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A regular session of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church opened at the historical building of the Holy Governing Synod in St. Petersburg on 30 May 2011. The session is chaired by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

His Beatitude Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and All Ukraine; Metropolitan Vladimir of Ladoga and St. Petersburg; Metropolitan Philaret of Minsk and Slutsk, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus; Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna; Metropolitan Vladimir of Kishinev and All Moldova; Metropolitan Varsonofiy of Saransk and Mordovia, chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate; and Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations are permanent members of the Holy Synod.

Invited to the summer session n (March-August) are Metropolitan  Ioannikiy of Lugansk and Alchevsk; Archbishop Feofan of Berlin and Germany; Archbishop Manuil of Petrozavodsk and Karelia; Archbishop Iona of Astrakhan and Yenotayevka; and Archbishop Rostislav and Tomsk and Asino.

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill opened the session, saying, “There are many items on the agenda. We should consider many important issues of the life of the Russian Orthodox Church and reorganization of several dioceses. We should think of measures to bring about a more intensive church life in certain regions in compliance with the decisions of the Bishops’ Council.”

The Synodal institutions have prepared reports to be considered at the session. “We shall size up the work of all Synodal institutions and to chart future tasks,” the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church noted.

The members of the Holy Synod will also consider nominees to bishopric and discuss certain aspects of the external activities of the Moscow Patriarchate.