The Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Churches began its work at the Hall of Church Councils in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour on 2 February 2013. 290 archpastors from 247 dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) were invited to take part in the Council. They arrived from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kirghistan, Latvia, Lithuania, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Estonia, and from some far abroad countries in which the ROC dioceses exist.
Statement by the Communication Service of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations
In January 2013, a wave of the defilement of Orthodox churches and burial places has swept Kosovo.
According to the press service of the Raska-Prizren diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the 19th century Church of the Holy Trinity at the Babljak village near Urosevac was plundered and defiled. In 1999, it survived arson by extremists.
The third day of the Council’s work began with the Divine Liturgy praying at which were His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and members of the Council.
In the beginning of the plenary session at the Hall of Church Council in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna, chairman of the Inter-Council Presence’s Commission on Cooperation between the Church, State and Society, presented a draft document on the position of the Church on the development of technologies of recording and processing of personal data; discussion followed.
St Vladimir's Theological Seminary commemorated the feast of the Three Hierarchs. Among the celebrants were His Grace The Right Rev. Maxim, bishop of the Western Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America (an episcopal member of the SVOTS Board of Trustees), the Very Rev. Dr. Predrag Puzovic, dean of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology, University of Belgrade, Serbia, and Dr. Bogdan Lubardic, assistant professor at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology.
On Thursday, January 31, 2013, His All-Holiness presided over the concelebration of the Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Three Hierarchs. The commemoration of St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian, and St. John Chrysostom at the Patriarchal Church of St. George was attended by Metropolitans Geron Constantine of Nicaea, Geron Apostolos of Derkoi, Evangelos of Perghe, Germanos of Theodoroupolis, Iakovos of the Princes Islands, Meliton of Philadelphia, Demetrios of Sebasteia, Ireneos of Myriophyton and Peristasis, Chrysostomos of Myra, and Stephanos of Kallioupolis and Madytos.