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Inter-Council Presence meeting completes its work

Inter-Council Presence meeting completes its work

On January 23-24, 2017, the plenary session of the Inter-Council Presence of the Russian Orthodox Church was held at the Church Councils Hall of the Church of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. It was chaired by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

The participants approved the draft documents “Provision for Monasteries and Monastics” and “On Canonical Aspects of the Church Marriage” amended by the members of the Inter-Council Presence and seconded by the plenary session. The two documents were forwarded to the Holy Synod with a view to submitting them to the Bishops’ Council.

The session approved the proposals of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill to change the structure of certain commissions of the Inter-Council Presence. The proposals will be presented to the Inter-Council Presence’s Presidium for approval.

The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church addressed the participants noting the growing importance of the Inter-Council Presence. “This forum is very important for the life of our Church as the participants hold responsible discussions on many topics and try to formulate and express their views with relevant references, including those to Holy Scriptures and canons,” His Holiness underscored.

Patriarch Kirill believes that the Inter-Council Presence’s aim is to shape a position of the Church that “would prevent her from divisions and consolidate our unanimity which is not handed down from the top, but grows out of free discussion of important matters of concern to the people of God.”

Our work at the Inter-Council Presence gives us an opportunity to gain an important and valuable experience. “Many of us find something new even in working with texts… We hope that by God’ grace our labours would help us with our sermon, our mission and ministry to our flock,” His Holiness noted.

Patriarch Kirill believes that unanimity achieved after discussing the issues that could divide the Church community is a major result of the Inter-Council Presence’s work. “We have talked over certain topics and – I am deeply convinced – achieved solutions that would consolidate our unanimity, our trust in each other and understanding of the importance of an opportunity for our Church to bring her message to people in clear language.”

His Holiness expressed his gratitude to the members of the commissions who have prepared documents for the plenary session and to all those who have discussed and worked with the documents of the Inter-Council Presence.

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