MOSCOW, March 15 (Itar-Tass) — This year's first session of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) is held in St Daniel Monastery on Thursday. It will be presided over by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. For two days, the hierarchs will be considering matters relating to the inner life of the church.
The top working body of the Church gathers four times a year, in the Russian capital, in St Petersburg, and in Kiev, alternately.
According to tradtion, twelve hierarchs headed by the Patriarch participate in Synod proceedings. There are seven permanent members of the Synod, vested with the position depending on the significance of a bishopric or a church organization they head, and five non-permanent members.
The permanent members of the Synod are as follows: the Primates of the Churches of Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus, the Metropolitan of St Petersburg, the Director of the Moscow Region Parishes, as well as the Director for Patriarchate Affairs, and the Director for Relations with Foreign Churches.
The heads of bishoprics from Ryazan, Kemerovo, Bashkortostan, Adygeya, as well as Meropolitan Nifont of Lutsk and Volyn from Ukraine have been invited to attend a "summer session" of the Synod.