New dioceses

Diocese established for the Philippines

From the Journals of the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Church of Russia

On February 26, 2019, a meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church was held at the Patriarchal and Synodal residence in the Danilov Monastery in Moscow.

Journal Number 8

The Holy Synod CONSIDERED the establishment of dioceses and the organization of administration in the Patriarchal Exarchate in Southeast Asia.

Reference:

In its meeting of December 28, 2018, the Holy Synod established the Patriarchal Exarchate in Southeast Asia with the center in Singapore (Journal No. 106). The basic rules relating to the administration of the Exarchates are determined by Chapter XIII of the Charter of the Russian Orthodox Church.

RESOLVED:

  1. In connection with the establishment of the Patriarchal Exarchate in Southeast Asia, form the following dioceses, including them in the structure of the Exarchate mentioned:
    1. Singapore — within the Republic of Singapore, the Republic of Indonesia and Malaysia, with the title of diocesan Bishop of Singapore and South – East Asia;
    2. Korea — within the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea, with the title of diocesan Bishop of Korea;
    3. Thailand — within the Kingdom of Thailand, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, with the title of diocesan Bishop of Bangkok and Phnom Penh;
    4. Philippines and Vietnam — within the Republic of the Philippines and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, with the title of diocesan Bishop of Manila and Hanoi.
  2. In connection with the formation of the Thai Diocese, abolish the Patriarchal blessing of the parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Kingdom of Thailand.
  3. The ruling bishop of the Singapore Diocese shall be His Grace Metropolitan of Singapore and Southeast Asia Sergiy, Patriarchal Exarch of Southeast Asia.
  4. The interim administration of the Korean, Thailand, and Philippine – Vietnamese dioceses is entrusted to His Grace, Metropolitan of Singapore and Southeast Asia, by the Patriarchal Exarch of South – East Asia.
  5. To approve the “Internal Regulations on the Patriarchal Exarchate in Southeast Asia” (see below.)

Internal Regulations for the Patriarchal Exarchate in Southeast Asia

February 26, 2019 21:42

The document was adopted at a meeting of the Holy Synod on February 26, 2019 (Journal No. 8 ).

