Unofficial English translation made from the official French original.
Third Preconciliar Panorthodox Conference
Chambésy, October 28– November 6, 1986
of the Preconciliar Panorthodox Conferences
Article 1. The Preconciliar Panorthodox Conferences are extraordinary meetings of the Orthodox Churches. According to panorthodox practice, the representatives canonically named by the local autocephalous and autonomous Orthodox Churches participate in them in order to assure collegially the preparation of the Great and Holy Council.
Article 2. The Preconciliar Panorthodox Conferences are convened by the Ecumenical Patriarch, following the agreement of the Primates of the local Orthodox Churches, by means of patriarchal letters addressed to all the autocephalous and autonomous local Orthodox Churches.
Article 3. The patriarchal letters announce that the procedure decided at the panorthodox level has been completed through the care of the Secretariat for the preparation of the Great and Holy Council. This procedure concerns the study of the topics under discussion and the preparation of the entire work of the Conference, a procedure that also provides for the convening of the Interorthodox Preparatory Committee. Furthermore, the patriarchal letters inform that the local Orthodox Churches are sufficiently prepared on these questions, specify the location and date of the meeting of the Conference, and invite the local Churches to name the representatives in conformity with established panorthodox practice.
Article 4. The topic of each Preconciliar Panorthodox Conference is chosen by the preceding Conference from the list of topics defined by the First Preconciliar Panorthodox Conference. It is not possible to delete or add a topic to the list in question, which has been established and accepted at the panorthodox level, at least until the above list has been exhausted; after which, the Great and Holy Council will meet.
Article 5. The delegations of the local Churches include a number of members not exceeding the number of topics on the agenda at the Conference. Advisers– members of the clergy or laypeople– can accompany these delegations. Nevertheless, their number may not be more than that of the delegates. The advisers participate at plenary meetings without the right to vote, but they may speak if necessary. They assist the Conference in its work by carrying out specific tasks assigned to them by the entire assembly or the committees of the Conference.
Article 6. The presidency of the preconciliar panorthodox conferences is exercised by the delegate of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Article 7. In the exercise of his functions, the President convenes before each Conference the Heads of the delegations of the Orthodox Churches for an overview of their agenda, to define the order to be followed in examining the topics, to approve the Conference’s program of work, or any other question of procedure to be resolved for a better and more effective coordination of the Conference’s work. The Secretary of the Conference attends this meeting. The results of this meeting are proposed by the President to the entire assembly for approval. Analogous meetings of the Heads of the delegations may be convened during the work of the conference.
Article 8. The President proclaims the opening and closing of work, directs the discussions by briefly commenting when appropriate, grants the right to speak and, in general, exercises all his functions in accordance with this regulation for the best possible progress for the work of the Conference. The President may limit the speaking time for speakers, if the entire assembly agrees to this. If the discussion of a topic on the program is not completed or if the list of those who wish to speak is not exhausted, the President submits the question to an open vote and decides accordingly.
Article 9. The Secretary for the preparation of the Great and Holy Council is the Secretary of the preconciliar panorthodox Conferences. He presents the reports of the Interorthodox Preparatory Committee and, more generally, the dossier created on each topic. He keeps the minutes of the Conference and facilitates by all appropriate means the work of the entire assembly and the committees. Additionally, in order to ensure the success of the work of the Interorthodox Preparatory Committee and of the Preconciliar Panorthodox Conferences, the Secretary for the preparation of the Great and Holy Council shall ensure that all official texts are translated into Greek, Russian and French in addition to providing a simultaneous translation service in these languages.
The Work of the Conference
Article 10. The beginning and the end of the work of each Preconciliar Panorthodox Conference are marked by the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.
Article 11. The work of the Conference is carried out in the entire assembly or in committees. The members and the general composition of the committees are proposed by the Secretary after deliberation with the Heads of the delegations of the local Churches and approval by the entire assembly. Advisers are also distributed in the committees. They attend them with the right to speak but without the right to vote on the approval of the proposed texts. The President and the Secretary of each Committee are elected by the delegates of each committee.
