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On 22 February 2011, the Inter-Orthodox Preparatory Commission, convened to consider the agenda of the Pan-Orthodox Council, began its work at the Orthodox Centre of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Chambesy, Switzerland.

The last session took place in December 2009. The results of the Commission’s work should be submitted to the 5th Pan-Orthodox Pre-Council Conference. The time of its convening will be fixed after the preparatory work is completed. The Pan-Orthodox Pre-Council Conferences were held in 1976, 1982, 1986 and 2009.

The session is chaired by Metropolitan John of Pergamon, Patriarchate of Constantinople. The delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church. Led by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR), includes Archbishop Mark of Berlin, Germany and Great Britain, Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia; archpriest Nikolai Balashov, DECR deputy chairman; and the interpreter Anatoly Churiakov.

Delegations of the fourteen Autocephalous Orthodox Churches take part in the session.

The Commission began its work with a prayer; Metropolitan John presented an introductory report; and a cable requesting blessing and prayers was sent to the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches. Heads of the delegations greeted the participants.

Metropolitan Hilarion conveyed wishes of successful work in the spirit of love and mutual understanding from His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

Metropolitan Jeremiah of Switzerland presented a report on the questions on the agenda.

The Commission, which is to consider the contents of the Tomos on Autocephaly and the manner of its signing, as well as the topic of diptychs, will work till February 26.