Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has said preparations for the 2016 All-Orthodox Council need to be speeded up.
Speaking at a meeting of 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.
He 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 cover persecuted Christians in the Middle East and Northern African regions, the issue of a cult of consumption, which he sees as 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, Interfax news agency reported. 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.