Women and the Great and Holy Orthodox Council

Public Orthodoxy

by Carrie Frederick Frost, Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Teva Regule, Alexandra Lobas Safchuk, and Gayle E. Woloschak

As preparations continue for the Great and Holy Council set for Pentecost 2016, we eagerly look for the inclusion of women in the Council proceedings.

Voting delegations of the Great and Holy Council are exclusively comprised of hierarchs from each of the fourteen local autocephalous Orthodox Churches and are appointed by each of these Churches. Other participants, however, will be present at the Council.

Article 3 of the “Organization and Working Procedure of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church” document approved in Chambesy in January 2016, notes that, “The delegations may be accompanied by special consultants—clergy, monastics or laypeople—but their number cannot exceed six (6).” These special consultants are allowed to “attend the Council’s plenary sessions—without the right to speak or to vote—and are expected to assist…

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