Article 12. On the basis of the reports of the Interorthodox Preparatory Committee and the precise instructions given by the entire assembly, the committees work to prepare a draft text on each topic, which they propose to the entire assembly. The President of the committee presents the topic, organizes the work, directs the discussions and, presents, finally, the committee’s report to the entire assembly. Each committee may, at the proposal of its president, name subcommittees charged with examining more deeply certain aspects of the topic. Once approved by the committee, the proposals of the subcommittees are integrated into the draft text proposed to the entire assembly of the Conference. The committee’s proposal to the entire assembly are preparatory to the work of the Conference.
The Interorthodox Preparatory Committee
Article 13. The Interorthodox Preparatory Committee is convoked by letters from the Ecumenical Patriarch and, according to panorthodox practice, includes one delegate and one theological adviser from each Orthodox Church. The President of the Interorthodox Preparatory Committee is the delegate of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and his Secretary is the Secretary for the preparation of the Great and Holy Council.
Article 14. The work of the Interorthodox Preparatory Committee takes place in the entire assembly or in the working committees. For the composition of the Committee and the conduct of its work, Articles 11 and 12 of this regulation apply by analogy.
Article 15. The Interorthodox Preparatory Committee has the mission and the responsibility of studying, elaborating and preparing the topics of the following Panorthodox Preparatory Conference. It takes into account the studies and reports of the local Orthodox Churches and, more generally, all related material made available to it by the Secretariat for the preparation of the Great and Holy Council. The task of the Interorthodox Preparatory Committee is to seek the Orthodox consensus on each topic listed on the agenda of the following Panorthodox Preconciliar Conference and to elaborate a common text on each topic, a text which will be submitted as a report for the approval and decision of the following Panorthodox Preconciliar Conference.
Approval of the Texts–Making Decisions–Character of the Decisions
Article 16. The text on all the topics on the agenda of the Panorthodox Preconciliar Conferences are approved unanimously. For questions of procedure, a majority of 2/3 of the delegations present is required. The decisions of the Preconciliar Panorthodox Conferences on each of the themes on the agenda have a preparatory character for the Great and Holy Council. Therefore, although reflecting the authentic Orthodox tradition on the topics in question, they do not have the authority to directly engage the local Churches before the Great and Holy Council has made its decision.
Article 17. If, during deliberations of the entire assembly, unanimity of the delegations is not obtained on a topic, taking a decision is renounced and the Secretariat for the preparation of the Great and Holy Council transmits it for further study, elaboration and preparation according to the procedure established at the panorthodox level. The topic thus referred is listed at the top of the list of the following Preconciliar Panorthodox Conference and examined as such by the Interorthodox Preparatory Committee. If unanimity is again not obtained on the topic in question or if all the delegations unanimously reject the proposals of the Interorthodox Preparatory Committee both during the first and the second review (after its referral) by the entire assembly, the Secretariat for the preparation of the Great and Holy Council completes the dossier constituted at this stage and resubmits it according to the procedure described above.
Article 18. The decisions of the Preconciliar Panorthodox Conferences are signed by the Heads of the delegations of the local Orthodox Churches in the official languages of the Conference, which are Greek, Russian and French. They are communicated by the Secretariat for the preparation of the Great and Holy Council to all the autocephalous and autonomous local Orthodox Churches.
Article 19. The minutes of the Preconciliar Panorthodox Conferences are sent as soon as possible by the Secretariat for the preparation of the Great and Holy Council to all the local Orthodox Churches. After which the Secretariat shall publish said minutes and decisions of the Preconciliar Panorthodox Conference.
Done at the Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Chambésy, Geneva, October 29, 1986.
† Chrysostom of Myra, President
|† Parthenios of Carthage||† Georges of Mount Lebanon|
|† Germanos of Petra||† Filaret of Kiev and Galicia|
|† Savva of Soumadia||† Anthony of Transylvania|
|† Pancraty of Stara Zagora||† Chrysostom of Paphos|
|† Panteleimon of Corinth||† Jeremiah of Wroclaw|
|† David of Sukhumi and Abkhazia||† Dorotheos of Prague|
|† Jean of Finland|
† Damaskinos of Tranoupolis