Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill.
A spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church says it is waiting for the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate to respond to its proposal to delay a historic meeting of all the world's Orthodox churches.
Vladimir Legoida said Tuesday the church's Holy Synod has asked Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I to postpone the Holy and Great Council in order to settle differences that have prompted four of the world's 14 independent Orthodox churches to declare their refusal to participate.
Legoida said the Moscow Patriarchate made it clear it won't attend the council, which was set to open later this week in Crete, Greece, if it's not postponed.
Orthodox church leaders haven't held such a meeting since the year 787, when the last of the seven councils recognized by both Orthodox and Catholics, was held.