

    On Sunday, the deputy chair of the Moscow Patriarchate’s External Church Relations Department said that any decisions that may be taken by the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church in Crete would not be binding, as it was convened in spite of recommendations by five local Orthodox churches to postpone it.

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