The editor of the American Orthodox Church periodical has called for an "end to double talk" about the long-proposed Great Synod of Eastern Orthodoxy.
The Very Rev. John Meyendorff says in an editorial in the July issue of The Orthodox Church, "It is neither realistic nor ethical to mislead the media with announcements of a forthcoming coucil when one does not really believe that it can be held."
Noting that "in the years following 1970, the Patriarchate of Constantinople has repeatedly announced that a council was forthcoming," Meyendorff adds that "there is no evidence that either a date or a place for the future council have been selected. Meanwhile, unilateral actions continue."
Meyendorff is particularly critical of Constantinople's approval of the new charter of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, which, he says, "establishes in an official way, the totally uncanonical coexistence of several Orthodox bishops in the same city."
In 1970, the Orthodox Church in America received its complete independence (autocephaly) from the Russian Orthodox Church, an action not officially recognized by Constantinople, the "first among equals" of Eastern Orthodox sees.
Meyendorff calls "deplorable" the situation of overlapping Orthodox jurisdictions that are often strongly related to ethnicity.
"The various Orthodox patriarchates in the Middle East and in the Communist countries may well be paralyzed and unable to take action, but they have neither the right not the ultimate power to paralyze the progress of Orthodox in America," he says.