15 Oct 2018 Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill chairs session of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, which takes place in Minsk diocesan administration, according to patriarhiei. The first session of the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church gathered on the Belarusian land.
Opening the meeting, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church appealed to the members of the Holy Synod of the introductory remarks:
“Your Beatitude! Your eminences and graces!
With some delay we start the session of the Holy Synod. The reason is very good — we had a meaningful conversation with the head of state, President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko.
In the part that remained outside of public attention, we discussed a number of very important issues associated with the life of the Belarusian Orthodox Church, and meipromoligne relations and inter-Christian relations. And I have to say that the conversation has made me a very positive impression. Whenever I’m in Belarus, I have come such a informal meeting with the President, which give the opportunity, first, to understand the position of the interlocutor, secondly, to discuss problems of mutual interest.
Then we held our General meeting with the head of state — I think also very useful. I think it’s important that Alexander Lukashenko had the opportunity to handle the word to all the bishops of the Belarusian Church, the members of the Synod, and also to hold informal discussions, particularly with representatives of the Belarusian bishops.
Now we need to start a session of the Holy Synod. We have a lot of very important issues, and the time for our work is not so much. So I would make some changes in our agenda. But in the beginning I would like to thank the members of the teams representing different media, for your attention to our Synod and to wish you success in your professional activities.”
The permanent members of the Holy Synod are: Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine Onufry; the Metropolitan of Krutitsy and Kolomna Juvenal; the Metropolitan of Chisinau and all Moldova Vladimir; Metropolitan of Astana and Kazakhstan Alexander, the head of the Metropolitan district in the Republic of Kazakhstan; Metropolitan of Tashkent and Uzbekistan Vikenty, head of Central Asian Metropolitan district; Metropolitan of St. Petersburg and Ladoga Varsonofy, Chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate; Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl Pavel, Patriarchal Exarch of all Belarus; Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Department for external Church relations of the Moscow Patriarchate.
To participate in the winter session (September-February) invited: Metropolitan Zaporozhye and Melitopol Luke, Metropolitan of Barnaul and Altai Sergius; Bishop of Narva and Prigodskiy Lazarus; Bishop of Rybinsk and St. Benjamin; Bishop of Nakhodka and Transfiguration Nicholas.
The meeting is attended by the honorary Patriarchal Exarch of all Belarus Metropolitan Filaret (vakhromeev). According to the decision of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on December 25-26, 2013, pochinenny to rest his Eminence Metropolitan Filaret, honorary Patriarchal Exarch of all Belarus, has the right to participate in the work of the Holy Synod (journal No. 125).
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The Minsk diocesan administration
In the XVIII century on the site of what is now the diocesan office, housed a Roman Catholic monastery of the Carmelite order, with its stone Church of St. Mary Magdalene. According to the plan of Minsk in 1793, the Church had six altars. In one of them in the silver decoration was a miraculous icon of the Mother of God “Scalera”. After the partition of Poland and the instances of Minsk in the Russian Empire, the monastery was abolished. The Church has long been empty and in the middle of the XIX century was demolished.
The three-storey building of the Minsk diocesan administration was built in 1985 by architect Lev Pogorelov. At the moment it combines the functions of the administrative centre of the Minsk diocese of the Belarusian Orthodox Church.
On the third floor of the building there is a residence of the honorary Patriarchal Exarch of all Belarus, Metropolitan Filaret. Here is the house Church consecrated in honor of the Cathedral Belarusian saints. The carved iconostasis of the Church made in the Baroque style, the walls are painted in the Byzantine style.
On the first floor of the Synodal hall, where the sittings of the Synod of the Belarusian Orthodox Church. Also the building houses the offices of the Patriarchal Exarch of all Belarus, Administration of the Minsk Exarchia, a number of Synodal departments of the Belarusian Exarchate, the office, accounting, legal, and economic services of the Belarusian Orthodox Church.