All Russian Orthodox Church bishops meet in Moscow


Interfax-Religiia, 2 February 2016


The Bishops' Council of the Russian Church opened on Tuesday in the church of Christ the Savior in Moscow.


In opening the event, Patriarch of Moscow and all-Rus Kirill acknowledged that the current Bishops' Council is meeting a year earlier than the church by-laws require, which is caused by the active preparation for the Pan-Orthodox Council, the patriarchal press service reports.


"The Bishops' Council in 2013 emphasized that this preparation should provide broad discussion of the resolutions being prepared and distinguish itself by special concern for preserving the purity of Orthodox doctrine. Therefore the Holy Synod considered that the time had come for thorough conversation about issues arising in connection with the pre-council process," Patriarch Kirill noted.


"In addition, today we will treat the difficult topic of the 'Ekaterinburg remains' and discuss the course of implementation of several decisions made be the preceding council," he reported.


The Bishops' Council is the supreme body of hierarchical administration of the Russian Church and comprises bishops only. It is convened by the patriarch and the synod no less frequently than once in four years and in advance of a local council and also in exceptional instances. All bishops participate in the work of a council. At present there are 354 bishops in the Russian Church.


The last time, the council was held in Moscow in February 2013. At the time, the participants, among other things, spoke out against juvenile justice and the compulsory nature of new technologies of identification of citizens, determined the procedure for the election of the patriarch of Moscow and all-Rus, and spoke in favor of granting the Ukrainian Orthodox Church the status of a legal person. (tr. by PDS, posted 3 February 2016)



Interfax-Religiia, 2 February 2016


Russian President Vladimir Putin is sure that the decisions of the Bishops' Council of the Russian Orthodox Church will facilitate constructive cooperation of the church with bodies of government power and civil institutions and improvement of inter-ethnic and inter-religious dialogue.


"In the course of many centuries the Russian Orthodox Church played a special role in establishing and developing Russian statehood and strengthening in society imperishable ethical, moral, and family values, devoting untiring attention to the training of the young generation in the supreme ideals of humanism, good, and justice, and it conducted active enlightenment and charitable activity and always in the most difficult dramatic periods displayed a sincere desire to serve the fatherland and the nation," a telegram from the president to Patriarch Kirill and forum participants says.


The president noted that Bishops' Councils are a large significant event in the life of the country.


In the telegram, V. Putin notes that the bishops are supposed to discuss a wide circle of serious problems reflecting the spirit and realities of the time and express their point of view on many issues roiling society.


"I am sure that your decisions will facilitate a strengthening of constructive cooperation of the church with bodies of government power and civil institutions in such key directions as resolution of urgent social problems, improvement of inter-ethnic and inter-religious dialogue, and formation in youth of a respectful attitude toward the rich historical, cultural, and spiritual heritage of the peoples of Russia," the Russian president noted. (tr. by PDS, posted 3 February 2016)

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