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December 28, 2017 – The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church has begun its last session in 2017 in the St. Daniel monastery in Moscow. It is chaired by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

Opening the session, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church addressed himself to the Holy Synod members with words of greetings:

‘I greet all the members of the Holy Synod at its last session this year. The year were full of events and, certainly, they were centered on the centenary of the election and enthronement of His Holiness Patriarch Tikhon and the anniversary of the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church which played a very considerable role in the formation of the Church’s awareness in the 20th century. We can feel the influence of the Council in full measure today too in our today’s life. And, as has been pointed out not one time, many decisions adopted by the Bishops’ Council in the last years are rooted in the reflections and resolutions formulated by the 1917-1918 Council.

We had an opportunity to commemorate once again the martyrs and confessors of our Church who martyred for Christ in the 20th century, and the Bishops Council, which was convened in connection with this jubilee, became the largest council by the number of its members for the whole millennium-old history of our Church. It was a major and very important event. I thank God for the atmosphere of brotherhood and unanimity, which, with all the freedom of discussion, not just prevailed but also, filled our whole work with a profound spiritual meaning.

And now we are to draw the line under this anniversary year and adopt a number of important decisions’.

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 Metropolitanate in the Republic of Kazakhstan; Metropolitan Vikenty of Tashkent and Uzbekistan, head of the Metropolitanate 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; Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Department for External Church Relations.

The following bishops were summoned for the winter session (September-February): Metropolitan Ioasaf of Kirovograd and Novomirgorod, Archbishop Feofan of Kyzyl and Tuva, Bishop Serafim of Bobruisk and Bykhov, Bishop Feognost of Novorossijsk and Gelendzhik, and Bishop Mitrofan of Severomorsk and Umba.

Patriarchal Press Service

DECR Communication Service