(mospat.ru) - At its meeting on October 4, 2012, the Holy Synod approved the results of the primatial visits of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill to Poland, Japan, Ukraine, and the Russian dioceses and noted a “particular historical significance of the Joint Message to the Peoples of Russia and Poland as it has laid the groundwork of dialogue and cooperation between the peoples of Russia and Poland. A tense relationship to this day. In the last two years many trips have been made on both sides, joint prayer services have occurred, and large memorial statues and crosses have been erected.
Bishops’ vacancies were filled in the Bezhetsk, Kotlas and Georgievsk dioceses. The Chuvash metropolia was established, which includes the Cheboksary, Alatyr and Kanash dioceses; Metropolitan Varnava of Cheboksary and Chuvashia was appointed head of the metropolia. The Vyatka metropolia was established in the Kirov region, which includes the Vyatka, Urzhum and Yaransk dioceses; Metropolitan Mark of Vyatka and Slobodskoi was appointed head of the metropolia.
The Holy Synod reminded the archpastors, pastors, monastics, and staff members of the church institutions of the necessity to carry out resolutions of the Bishops’ Council and of the Holy Synod enacting the hierarchs and priests not to propose themselves as candidates at elections to any agencies of power at any level in any country, and not to be members of political parties or hold party position and office. Exceptions can be made in cases of “extreme church necessity, when one should hold out against schismatic forces and forces of other confessions that seek to use the elected power for the struggle against the Orthodox Church” and only with the blessing of the Holy Synod and the Synod of the self-governing Church. A clear line in the sand that allows for political response when the hierarchy calls for it.
The Synod considered a number of issues pertaining to external activities, approved the text of the service to the holy confessor Afanasiy, Bishop of Kovrov, and took decisions on personnel in the diocesan monasteries and institutions abroad.