1971 Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church

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1971 meeting of the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church was the third in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church, and second in the second patriarchal period (since 1917), which took place 30 May to 2 June 1971 in the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius. The meeting was held in connection with the need to elect a new primate of the Church after the death of Patriarch Alexy I. New patriarch was elected locum tenens of the patriarchal throne, Metropolitan Pimen of Krutitsy and Kolomna. Another important act of the cathedral - the abolition of the oath on the old rites of the Great Moscow Council of 1667.[1]


April 17, 1970 Patriarch Alexy I died. On June 12 the Council for Religious Affairs had received permission to open the CPSU Central Committee, however, spend a year in the Cathedral of the centenary of Lenin's birth, the authorities prevented. The decision to convene the Council was adopted on June 25, 1970 by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Commission on the preparation of the Council consisted of 16 people, including two lay persons.


The 1971 local council meeting was the most representative of the cuncils which met in the post revolution period: it was attended by the heads of six, and five representatives of the autocephalous churches of the Orthodox Church and the heads of all three autonomous Orthodox churches, ecumenical leaders of many associations: World Council of Churches, KMK, Conference of European Churches and other representatives of the non-Orthodox churches.

Council members were 234 people, including 72 bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church, 84 representatives of the Orthodox clergy and 78lay faithful. In addition, 25 foreign nationals were present in the meeting, representing 124 foreign parish of the Moscow Patriarchate.


Participants heard and discussed the report of the Patriarchal Locum Tenens Metropolitan Pimen, "The life and work of the Russian Orthodox Church". The reports and speeches of participants positively evaluated the Council support the Russian Orthodox Church and the socialist political system, domestic and foreign policy of the Soviet government. Satisfaction was expressed in the USSR existing legislation on religious cults, The relations between Church and State, expressed commitment to the episcopate and clergy to continue to develop "good relations with our country". Cathedral unanimously approved changes Anticanonical "Regulations on the Administration of the Russian Orthodox Church" imposed by the Council for the Bishops' Council of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1961. Local Council granted autocephaly to the American Orthodox Church and autonomy the Japanese Orthodox Church, and also ordered church leaders to take "the necessary canonical sanctions" to the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.