At its session in the Patriarchal and Synodal Residence in St. Daniel Monastery in Moscow on December 28, 2008, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church considered the church affairs in Western European countries (Minutes No. 105) and countries in South-East Asia (Minutes No. 106).
It was decided to form a Patriarchal Exarchate in Western Europe with the center in Paris. The pastoral sphere of responsibility includes the following countries: Principality of Andorra, Kingdom of Belgium, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Ireland, Kingdom of Spain, Republic of Italy, Principality of Lichtenstein, Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, Republic of Portugal, Republic of France, and Swiss Confederation.
Bishop Ioann of Bogorodsk has been appointed as head of the Patriarchal Exarchate in Western Europe with the title ‘Bishop of Korsun and Western Europe’. His Grace Ioann is appointed as ruling bishop of the Diocese of Korsun with retaining the temporary administration over the Russian Orthodox Church Parishes in the Republic of Italy.
The Synod also decided to form a diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church in Spain and Portugal with the center in Madrid. Bishop Nestor of Korsun has been appointed as ruling bishop of the diocese of Spain and Portugal, with the title of ‘Bishop of Madrid and Lisbon’.
In addition, in connection with a considerable progress made by the mission of the Russian Orthodox Church in countries of South-East Asia and expressed in an increased number of churches and communities, the emergence of clergy from among the local population, an increased interest in Russian Orthodoxy and in connection with an increase in the Russian-speaking population residing in that region, it was decided to form a Patriarchal Exarchate in South-East Asia with the center in Singapore.
The sphere of pastoral responsibility in this exarchate includes the following countries: Republic of Singapore, Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Republic of Indonesia, Kingdom of Cambodia, People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, People’s Democratic Republic of Laos, Malaysia, Republic Union of Myanmar, Republic of the Philippines, and Kingdom of Thailand.
Archbishop Sergiy of Solnechnogorsk has been appointed as head of the Patriarchal Exarchate in South-East Asia with the title of ‘Archbishop of Singapore and South-East Asia’ while temporarily remaining the head of the Moscow Patriarchate administrative secretariat.