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On 30 January 2017, the Presidium of the Inter-Council Presence of the Russian Orthodox Church began its meeting at the Throne Hall of the Patriarchal and Synodal Residence in St Daniel’s Monastery in Moscow under the chairmanship of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

In his opening address, the Primate of the Russian Church dwelt on the results of the Inter-Council Presence plenary session that took place on January 23-24, and on the agenda of the meeting, saying in particular:

“Two days we worked hard on the draft documents pertaining to the organization of monastic life and regulating the canonical aspects of ecclesiastical marriage. We had a very fruitful, open and therefore long discussion. I thank all the members of the Inter-Council Presence for their active participation in the drafting of the documents that are now available to anyone.

“Among the issues discussed during the plenary session was the reorganization of the Inter-Council Presence. Initiating the discussion, I emphasized that some commissions, such as the one led by His Eminence Metropolitan Juvenaly, had been successful in carrying out their mandate and accomplished their task. On the other hand, in the sphere of church-state and church-society relations such topics may arise that go beyond the agenda. The same is true for other commissions. That is why a proposal was made to reorganize the Inter-Council Presence in order to reduce a number of commissions and piece together closely related agendas. These proposals were seconded by the Inter-Council Presence and I assume that our Presidium will take a decision on them.”

“The next item on our agenda is the election of chairmen and secretaries of the newly established Inter-Council Presence commissions. We will also discuss the composition of the Presidium and the working procedures of the Inter-Council Presence, as well as the topics submitted to the Inter-Council Presence for consideration.”