Thursday, July 26, 2012

Russian Orthodox Holy Synod Establishes New Metropolitanates, Dioceses

The lesser Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church has met at Ukraine's Kiev Caves Lavra for a regular session to discuss developments and issues in the life of the Church of Rus'. Early on at today's session it was decided to convene the Hierarchical Council of the Russian Orthodox Church this coming February to allow the members of the hierarchy to meet and fellowship with one another.

In response to the request of Archbishop Proclus (Khazov) of Simbirsk the Holy Synod elevated the Eparchy of Simbirsk to the rank of a metropolitanate and established the suffragan Eparchies of Barysh and Melekess (now known as Dimitrovgrad) within it. Igumen Philaret (Kon'kov) was elected Bishop of Barysh, whilst the Eparchy of Melekess was left in the case of the newly elevated Metropolitan Proclus of Simbirsk.

At the request of Archbishop Herman (Moralin) of Kursk the Holy Synod elevated his diocese to the rank of a metropolitanate and established within its borders the new Eparchies of Zheleznogorsk and Shchigry. The newly elevated Metropolitan Herman was given care of the Eparchy of Shchigry, whilst Igumen Benjamin (Korolev) was elected Bishop of Zheleznogorsk.

The Holy Synod also granted the petition of Archbishop Theophan (Ashurkov) of Chelyabinsk that his diocese be reorganized as a metropolitanate, accordingly elevating it to the rank of a metropolitanate and founding on its territory the suffragan Eparchies of Troitsk and Magnitogorsk. The Holy Synod elected Igumen Innocent (Vasetsk) as Bishop of Magnitogorsk, whilst the newly elevated Metropolitan Theophan was left with the care of the Eparchy of Troitsk.

Per the request of Bishop Benjamin (Zaritskiy) of Penza the Holy Synod recognized elevated his diocese to the rank of a metropolitanate and established within its borders the new Eparchies of Kuznetsk and Serdobsk. The Eparchy of Serdobsk remains in the care of the newly elevated Metropolitan Benjamin of Penza, whilst Igumen Seraphim (Domnin) was elected Bishop of Kuznetsk by the Holy Synod.

Responding to the request of Bishop Aristarchus (Smirnov) of Kemerovo in central Siberia the Holy Synod established his diocese as a metropolitanate and created on its territory the suffragan Eparchies of Mariinsk and Novokuznetsk. The Holy Synod proceeded to elect Igumen Innocent (Vetrov) as Bishop of Mariinsk, leaving the Eparchy of Novokuznetsk in the care of the newly elevated Metropolitan Aristarchus of Kemerovo.

A full account of the decisions taken by the Holy Synod at today's session in Kiev can be found in Russian here.

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