The Holy Monasteries of Mt. Athos have responded to the draft documents and methodology of the Pan Orthodox Council with sharp and pointed reactions. The Letters of Athonite Monasteries, sent to the Holy Community of Mt. Athos, have been released to the public. The letters were written in reaction to the Pan Orthodox documents sent to the Holy Monasteries by the Patriarchate of Constantinople. On account of the seriousness of the matter, it was unanimously decided that the texts prepared for approval by the Council be examined in a specially called Meeting of the Representatives and Abbots of the Holy Monasteries, scheduled to take place after the Bright Week of Pascha.
The Athonite Fathers call attention to the danger presented by the Pan Orthodox Council, as it is being carried out. Namely, among other things, they see:
• the conciliarity of the Church being undermined and a theology supportive of primacy being promoted (due to the limited participation of bishops and an excessive authority given to the primates of each of Local Church),
• an unacceptable ambiguity in the pre-synodical texts, allowing for interpretations which divert from Orthodox dogma,
• a placing, as the basis of the dialogues, of "the faith and tradition of the ancient Church and the Seven Ecumenical Councils," such that the subsequent history of the Orthodox Church appears to be somehow lacking or impaired,
• an attempt by some to gain pan-Orthodox confirmation of the scandalous and totally unacceptable texts approved within the World Council of Churches,
• and the unacceptable application of the term "church" to schisms and heresies.
Excerpts and full translations of the letters will be forthcoming.
These concerns follow numerous similar statements by hierarchs of the Church of Greece, the Patriarch of Bulgaria, the Patriarch of Georgia, and the Patriarchate of Russia.