11 March 2014, 10:00
Patriarch Kirill calls to speed up preparations for All-Orthodox Council
Moscow, March 11, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has called to speed up the preparations for the All-Orthodox Council.
"If really want to convene the All-Orthodox Council, we should learn to work in this regime," the patriarch said while meeting with the heads and representatives of local Orthodox Churches in the residence of the patriarch of Constantinople in Istanbul.
Patriarch Kirill said a lot of work remains to be done on the issues addressed at the Council and suggested creating an effective body composed of representatives of local Churches that could meet regularly to exchange opinions and materials, the Moscow Patriarchate reported on its website on March 7.
The patriarch believes the agenda of the upcoming Council, which has not convened for more than 1,000 years, should contain issues such as the driving of Christians from the Middle East and Northern African regions, the issue of a cult of consumption, which is the primary cause of the economic crisis, the destruction of morals and family, and the issues of cloning and surrogate mothers.
He believes the presidium of the All-Orthodox Council should be composed of the heads of all local Churches and should make its decisions on the basis of a consensus (unanimous voting), not a majority of the votes. The protocols of the sessions and the draft versions of the main council documents need to be approved by all Churches before the Council, he said.
Patriarch Kirill said he is convinced that the purpose of the upcoming Council is to "manifest the unity of the Church on issues that concern the Orthodox world" in such a way as to ensure that the voice of every Church be heard, regardless of the number of its members and the date of its foundation.
Patriarch Ilia II of All Georgia, for his part, said the Council should only convene after all issues included in its agenda are considered and resolved n the basis of a consensus, with regard for the interests of all Churches.