MOSCOW, December 28 (Itar-Tass) — Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church has rounded up its last session in before the New Year by passing the decisions that concern the internal life of the Church and the collaboration between the Church and society.
The Synod continued, among other things, to alter the administrative structure of the Church, as it formed five new dioceses, six archdioceses, and ten vicariates in Moscow.
The administrative reorganization of the structure of the Moscow City diocese is a real novelty the Russian Orthodox Church has not seen so far.
“The Russian Church structure in the capital will from now on be congruent with the city’s secular administrative division,” Vladimir Legoida, the chairman of Moscow Patriarchate’s Information Department told reporters Wednesday.
“A separate vicariate will incorporate the former territories of the Moscow region that have been included in the Moscow City,” he said.
The vicariates will be governed by bishops, and the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia will retain the title and powers of the bishop of Moscow diocese.
The archdioceses are also novel arrivals within the structure of the Church. They did not exist on the territory of the Russian Federation before the middle of this year.
The Holy Synod set them up to unite several dioceses in each of them and now they have been introduced in the regions of Bashkortostan, Arkhangelsk, Tula, Novgorod, and Novosibirsk.
This means that the Russian Orthodox Church has 209 dioceses and 16 archdioceses at present.
Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill I believes that the creation of dioceses of a smaller size will give a new boost to church life in different parts of Russia.
“An active participation of church organizations in local developments and in the change of the spiritual, moral, and intellectual climate is a task of paramount importance for ourselves,” Kirill I said at a conference with newly elected Church hierarchs in December.