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On October 17, 2019, His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, chaired an extraordinary session of the Russian Orthodox Church Holy Synod held at the patriarchal and synodal residence in the St. Daniel Monastery in Moscow.

Opening the session, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church made the following introductory remarks:

‘Your Beatitude, Your Eminences and Graces, dear members of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church:

Today we are opening an extraordinary session of the Synod devoted to issues that have arisen in the pan-Orthodox agenda in connection with the situation around Ukraine and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in view of the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s actions familiar to you and possible further actions of both the Patriarchate of Constantinople and other Churches related to the recognition of the schismatic group in Ukraine.

You realise that this issue affects the very essence of inter-church relations and their negative development can violate the pan-Orthodox unity. For this reason, with full responsibility for the preservation of Orthodox unity and with full responsibility before the faithful people, before our clergy and episcopate, we must make a decision on the issues I have mentioned. And may the Lord help us!’

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 Metropolis in the Republic of Kazakhstan; Metropolitan Vikenty of Tashkent and Uzbekistan, head of the Metropolis of Central Asia; Metropolitan Varsonofy of Sankt-Petersburg and Ladoga, Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Zalavsk, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus; Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate; Metropolitan Savva of Tver and Kashin, chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate.

The following hierarchs have been summoned for the winter session (September-February): Metropolitan Kornily of Arkhangelsk and Kholmogory, Metropolitan Grigory of Chelyabinsk and Miass, Metropolitan Dimitry of Chita and Petrov-Zabaikalsky, Bishop Ignaty of Vyborg and Priozersk, Bishop Matthew of Sourozh.

Patriarchal Press Service

DECR Communication Service