Patriarch Kirill addressed the Synod, noting in particular, ‘Once a year we hold a meeting of the Synod at the historic building of the Sacred Governing Synod in St Petersburg. The walls around us, whether we wish it or not, take us to that past in which our Church was consolidated especially strongly, spiritually and materially, when new dioceses and monasteries were established, saints were glorified, and great ascetics of our land were revealed to the world. All this places a special responsibility on us for strengthening the Church’s life and for the spiritual health of our people. God grant that each meeting of our Synod may become a contribution to this very important program of the development of our people’s life and the strengthening of the life of our Church’.
The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church congratulated Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine on his name day and presented him with a pectoral icon produced for the millennium of the demise of the Holy Prince Vladimir Equal-to-the-Apostles.
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, Metropolitan Vikenty of Tashkent and Uzbekistan, Metropolitan Varsonofy of St Petersburg and Ladoga, chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate; Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Zaslavsk, Patriarchal Exarch for All Belarus; and Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations.
Those summoned for the summer session (March-August) are Metropolitan Alexander of Riga and All Latvia, Metropolitan Mitrofan of Lugansk and Alchevsk, Metropolitan Pavel of Khanty-Mansi and Surgut, Archbishop Tikhon of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and the Kurils, and Bishop Dionisy of Kasimov and Sasovsk.