The message reads, in part:
“The decision to revive the Patriarchal Office, which the Church Council adopted in 1917–1918, was a truly history-making event that largely determined the noble and selfless mission of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Despite trials and tribulations, the Church has always been with the people, sharing their joys and sorrows and upholding the moral and patriotic values of society, as well as the ideals of peace, goodness and justice. During the Great Patriotic War, the Church supported and encouraged the people and helped them find spiritual footing.
It is heartening that today the Russian Orthodox Church has noticeably expanded its service. It is giving daily attention to education and charity, work with the rising generation, as well as the protection of the family, mothers and children.
The Church has made an invaluable contribution to the consolidation of our society, the preservation of international peace and accord, and the development of constructive dialogue with the state on issues of crucial significance for the country.
I am confident that this Bishops’ Council, which is the top agency in the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church, will be held in a constructive atmosphere and will receive much public attention.”