CWN - The Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch has announced that it will not participate in the Pan-Orthodox Council, scheduled to take place in Crete later this month. 

The Antioch patriarchate becomes the 2nd major Orthodox body to opt out of the worldwide meeting. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church had already indicated that it would not participate. The defections cast a shadow over the unprecedented meeting, which was designed to foster unity among the world's Orthodox churches.

The Patriarchate of Antioch is locked in a jurisdictional dispute with the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and had appealed to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to settle the matter. When the Constantinople see indicated that it would defer a decision until after the June meeting, the Antioch patriarchate said that it could not share Communion with representatives of the Jerusalem patriarchate.

"The Antiochian Church will not participate in the Holy and Great Council until the reasons which prevent participating in the Holy Eucharist during the Council disappear," the patriarchate announced on June 7. The statement urged the Ecumencial Patriarchate to postpone the meeting, which is scheduled to open on June 19. 

The Ecumenical Patriarchate had announced a day earlier that the Council would open on schedule.  

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Teachings of Christ

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 ESV)

Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple

Today is the prelude of the goodwill of God * and the heralding of the salvation of mankind; * the Virgin appears clearly in the temple of God * and foretells Christ to all. * Let us also with a mighty voice cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Fulfillment of the Creator’s divine plan.” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

The most pure Temple of the Savior, * the most precious Bridal-Chamber and Virgin, the sacred Treasury of the glory of God, * is brought today into the house of the Lord, * bringing with her the grace that is in the Divine Spirit. * The angels of God praise her in song: * “She is the heavenly tabernacle.” (Kontakion - Tone 4)

(November 21st)

Random Proverb

"Hear, O sons, a father's instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching." (Proverbs 4:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

If God is slow in answering your request, and you ask but do not promptly receive anything, do not be upset, for you are not wiser than God. When you remain as you were before, without anything happening, it is either because your behaviour is not worthy of your request, or because the paths in which your heart was travelling were far removed from the aim of your prayer, or because your interior condition is far too childish, when compared with the magnitude of the thing for which you have asked.

St. Isaac of Nineveh [Syria], The Syriac Fathers on Prayer and the Spiritual Life.