Along with the Holy Synod permanent members, the summer session is attended by Metropolitan Merkury of Rostov and Novocherkassk, Archbishop Mark of Berlin-Germany and Great Britain, Archbishop Dimitry of Vitebsk and Orsha, Archbishop Varfolomey of Rovno and Ostrog, and bishop Savvaty of Ulan-Ude and Buryatia.
Opening the session, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church said:
‘Today we have a very large agenda. Among the questions we are to consider is a whole number of very important ones. I would like to mention at least two of them: the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia and the adoption of a Synodal Message devoted to this date and the adoption of a very important document concerning the external mission of the Russian Orthodox Church.
‘Last year we adopted very many, I would say, fundamental documents laying foundation for the entire church work today. I will also inform you about a set of documents approved by the Supreme Church Council and submit them to you for your consideration.
‘Besides, we are to make a decision about the establishment of a metropolia and the election of three hierarchs and to tackle a number of liturgical issues and current problems of the life of our Church’.