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In the morning of February 3, 2016, the Sacred Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church continued its work at the Hall of Church Councils of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow.

The participants in the meeting heard reports by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, and Metropolitan Joan of Varna and Veliki Preslav (Bulgarian Orthodox Church), co-chairmen of the Joint Commission of the Russian and the Bulgarian Orthodox Churches for the Canonization of Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev). The unanimous decision was taken to canonize Archbishop Seraphim of Boguchary.

Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna presented a report on the activities of the Patriarchal Church and Public Council for Commemorating New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church.

Bishop Pankraty of Troitsk, chairman of the Synodal Canonization Commission, spoke on the Church-wide canonization of locally-venerated saints.

Metropolitan Varsonofy of St. Petersburg and Ladoga, chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate, reported on the amendments to the Statute of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Mr. Vladimir Legoyda, chairman of the Synodal Department for Church-Society and Media Relations, spoke on how the Russian Orthodox Church is presented in social networks.

In the interim between the sessions, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church met at the Patriarchal Chamber of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The Synod approved the troparions, kontakion and prayers to St Seraphim the Archbishop of Boguchary. The texts prepared by the Synodal Liturgical Commission are to be used at the divine services.

At the concluding plenary session, Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Zaslavsk, chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Bishops’ Council, presented draft texts of the final documents – the Message of the Bishops’ Council, the Resolutions of the Bishops’ Council, and the Decision of the Bishops’ Council on the Church-Wide Glorification of Some Locally-Venerated Saints.

After discussing the texts and making a number of amendments to them, the Bishops’ Council adopted the Message to the Clergy, Monastics, Laypeople and All the Faithful Children of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Resolutions, and the Decision on the Church-Wide Glorification of Some Locally-Venerated Saints.

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia thanked Metropolitan Pavel and all the members of the Drafting Commission, as well as all the participants in the Bishops’ Council, and presented Church awards to a number of hierarchs.

Information Service of the Bishops’ Council