Indifference in regard to Christian unity is not an option for the disciples of Jesus, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has stated in an encyclical issued on the occasion of the Sunday of Orthodoxy.
"It is not possible for the Lord to agonize over the unity of His disciples and for us to remain indifferent about the unity of all Christians," Bartholomew wrote in the encyclical. The Sunday of Orthodoxy is commemorated this year on 21 February.
The encyclical refutes "fanatical" challenges brought against theological dialogues among different Orthodox churches and against ecumenical contacts with the wider community of Christians by "certain circles that exclusively claim for themselves the title of zealot and defender of Orthodoxy."
Statistics on Russian Orthodox Church publicized by Patriarch Kirill’s in his report to the Bishops’ Conference in Moscow9. February 2010 - 12:16
Speaking at the Bishops' Conference held on 2 February 2010 in the chambers of the Church of Christ the Saviour, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia publicized the following statistics: in the Russian Orthodox Church as of today, there are 160 dioceses, 207 ruling and auxiliary bishops, 28434 priests and 3625 deacons. There are 30142 acting parishes, 788 monasteries including 386 male monasteries and 402 convents.
A demonstration in support of minorities was organized on Saturday, January 9, outside the compound of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul. The event was organized by a coalition of liberal and peacemaker organizations named '70 Million Steps Against Coups'. Demonstrators shouted slogans and held banners reading: 'No one should be able to touch the Patriarchate and Patriarch Bartholomew'; 'Long live the brotherhood of peoples'; 'Freedom'; 'Dissolve Ergenekon'; in Greek: 'All peoples are brothers and sisters'; and in Turkish: 'Bring coup instigators and ones planning "Klovos" to Justice.'
The Bishops' Conference took place in the Hall of Church Councils at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour on 2 February 2010. Taking part in it were hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church who have arrived in Moscow to celebrate the anniversary of the enthronement of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. His Holiness presented a report that was following by a discussion of issues took up by the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church. Resolutions on various aspects of church life were adopted.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has said he will continue to pursue reforms within the Russian Orthodox Church. "The administrative reforms launched are not a goal in itself. They must become the backbone of further reforms in the [Russian Orthodox] Church," the Russian Patriarch told Archbishops at a conference in Moscow Christ the Savior Cathedral on Tuesday.
When it comes to fighting today's challenges, the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church stand side-by-side on a number of issues, said Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. "We [together with the Roman Catholic Church] have similar positions on many problems facing Christians in the modern world. They include aggressive secularization, globalization, and the erosion of the traditional moral principles. It should be noted that on these issues Pope Benedict XVI has taken a stance close to the Orthodox one," the Patriarch said at the Bishops' Meeting in Moscow on Tuesday.