On 4 September 2013, the Supreme Church Council of the Russian Orthodox Church met for a regular session at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. The session was chaired by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, who declared the session open and presented the agenda. He greeted the participants and said that the meeting might not be attractive to the press but is very important, as we ought to consider the implementation of decisions taken by the Bishops’ Council and of the Supreme Church Council, to have a thorough look at the process of the work being done, which tasks we have done and which we have failed to do.
His Holiness continued: ‘Thoughts and ideas are important when they lead to concrete action, otherwise they are useless. A focus area of our work should be the implementation of decisions taken by the Bishops’ Council, the Holy Synod, and the Supreme Church Council. The evaluation of this work must be a priority.
‘As to the reform of theological education, we will consider and adopt a document on the practice in the institutions of higher education. In addition to theological education for future priests, there are other specialties taught there such as social work, work with the youth, or catechetical, pedagogical and missionary work. We will consider a document intended for people who may choose these specialties.
‘As usual, I invite you to be active in our deliberations.’