By Kostas Onisenko
The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church began with a “dynamic” decision, which has met for its regular session at St. Daniel Monastery in Moscow. It is chaired by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
In particular, as stated in his personal account on Telegram the Chairman of the Synodal Department for Church Relations with Society and Mass Media of the Patriarchate of Moscow, Vladimir Legoyda, Bishop Venimian of Borisov and Maryinogorsk was appointed as the new Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl and Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus, replacing Metropolitan Pavel, who previously held this position.
It is noteworthy that the replacement of Metropolitan of Minsk and Slutsk and Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus, Pavel, comes at a particularly critical time for Belarus, which has been rocked by the reactions of citizens protesting against the falsified result of the presidential elections held a few weeks ago, and the violent suppression of these demonstrations by the forces of the disputed President Lukashenko.
It is recalled that the Exarchate of Belarus, which is under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow, hastened to congratulate Lukashenko after the election result, which is disputed by all international organizations and the EU.
Recently, the Belarusian Orthodox Church issued a statement urging the people to be prudent and not to participate in the developments that have taken place over the past two weeks, trying to keep an equal distance.
Legoyda said in a statement that “the Holy Synod relieved Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavsk Pavel of the position of the Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus, and thanked him for his hard work and dedication.”
According to the same source, Veniamin Tupeko was appointed Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus and Metropolitan Pavel was appointed as head of the Kuban Metropolitanate.
Opening the session, the Patriarch of Moscow, made introductory remarks:
“Thank you for having come to the city of Moscow despite the communication complexities caused both by the epidemics and generally by the difficult circumstances through which our peoples are passing including the peoples in the countries that some members of our Synod represent as far as the Church is concerned. Nevertheless, life continues living; new problems are arising, sometimes quite complex, which we are to solve today. Therefore, I thank you all for having come to Moscow. May the Lord help us to make decisions we are to discuss,” said Patriarch Kirill.