Moscow, October 14, 2022
The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church resolved yesterday to receive the Ukrainian Orthodox Diocese of Rovenky directly under the jurisdiction of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill.
According to the Synodal report (Journal no. 95), the decision was based on a report and request from His Eminence Archbishop Arkady of Rovenky and Sverdlovsk and the Diocesan Council to be received into the Russian Church.
The Rovenky Diocese is located on the territory formerly claimed by the Lugansk People’s Republic, which Russia now considers to be one of its new regions.
Just a few days after the council in May at which the Ukrainian Orthodox Church removed all mention of the Russian Church from its statutes, the Rovenky Diocese announced that it was suspending commemoration of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine during the Divine services, considering itself directly under the omophorion of Pat. Kirill.
The Russian Synod reports that it resolved to receive the diocese “based on the need to maintain an effective canonical and administrative connection with the central Church authorities for the successful flow of Church life in the Rovenky Diocese,” and “considering the practical impossibility of regular communication between this diocese and the Kiev Metropolis.”
The Synod also refers to the resolution of the UOC’s Council in May that grants diocesan bishops “the right to independently make decisions on certain issues of diocesan life that fall within the competence of the Holy Synod or the primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, with the subsequent informing of the hierarchy, when the opportunity is restored.”
In June, Pat. Kirill and the Russian Synod also received the three Crimean dioceses, which had until then remained part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church even after the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014.