In response to various inaccurate, false and misleading publications on the Internet in relation to the deliberations in Chambésy, Geneva, of the convening Special Inter-Orthodox Committee for the review and editing of the Documents for the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, which is to take place with God’s grace, the Chairman of the Committee, His Eminence Elder Metropolitan John of Pergamon – through the Legal Counsel of the Ecumenical Patriarchate – asked the following of the website administrator of “Romfea.gr” in order to avoid legal consequences:
a) To delete forever from his webpage both the inaccurate publications dated April 1, 2015, related to the abovementioned matter, as well as the associated articles and comments, identified and anonymous alike, which are derogatory and slanderous both for the work of the Committee but also personally for its Chairman and other members.
b) For the sake of restoring the truth, to publish immediately – without abbreviation and with the same conditions, under which he posted the stated publications on his website – the following Statement by the Committee Chairman.
The Statement by His Eminence Metropolitan John of Pergamon reads as follows:
In response to the inaccurate publications on your webpage on April 1, 2015 (at 1.32pm) concerning the deliberations of the Special Inter-Orthodox Committee, which I chair in preparation for the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, together with the identified and anonymous articles and comments that remained posted on your website for an extended period of time, provoking the defamation of myself but also other members of the said Committee, as well as moral harm of the work of the Committee, for the sake of restoring the truth, I call on you to publish on your website immediately and forever, and also in exactly the same way as in your previous publication that:
1. The publication on your webpage is entirely inaccurate and misleading, that supposedly you received “information that saw the preparatory committee at its last meeting seeking to submit a methodology whereby the Holy and Great Council will express its solidarity with ‘sexual minorities’.” Not only was there no such decision by the Special Committee that I chair, but absolutely not a single member of this Committee expressed such support, whether direct or indirect, of the lifestyle of these “minorities.” Not demonstrating violence against sinners emanates from the Gospel principle of love toward every sinful person (see, among many other examples, the case of the stoning of the woman in adultery in John 8.3-11), but absolutely no member of the Committee related with either approval or acceptance their lifestyle, as the matter is maliciously presented in the articles and comments posted on your website. In any case, the Committee authoritatively expressed its opinion on the entire matter through its formal Communiqué dated April 2, 2015, which I call on you to publish with the names of the representatives of the Churches that signed it, and which is as follows:
The Special Inter-Orthodox Committee, which was constituted by decision of the Synaxis of Primates of the Orthodox Churches in March, 2014, with the mandate to review the documents composed and approved by the 3rd Preconciliar Consultation (Geneva 1986) as well as to revise the documents produced by the 2nd Preconciliar Consultation (Geneva 1982), completed its task in three consecutive assemblies (September 29 to October 4, 2014, February 16-21 and March 29 to April 3, 2015) at the Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, Geneva. Therefore, the edited and otherwise needing revision texts are ready for further action.
The Committee’s deliberations took place in a spirit of fraternal love and constructive dialogue.
All members of the Committee responsibly declare that whatever was published concerning the supposed acceptance of positions contrary to the teaching of the Church is absolutely inaccurate and unfounded.
+Elder John of Pergamon, Chairman (Ecumenical Patriarchate)
+ Sergios of the Cape of Good Hope (Patriarchate of Alexandria)
+ Vasilios of Akkar (Patriarchate of Antioch)
+ Aristarchos of Constantina (Patriarchate of Jerusalem)
+ Hilarion of Volokolamsk (Patriarchate of Moscow)
+ Amfilohije of Montenegro (Patriarchate of Serbia)
+ Nifon of Targoviste (Patriarchate of Romania)
+ John of Varna (Patriarchate of Bulgaria)
+ Andrei of Gori (Patriarchate of Georgia)
+ George of Paphos (Church of Cyprus)
+ Chrysostomos of Peristerion (Church of Greece)
+ George of Siemiatycze (Church of Poland)
+ John of Korça (Church of Albania)
+ George of Michalovce (Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia)
+ Jeremiah of Swtizerland, Secretary: Preparatory Committee for the Holy and Great Council (Ecumenical Patriarchate)
2. Moreover, the title of the same publication of your website, entitled “John of Pergamon: ‘Stop the leaks to the media’,” is inaccurate and misleading, as is the sentence within the same text: “During the 3rd meeting of the committee in Chambésy, Geneva, Metropolitan John of Pergamon asked all members of the committee not to speak with representatives of the press for any issues on the table.” What is true is the statement that the Committee chairman asked the members of the committee not to leak inaccurate information. In relation to this, I would remind you of what is taken for granted, namely that the positions of any similar body are authentically and accurately expressed only by the Chairman and the official joint Communiqués of its members; in this particular case, in accordance with the Panorthodox decisions and the prevailing practice for decades, the endorsed Documents are publicized only after they have been appraised and approved by the appropriate Preconciliar Panorthodox Consultation.
3. Consequently, I call on you to delete forever from your website all of the identified and anonymous comments, which were posted on the basis of the abovementioned inaccurate information and refer – in an offensive and defamatory manner – either to my person or the work of the Committee that I chair.
4. Finally, I ask that in the future you refrain from any similar conduct, which provokes moral harm to the preparatory work of the Holy and Great Council and those bearing the responsibility for its preparation.
Athens, April 23, 2015.”