In his opening address, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church dwelt on the main agenda items.
As His Holiness Patriarch Kirill informed the members of the Holy Synod, during the session they will discuss the convening of the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, due to be held next year, and the participation of the Moscow Patriarchate in the Pan-Orthodox Council, scheduled for 2016.
According to His Holiness, among the items on the agenda of the meeting are the approval of texts of new divine services, establishment of new dioceses and monasteries, and consideration of candidates for episcopal consecration.
The list of permanent members of the Holy Synod includes Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine; Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna; Metropolitan Vladimir of Chişinaú and All Moldova; Metropolitan Alexander of Astana and Kazakhstan, head of the metropolitan area in the Republic of Kazakhstan; Metropolitan Vikenty of Tashkent and Uzbekistan, head of the Central Asia metropolitan area; Metropolitan Varsonofy of St. Petersburg and Ladoga, Chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate; Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Zaslavl, Patriarchal Exarch for All Belarus; and Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations.
Invited to take part in the winter session (September-February) are Metropolitan Isidor of Smolensk and Roslavl, Archbishop Feodor of Mukachevo and Uzhgorod, Bishop Marchel of Bălţi and Făleşti, Bishop Ioann of Magadan and Sinegorye, and Bishop Varlaam of Makhachkala and Grozny.