Communiqué of Meeting of the Primates and representatives of seven Local Orthodox Churches held in Moscow on the occasion of the 65th birthday of the Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia
On November 21, 2011, the Primates and representatives of seven Local Orthodox Churches: Antiochian, Russian, Georgian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Polish and of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, met at the patriarchal residence in the Moscow Kremlin on the occasion of the 65th birthday of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
Participating in the meeting were: Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgia Iliya II, Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All Poland, Metropolitan Christopher of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, Metropolitan Nifon of Filippopolis (Antiochian Orthodox Church), Metropolitan Nifon of Târgovişte (Romanian Orthodox Church), Metropolitan Dometian of Vidin (Bulgarian Orthodox Church).
On the eve of the meeting, the Primates and representatives of the seven Local Orthodox Churches celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Cathedral of Christ the Savior on the occasion of the 65th birthday of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. They gave thanks to God for the opportunity of fraternal meeting, greeted the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, and wished him many happy returns and God’s help in his primatial ministry.
The Primates and representatives of the fraternal Local Churches of the East-European region stated that they have had common experience. Each of these Churches suffered different kinds of oppression by the theomachist political systems and now encounters new challenges that replaced the dominance of anti-religious ideology. These challenges include secularization, propagation of permissiveness and consumerism, and erosion of moral standards.
The participants in the meeting noted the necessity of stimulating the Church’s mission and expressed their support to the extension of its social ministry in constructive cooperation with all healthy social forces. While interacting with society, the Church does not forget oppressions it had suffered and cherishes the freedom it has gained.
The Primates and representatives of the Local Churches which have survived under hard historical circumstances expressed their solidarity with the Churches of the Middle East and North Africa: of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem and Cyprus, and expressed their sympathy with all Christians of the Middle East who suffer oppressions and in certain cases are subjected to direct persecution for the faith today, as well as the orthodox Serbians of Kosovo.
The participants noted the significance of the recent regional meetings of the Primates and representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches held in Cyprus, Jordan, and Constantinople on the initiative of the Heads of the respective Churches. The meetings facilitated inter-Orthodox cooperation on the situation of Christians in the Middle East and drew attention of the world community to the problem of discrimination against Christians in the region.
The Primates and representatives of the seven Churches welcomed the revival of conciliar life in the Church in recent years and expressed their hope that the pre-conciliar process will in due time lead to the convocation of the Pan-Orthodox Council, which might solve many important church problems. Procedure and content of the Council should be thoroughly prepared, and the position of each Local Church should be taken into consideration. For this objective, it is necessary to adhere to the principle of consensus in decision-making during the preparation process and at the Council itself.
The participants in the meeting emphasized that the Council should give a competent response to the modern challenges. The Council’s decisions should fully correspond to the dogmatic and canonical Tradition and not introduce novelties that might endanger the unity of the Holy Church.
+ Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia
+ Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgia Iliya II
+ Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All Poland
+ Metropolitan Christopher of the Czech Lands and Slovakia
+ Metropolitan Nifon of Filippopolis
+ Metropolitan Nifor of Târgovişte
+ Metropolitan Dometian of Vidin
November 8/21, 2011
Synaxis of the Archangel Michael
and the Other Bodiless Powers of Heaven