In the last century, under the influence of the theological personalism (theology of the Person), the Orthodox Church felt the need of a universal and uniform approach to different pastoral questions. Among those we find also the question of inter-confessional (mixed) marriage. This question was approached during the preparation of the Holy and Great Council of Crete. In 2016 the Great Council of the Orthodox Church, finally convened, specified and confessed that inter-confessional marriages are forbidden according to the traditional canon-law (akriveia), but the salvation of the person must be kept in mind and permission could be given in the spirit of pastoral discernment (oikonomia). The history of the Council shows the struggle for finding a balance between canon law and pastoral care, regarding many pastoral issues nowadays, including inter-confessional marriage.
During the 20th Century, the Taizé Community created a unique liturgical tradition, combining Byzantine and Latin liturgical elements with Protestant background worship. The combination of these liturgical elements concurred with the rediscovery of the old Tradition of the Church and with the entrance of a considerable number of Catholic brothers into the Taizé community. The high point of this reconsidered Tradition is the introduction of the weekly Sunday Eucharist using the Taizé liturgical order. Nonetheless, the Community maintains a Eucharistic discipline and tries to avoid intercommunion. The combination of different traditional liturgical elements on a traditional Protestant base under the supervision of the community’s founder, Br. Roger, aroused great interest among both theologians and simple believers during the time.
The Ecumenical legacy of the Council of Crete convened in 2016 is extremely important because of the consistent discussions on this topic during the grounding of the Council, but mostly subsequent to that, when the process of reception of the Council began. The Holy and Great Council of Crete of 2016, known also as the Pan-Orthodox Council, issued six official documents plus a Message and an Encyclical. Among those documents, one is dedicated to the question of ecumenical relations. Inside various Orthodox Autocephalous Churches different groups denounced the Council because of its ecumenical approach, meaning that a good understanding of the ecumenical legacy of the Council of Crete is one of the most important keys in its reception. In this study I will try to inspect the ecclesiological theology found in the Document on Ecumenical Relations released in 2016 by the Council of Crete, thereby analyzing why some of the groups rejected this document. Comparing different forms of the documents with the final approved form will help us understand how the Orthodox approach to ecumenism evolved in time, since the beginning of the preparations for the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church.