During lunch at church today we watched the first half or so of a speech given by Bishop Basil at the parish life conference for the Antiochian Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America a few weeks ago. In it he explains the current desire among the Orthodox bishops worldwide for a “great and holy council,” which has been delayed for a century or so, but he believes may actually be convened much sooner than we think. A great and holy council is like an ecumenical council in the making. In it these bishops (all the Orthodox bishops throughout the world are invited) want to decide what to do about the jurisdictional abnormalities of “the diaspora” of the Americas, Australia, and whatever other substantial diasporic Orthodox areas there are, since the current state of affairs is uncanonical and destructive of unity in places like America, where there might be seven bishops in one large city, and then one bishop over several states, so that each church in a city is under a different bishop. He gives a good, clear, and reasonably thorough explanation of why this is no good and what they might do about it. And, yes my protestant friends, I really did say that this council has been delayed for a century. They had wanted one in 1910, but there was WW1, and then Communism, and then the ruins of Communism, so that the bishops would not be able to all come, or to speak freely without fear of even more severe persecutions than there already were.