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On 9 March 2017, at the Patriarchal and Synodal residence in St Daniel’s Monastery in Moscow, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church began its regular session under the chairmanship of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

Greeting the members of the Synod, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill said in particular, “We have entered into a year of jubilee dates; a year of reminiscences of the tragic events that took place a hundred years ago; a year of commemoration of the Russian new martyrs and confessors; and a year, in which the Bishops’ Council is due to hold its meeting. That is why we have a lot of items on the agenda of today’s session and a lot of work ahead of us.”

During the meeting, Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Zaslavsk, Patriarchal Exarch for All Belarus, was awarded by the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church with the Order of St Seraphim of Sarov, 1st class, in consideration of his zealous archpastoral labours and on the occasion of his 65th birthday and the 25th anniversary of his episcopal consecration.

The permanent members of the Holy Synod are: Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine; Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna; Metropolitan Vladimir of Kishinev and All Moldova; Metropolitan Alexander of Astana and Kazakhstan, head of the Metropolitan area in the Republic of Kazakhstan; Metropolitan Vikenty of Tashkent and Uzbekistan, head of the Metropolitan area of Central Asia; Metropolitan Varsonofy of St. Petersburg and Ladoga, chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate; Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Zaslavsk, Patriarchal Exarch for All Belarus; and Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations.

The following hierarchs were summoned for the summer session (March-August): Metropolitan Pitirim of Nikolayev and Ochakov, Metropolitan Vladimir of Khabarovsk and Priamurye, Metropolitan Nikon of Astrakhan and Kamyzyak, Bishop Ioann of Caracas and South America, and Bishop Iakov of Naryan-Mar and Mezen.

Patriarchal Press Service/

DECR Communication Service