Notable analysis of the Pan-Orthodox Council situation

Gabriel Sanchez, well known to readers of Semiduplex for his excellent blog, Opus Publicum, has a must-read piece at First Things about the status of the Pan-Orthodox Council. He provides a good summary of the situation as it stands, including the main points of contention. A selection:

What is all the fuss about? There are several agenda items covering intra-Orthodox ecclesiastical governance that in theory should not be terribly concerning, but that nevertheless reveal deep divisions within Orthodoxy along ethnic and national lines.

For instance, the question of the so-called “Orthodox diaspora” is fraught with difficulties. Many Orthodox living in the West would prefer to remain under the wing of bishops in their historic homelands, rather than coalesce around an autocephalous (self-governing) local church. Tied to this issue is the question of who decides when a newly established local church becomes self-governing and under what conditions. The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople has long asserted this right for himself; other patriarchal churches in world Orthodoxy remain unenthused about his claim.

(Emphasis supplied and hyperlinks in original.) Read the whole thing there.