Moscow, October 6, 2011
The Moscow Patriarchate's Holy Synod, which convened in Moscow on Wednesday, made the decision to set up 13 new dioceses.
The new dioceses will appear in Kazakhstan and also in the Irkutsk, Orenburg, Ryazan and Saratov regions, in Khabarovsk Territory and the Republic of Tyva, the Russian Orthodox Church said on its website.
On the first day the Synod also selected the heads for the new dioceses. Archbishop Panteleimon of Oryol and Livny will take charge of the Krasnoyarsk Diocese and his place will be taken by Archbishop Antony of Krasnoyarsk and Achinsk.
The participants in the autumn session freed Metropolitan Filaret of Minsk and Slutsk from the duties of chairman of the Synodal Biblical-Theologian Commission.
The post of chairman of the Biblical-Theologian Commission will be taken by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the head of Synodal Department for External Church Relations.
The metropolitans of Astana and Kazakhstan, and of Central Asia have been entered on the list of the Synod's permanent members - a decision to be confirmed by the Archbishop's Council.
The Synod has also confirmed several general documents on the organization of work with youth, and recommendations to the local commissions for canonization and on the appointment and dismissal of priors at monasteries and convents.