Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Russian Orthodox Bishops' Council Meets in Moscow

The Moscow Patriarchate has submitted a number of reports as part of the ongoing Bishops' Council of the Church of Rus'. Among other things Patriarch Kirill (Gundyayev) of Moscow spoke very positively about the Russian Orthodox Church's dialogues with the Coptic and Armenian Orthodox Churches. More on that here. He also described the Church's increasingly warm relations with the Greek-controlled Churches of Constantinople and Alexandria, calling for cooperation with them and not competition, as well as the Church's especially strong ties with the Czechoslovak and American Orthodox Churches. More on his report on inter-Orthodox relations can be found here.

In describing the current state of the Russian Orthodox Church on its canonical territories in the former USSR Patriarch Kirill noted positively the recent statements of Patriarch Bartholomew (Arhontonis) of Constantinople on the Ukraine and the freedom of the Church outside Russia in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Latvia, but spoke with concern about the limitations on its work in Estonia, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. In particular in Estonia the state only returns church properties on lease and with the approval of the schismatic Estonian Apostolic Church of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. More on that here and here.

The Bishops' Council was organized to coincide with the 2nd anniversary of Patriarch Kirill's enthronement in Moscow and is being attended by 217 hierarchs of the Church of Rus'. More here.

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