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A centenary encyclical from Partriarch of Moscow

MOSCOW (AsiaNews): Patriarch Kirill of Moscow published an encyclical on the occasion of the centenary of the formation of the Moscow Council of 1917 and 1918 which reestablished the Russian Patriarchate 200 years after it had been abolished by the tsar, Peter the Great.
He said that it is significant to remember that the Moscow Council restored the patriarchate during the days of the Russian Revolution, which led to its potential never being fully comprehended.
However, the patriarch says, “Many of the ideas that were expressed then are still useful and necessary today.”
Study of the decision of the council has resumed in recent years and preparation for an important scientific edition of the documents it adopted is underway.
It will include many materials on the long pre-conciliar preparation, in what Patriarch Kirill calls a lively and fruitful decade of Russian culture and Orthodoxy that is remembered as the Silver Century.
The patriarch explains that the present structure of the Patriarchate has been reformed and the current Patriarchal Curia of Moscow has been renamed the Inter-Conciliar Presence for some years, to revive a communitarian spirit in Church life.
Patriarch Kirill maintains that many of the issues that were left unresolved 100 years ago due to the revolution and the subsequent civil war, can now be re-addressed.
He cites what he calls putting all parishes on the same level, liturgical and linguistic reform, the unification of the monastic statutes and creating a common understanding between parish priests and the monastic clergy.
In addition to resurrecting memories of the council, Patriarch Kirill has been at the forefront of other symbolic gestures to educate people in rediscovering the conciliar spirit of Russian Orthodoxy.
On August 30, the patriarch blessed a monument to a prince of Ancient Russia, Vladimir Monomakh, recalling his famous address of 1147 urging other princes to overcome their internal divisions in order to avoid being overwhelmed by invaders.
He pointed out that the prince was not listened to until the whole group fell victim to the troops of Genghis Khan.
Patriarch Kirill also mentions the International Christian Forum that was held in Moscow on the theme of the defence of persecuted Christians in the Middle East in which over 200 people from Russia, the Middle East and Europe participated, including Catholic and Protestant delegates.
The forum assessed the development of humanitarian aid programmes for Christians who are subjected to violence and genocide in the areas affected by Islamist terrorism and investigated theoretical perspectives of an anti-globalist policy as a means of bringing the whole Christian world together.
He also pointed out that the recent visit of the Vatican secretary of state, Pietro Cardinal Parolin, to Moscow reflected a desire to foster a universal union of Christians against the threats of the modern world.

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