Synaxis of the Heads of the Eastern Orthodox Churches
October 10-11, 2008
Sponsored by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the fifth Synaxis (religious assembly) of the Heads of the Eastern Orthodox Churches brought together Orthodox leaders to renew their commitment to fraternal cooperation and Christian witness. In their final statement, participants acknowledged the negative impact of national, ethnic, and ideological divides on both the church and humanity, as well as their disastrous consequences for the environment. The statement extended a similar condemnation to greedy economic and scientific enterprises that preferred profit over the common good. Orthodox leaders also expressed support for the reconciliation efforts of the Churches of Russia and Georgia. The final statement concluded with a pledge to continue both intra-Orthodox dialogue and participation in interfaith initiatives, expand Orthodox focus on environmental issues, and establish an official bioethics study committee. After the synaxis, the Orthodox leaders toured the region as part of a Pauline Symposium dedicated to the life and theology of St. Paul.