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HIS HOLINESS PATRIARCH KIRILL: THE LOCAL COUNCIL OF 1917-1918 WAS TRULY AN EXTRAORDINARY PEHNOMENON IN THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH

In his report at the Episcopal Council, which opened in Moscow on 29th November 2017, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia emphasized that the present Council is to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the Patriarchal enthronement of St. Tikhon of Moscow. A special session of the Council will be held with the participation of the First Hierarchs and representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches to mark this historic event.

“The election of St. Tikhon to the Patriarch Throne of Moscow took place at the Holy Council of the Orthodox Church of Russia, as it was then called, or as we are now used to calling it, the Local Council of 1917-1918. On the feast day of the Dormition of the Mother of God we marked the one hundredth anniversary of the opening of this Council, which was truly an extraordinary phenomenon in the history of the Church,” His Holiness noted.

His Holiness reminded listeners that the work of the Local Council, which was held a century ago, embraced practically all aspects of Church life. “Of course, some of the Council’s resolutions or draft decisions which could not be examined for a lack of time, have lost their relevance, while others became outdated even as the Council’s work was in progress. But many of its decisions and projects have retained their importance till the current day,” the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church emphasized. “It is impossible to expect that a hundred years later we will find in the Council’s documents ready answers to all of today’s issues in Church life. Yet we, the inheritors of the ‘Tikhonite’ Church, ought to listen attentively to the voices of Russian theologians, bishops and pastors from the pre-Revolutionary period, who have bequeathed to us their thoughts on the earthly ways of the Church.”

Expressing his hope that the great labour of publishing the archives of the Council would be brought to a completion in the foreseeable future, His Holiness the Patriarch said: “I believe that these materials will be food for thought for more than one generation of not only theoreticians – scholars and students – but also for bishops, clergy and other Church workers.”