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President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has sent a message of greetings to the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church.

To the participants in the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church

Esteemed Archpastors,

I cordially greet you on the occasion of the opening of the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church dated to the centenary of the restoration of Patriarchate in our country.

The decision to restore the Patriarchal ministry made by the 1917-1918 Local Council has become a great, truly historic event in the life of the Russian Orthodox Church, which to a great extent has defined her lofty ascetic mission. Despite the severe trials, the Church has always been with her people, shared their misfortunes and joys and took care of preserving moral and patriotic values in society and the ideals of peace, goodness and justice. During the Great Patriotic War, she supported and inspired people and helped them to find spiritual support.

It is gratifying to see that in our days the Russian Orthodox Church has noticeably broadened her service. She has given tireless attention to problems of education and charity, formation of the younger generation, protection of the family, motherhood and childhood. And certainly precious is her contribution to the consolidation of society, to the preservation of inter-ethnic peace and accord, to the development of constructive dialogue with the state on the most important issues in the life of the country.

I am confident that the present Bishops’ Council as the supreme body of the hierarchal governance of the Russian Orthodox Church will be held in a fruitful and constructive way and provoke a broad public response.

I wish you successful work and all the best.

V. Putin