MINSK, October 13. /TASS/. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia arrived in Belarus’ capital of Minsk on his primatial visit on Saturday.
During the visit, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church will consecrate the Church of All Saints and will chair a meeting of the Holy Synod.
"I have arrived in Minsk, in the Belarussian land which is so dear to my heart, in the year of the 1,030th anniversary of the Christianization of Rus. In this connection, a meeting of the Holy Synod was decided to be held in Minsk. In the history of our Church, it will be the first one to take place in Belarus," he said. "We will have to solve lots of milestone issues, in particular how to respond to the situation in the family of Eastern Orthodox Churches and to the situation unfolding in Ukraine."
"I hope that the Orthodox Church will find enough strength to resolve the crisis and to preserve our unity which is crucial for spiritual renovation of our nations," the patriarch told reporters at Minsk airport.
Patriarch Kirill will consecrate the Church-Monument of All Saints on Sunday, October 14, which is celebrated by Russian Orthodox worshippers as the Protection of the Mother of God feast. After the ceremony, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church will lay a wreath at the Victory Monument. He is scheduled to hold talks with Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko and to chair a meeting of the Holy Synod on October 15.
Earlier, Vladimir Legoida, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for relations with the public and media, said that the Holy Synod would give assessments to the decisions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople on Ukraine.
On October 11, a Synod meeting of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople decided to "proceed to the granting of Autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine." The Synod revoked a legally binding status of the 1686 letter, which empowered the Patriarch of Moscow to ordain the Metropolitan of Kiev.
In addition, the Synod decided to re-establish the office of the Stavropegion of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Kiev, which means its head would be subordinate directly to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.
Moreover, the Synod lifted anathema from the heads of two uncanonical churches in Ukraine - Filaret of the Kiev Patriarchate, and Makary of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church.
The Russian Orthodox Church and other local Orthodox Churches view these decisions as hostile and illegitimate and warn they might trigger a split within the Eastern Orthodox Church.