On 14 September 2018, at the Patriarchal and Synodal residence in St. Daniel’s Monastery in Moscow, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church held an extraordinary session.
Here are the official minutes of the meeting:
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, head of the Metropolitan area in the Republic of Kazakhstan; Metropolitan Vikenty of Tashkent and Uzbekistan, head of the Metropolitan area of Central Asia; 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, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations.
Summoned for the winter session (September-February) are Metropolitan Luka of Zaporozhye and Melitopol, Metropolitan Sergy of Barnaul and Altai, Bishop Lazar of Narva and Prichudye, Bishop Veniamin of Rybinsk and Danilov, and Bishop Nikolai of Nakhodka and Preobrazheniye.
MINUTE No. 69
DELIBERATED over retaliatory measures after the appointment by the Patriarchate of Constantinople of its “exarchs” to Kiev following up the decision of this Church’s Synod “to grant autocephalous status to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.”
In its statement of 8 September 2018, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church expressed its resolute protest against the uncanonical appointment of Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon and Bishop Ilarion of Edmonton as “exarchs” of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Kiev, and stated that the retaliatory measures would be taken in the nearest future.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church also condemned the appointment of the “exarchs” by the Church of Constantinople, calling it ‘a gross violation of the canonical territory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church” (statement of the Department for External Church Relations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church made on 7 September 2018).
- To suspend the liturgical prayerful commemoration of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.
- To suspend the con-celebration with hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
- To suspend the participation of the Russian Orthodox Church in all Episcopal Assemblies, theological dialogues, multilateral commissions and other structures chaired or co-chaired by representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
- To adopt a statement of the Holy Synod concerning the uncanonical actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Ukraine.
MINUTE No. 70
DELIBERATED over lifting up prayers for the unity of the Holy Orthodoxy in all churches of the Russian Orthodox Church.
To include the following prayers in the Litany of Fervent Supplication during every Divine Liturgy celebrated in every church of the Russian Orthodox Church:
- Again we pray to our Lord and Saviour for the preservation in unity and true faith of the Orthodox Church abiding all over the world and for the bestowal of peace and serenity, love and accord upon it, let us all say, O Lord, hearken and have mercy.
- Again we pray for the bestowal of love and mercy upon the Holy Orthodox Church and for its preservation from divisions and schisms, enmity and tribulations; may its unity be never weaken or shaken, but may Your Thrice-Holy name be glorified in it, let us all say, O Lord, hearken and have mercy.
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