Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church completes its first working day

On 6 June 2012, a regular session of the spring-winter session of the Holy Synod opened at the Patriarchal and Synodal Spiritual, Administrative and Cultural Centre of the Russian Orthodox Church in the south of Russia under the chairmanship of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

The visits of His Holiness to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, the Republic of Kazakhstan, and the St. Petersburg metropolia were summed up.

Members of the Holy Synod expressed their appreciation with the outcome of negotiations between the Primates of Russian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church of Greece held during the visit of His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece to the Moscow Patriarchate.

In connection with the fifth anniversary of the Act of Canonical Communion between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the Holy Synod resolved “to continue the implementation of joint projects for the coordination of pastoral work, theological education, the bringing of the shrines, and social and youth ministry aimed at the consolidation of church unity.”

Members of the Holy Synod noted the importance of the prayer vigil in defence of faith, profaned shrines, the Church and her good name held at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow on April 22.

One more day for the annual commemoration of the Iberian Icon of the Mother of God, April 6/23, was established on the occasion of the return of this miraculous icon to the Russian Orthodox Church.

Having considered the celebration of the Days of Slavic Literature and Culture, members of the Holy Synod underscored the necessity of celebrating these Days in the dioceses of the Russian Church “together with scholars, educationists and cultural workers.” The programmes of these Days will contribute to the revival of spiritual and cultural traditions of the Slavic people.

The Statute of the Synodal department for monasteries and monasticism was approved; the Inter-Council Presence was reshuffled.

The Holy Synod took a number of decisions on the Publications Council of the Russian Orthodox Church concerning the Days of Orthodox Book to be held in dioceses, the next stage of conferring Ss Cyril and Methodius Patriarchal prize for literature, and the problems of counterfeit church products. Attention was paid to “the inadmissibility of counterfeit production and its appearance in the church system book circulation.

New diocese were established in the Tatarstan and Omsk and united into metropolias. The Tatarstan metropolia comprises the Almetievsk, Kazan and Chistopol dioceses; Omsk metropolia comprises the Isilkul, Kalachinsk, Omsk and Tara dioceses.

Summed up were the results of the hearings “Patriarch Hermogen, the Russian Church and clergymen in their service to the Fatherland,” the 6th International Youth Form “Faith and Deeds,” and a regular session of the Working group for cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as of the visit of Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk to Tajikistan.

Included into the Russian church calendar were the recently canonized St. Sophia (Hotokuridu) of the Church of Constantinople, commemoration day May 6/23; and of the Serbian Church: St. Iustin of Cela, commemoration day June1/14; St. Simeon of Daibab, commemoration day March 19/April 1; and also the Synaxis of the new martyrs of Jasenovac, commemoration day August 31/September 13.

Composition of the delegations to visit the Holy Mount Athos on the commemoration day of St. Panteleimon, the Great Martyr and Healer, and to the theological talks between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Evangelical Church of Germany to be held in Rostov-on-Don was approved.