IV. The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
1. The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church shall have the title of “His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.”
2. The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia shall have primacy in honour among the episcopate of the Russian Orthodox Church and shall be accountable to the Local and Bishops’ Councils.
3. The name of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia shall be commemorated during the divine services in all churches of the Russian Orthodox Church with the following wording: “For our Great Lord and Father (name), His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.”
4. The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia shall take care of the internal and external welfare of the Russian Orthodox Church and shall govern it together with the Holy Synod as its Chairman.
5. The relations between the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and the Holy Synod shall be determined by Canon 34 of the Holy Apostles and Canon 9 of the Council of Antioch in accordance with the accepted Orthodox tradition.
6. The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, together with the Holy Synod, shall convene Bishops’ Councils and in exceptional cases the Local Councils and shall preside at them. The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia shall also convene the sessions of the Holy Synod.
7. In exercising his canonical authority, the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia shall:
a) be responsible for the implementation of the decisions of the Councils and the Holy Synod;
b) submit to the Councils the reports on the situation in the Russian Orthodox Church for the period between the Councils;
c) uphold the unity of the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church;
d) convene the sessions of the Supreme Church Council and preside at them;
e) submit the candidates for the Inter-Council Presence membership to the Holy Synod for approval;
f) exercise authoritative supervision over all Synodal institutions;
g) address the pleroma of the Russian Orthodox Church with pastoral messages;
h) sign the general church documents after their appropriate approval by the Holy Synod;
i) exercise the executive and instructive authority in governing the Moscow Patriarchate;
j) communicate with the Primates of the Orthodox Churches in pursuance of the resolutions of the Councils or the Holy Synod, as well as on his own behalf;
k) represent the Russian Orthodox Church in its relations with the highest bodies of the state authority and administration;
l) have the duty of petitioning and interceding before the bodies of the state power both in the canonical territory and beyond it;
m) approve the statutes of the Self-governing Churches, Exarchates, Metropolitan areas, and dioceses;
n) receive the appeals from the diocesan bishops of the Self-governing Churches;
o) approve the rulings of the Supreme Ecclesiastical Court in cases stipulated in the Regulations on Ecclesiastical Court;
p) issue decrees on the election and appointment of the diocesan bishops, the heads of the Synodal institutions, the vicar bishops, the rectors of the theological educational institutions and other officials appointed by the Holy Synod, except for the rectors of the theological educational institutions and father superiors (mother superiors) and abbots (abbesses) of monasteries under diocesan administration;
q) take care of the timely replacement of the episcopal sees;
r) entrust the bishops with temporal administration of the dioceses in case the diocesan bishops are ill for a long time, die or stand trial in the ecclesiastical court;
s) supervise the exercise by the bishops of their archpastoral duty of taking care of the dioceses;
t) have the right to visit in necessary cases all dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church (Canon 34 of the Holy Apostles; Canon 9 of the Council of Antioch, Canon 52 (63) of the Council of Carthage);
u) approve the annual reports of the diocesan bishops;
v) give fraternal advice to the bishops pertaining both to their personal life and the exercise of their archpastoral duty. In the event they do not heed to his advice, he shall propose the Holy Synod to make an appropriate decision;
w) take to consideration the matters pertaining to the disagreements among the bishops who voluntarily ask for his mediation without formal legal proceedings; the decisions of the Patriarch in such cases shall be binding for both parties;
x) receive complaints concerning the bishops and set them in appropriate motion;
y) allow the bishops leave for more than 14 days;
z) award the bishops with the established titles and higher church distinctions;
z1) award the clergy and laity with church awards;
z2) on the presentation from the Education Committee approve the establishment of new chairs in the theological educational institutions;
z3) approve the awarding of scholarly degrees and ranks;
z4) take care of the timely production and consecration of the Holy Chrism for general church needs.
8. External distinguishing signs of the Patriarchal dignity shall be a white kukol, a green mantle, two panagias, a great paraman and a cross carried before him in procession.
9. The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia shall be the diocesan bishop of the Moscow diocese, which includes Moscow and the Moscow region.
The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia shall be assisted in the administration of the Moscow diocese by the Patriarchal Vicar with the right of a diocesan bishop with the title of Metropolitan of Krutitsy and Kolomna.
The territorial boundaries of the governance exercised by the Patriarchal Vicar with the right of a diocesan bishop shall be determined by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.
10. The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia shall be the hiero-archimandrite of the Laura of the Holy Trinity and St. Sergius and of a number of other monasteries of particular historical importance and shall govern all the stavropegic institutions.
The formation of the stavropegic monasteries and metochions in the Moscow diocese shall be carried out according to the decrees of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.
Stavropegic institutions in other dioceses shall be established with the consent of the diocesan bishop by the decision of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and the Holy Synod.
11. The rank of Patriarch shall be for life.
12. The right of consideration on the retirement of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia shall belong to the Local Council. The right of trial of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia shall belong to the Bishops’ Council acting as part of the Local Council. The ruling of the Bishops’ Council shall take effect after its approval by the two thirds of the votes of the Local Council members.
13. In the event of the demise of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, his retirement, his standing trial at the ecclesiastical court or for any other reason, which makes his execution of his Patriarchal office impossible, the Holy Synod under the chairmanship of the senior by consecration permanent member of the Holy Synod shall immediately elect the Locum Tenens of the Patriarchal Throne from among its permanent members.
The procedure of the election of the Locum Tenens shall be established by the Holy Synod.
14. The church property owned by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia in virtue of his position and office shall be the property of the Russian Orthodox Church. The personal property of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia shall be inherited in accordance with the law.
15. In the period between the Patriarchal tenures:
a) the Russian Orthodox Church shall be governed by the Holy Synod chaired by the Locum Tenens;
b) the name of the Locum Tenens shall be commemorated during the divine services in all churches of the Russian Orthodox Church;
c) the Locum Tenens shall exercise the duties of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia as they are stipulated in Article 7 of Chapter IV of the present Statute, except u), v) and z);
d) the Metropolitan of Krutitsy and Kolomna shall govern the Moscow diocese independently.
16. No later than six months after the Patriarchal Throne becomes vacant, the Locum Tenens and the Holy Synod in the order stipulated in Article 2 of Chapter II of the present Statute shall convene the Local Council to elect a new Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.
17. A candidate to the Patriarchal office must meet the following requirements:
a) be a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church;
b) have higher theological education, sufficient experience in diocesan administration, and be notable for his adherence to canon law and order;
c) enjoy a good reputation and confidence among the bishops, clergy and the people;
d) “be well thought of by outsiders” (1 Tim. 3:7);
e) be not younger than 40 years old.