  1. The Patriarchal Exarchate of South-East Asia (hereinafter referred to as the “Exarchate”) is the canonical subdivision of the Russian Orthodox Church, established to coordinate religious and educational, publishing, social, educational and missionary activities of the dioceses and other canonical subdivisions of the Russian Orthodox Church, located in Exarchate and its members.
  2. Decisions on the creation or dissolution of the Exarchate, on its name, territorial boundaries and the composition of its dioceses are taken by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church (hereinafter — the “Holy Synod,”) followed by the approval of the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church (hereinafter — the “Bishops’ Council.”)
  3. The following countries are under the pastoral responsibility of the Exarchate: the Republic of Singapore, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Republic of Indonesia, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Kingdom of Thailand.
  4. The Exarchate carries out its activities in accordance with the sacred canons, the Charter of the Russian Orthodox Church (hereinafter — the “Canonical Charter of the Russian Orthodox Church”), this Regulation, and in the case of state registration of the Exarchate as a legal entity — in accordance with the Charter of the Exarchate.
  5. The decisions of the Local Councils of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Bishops’ Councils and the Holy Synod are binding for the Exarchate, as well as for the dioceses and other canonical divisions of the Russian Orthodox Church.
  6. The highest general church court and the court of the Bishops’ Council are for the Exarchate church courts of the highest instance.
  7. The supreme ecclesiastical authority in the Exarchate belongs to the Synod of the Patriarchal Exarchate in Southeast Asia (hereinafter referred to as the “Synod of the Exarchate”), headed by the Metropolitan of Singapore and Southeast Asia, the Patriarchal Exarch of South-East Asia (hereinafter “Exarch”), and consisting of diocesan bishops of the dioceses of the Exarchate. The vicar bishop of the Diocese of the Exarchate may, at the invitation of the Exarch, participate in the meeting of the Synod with the right of an advisory vote.
  8. The Holy Synod may decide on the state registration of the Exarchate.
  9. The Statute of the Exarchate and the Statutes of the Exarchate shall be adopted by the Holy Synod and approved by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia (hereinafter the “Patriarch”).
  10. Synod of the Exarchate:
    1. submits to the Holy Synod and approval of the Patriarch the draft statutes of the Dioceses of the Exarchate, as well as amendments (additions) to them;
    2. ensures the unity of the Exarchate with the Russian Orthodox Church;
    3. upon the submission of the Exarch, elects the secretary of the Synod of the Exarchate from among the bishops of the Exarchate, and the duties of the secretary of the Synod may be temporarily assigned to the Exarch;
    4. submits to the Holy Synod, in the established order, proposals for glorification for local veneration or for the church – wide glorification of devotees of piety, who labored in the territory of the Exarchate;
    5. establishes the general governing bodies of the Exarchate, appoints their leaders and reviews annual reports on their activities;
    6. approves the Statute on the Church Court of the Exarchate, corresponding to the Statute on the Church Court of the Russian Orthodox Church;
    7. elects the members of the Exarchate Church Court with a fixed term of office;
    8. approves the decisions of the Exarchate Church Court in cases stipulated by the Regulation on the Exarchate Church Court;
    9. can perform the functions of the Church Court of the Exarchate in the absence of a sufficient number of bishops in the Exarchate to be elected to the Church Court of the Exarchate;
    10. in contact with the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate resolves issues of interfaith and interfaith relations, as well as interaction with state authorities in the territory of the Exarchate
    11. establishes the award system of the Exarchate, corresponding to the award system established in the Russian Orthodox Church;
    12. submits to the approval of the Holy Synod candidates for rectors of religious schools, hegumen (abbess) monasteries of the dioceses of the Exarchate, proposed by their diocesan bishops; such submissions are considered by the Holy Synod, taking into account the opinion of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Office on foreign institutions;
    13. in the case of state registration of the Exarchate as a legal entity, submits for the approval of the Patriarch the procedure for possession, use and disposal of the property of the Exarchate;
    14. in accordance with the established procedure for foreign institutions of the Russian Orthodox Church establishes legal entities and liquidates them;
    15. appoints and dismisses members of the Exarchate Audit Commission;
    16. decides other matters relating to the internal and external activities of the Exarchate;
    17. can address messages to the clergy and laity of the whole Exarchate.
  11. Meetings of the Synod of the Exarchate are held as necessary, but not less than once every six months. The Synod of the Exarchate is authorized to make decisions with the participation in the meeting of the Synod at least 2/3 of its members. Decisions of the Synod of the Exarchate are made by a majority vote of the members present. In case of equality of votes, the vote of the chairman is decisive.
  12. The journals of the Synod of the Exarchate are signed by all its members, submitted to the Holy Synod and approved by the Patriarch.
  13. The Exarch is elected by the Holy Synod and appointed by the Patriarchal Decree.
  14. The Exarch is the diocesan bishop of the Singapore Diocese and heads the administration of the Exarchate on the basis of the canons, the Charter of the Russian Orthodox Church, the present Statute and the Charter of the Exarchate.
  15. The Exarch, consulting in the demanding cases with the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate or with the Administration of the Moscow Patriarchate for foreign institutions:
    1. convenes the Synod of the Exarchate and presides over its meetings;
    2. represents the Exarchate without relations of attorney in relations with state authorities, citizens and legal entities on the territory of the Exarchate and beyond;
    3. exercises executive and administrative powers to manage the institutions of the Exarchate;
    4. issues decrees on the appointment of persons designated by the Synod of the Exarchate;
    5. has supervision over the execution by the diocesan bishops of the Exarchate of the decisions of the Local and Bishops’ Councils, the Holy Synod and the Synod of the Exarchate and, in cases of improper execution of such decisions, makes fraternal suggestion, while ignoring which can bring the matter to the Synod of the Exarchate, and then inform the Patriarch;
    6. teaches fraternal advice to the hierarchs of the Exarchate regarding the management of dioceses and personal life;
    7. accepts complaints against the decisions or actions of the hierarchs of the Exarchate and considers such complaints without formal ecclesiastical court procedure independently or jointly with the Synod of the Exarchate; if it is impossible to reconcile the parties or otherwise resolve the issue to the satisfaction of the parties, refer the case to the Patriarch for consideration with an attachment of his opinion or the opinion of the Synod of the Exarchate;
    8. accepts appeals against decisions of the diocesan courts of the Dioceses of the Exarchate and forwards them to the Exarchate Church Court;
    9. forwards to the Holy Synod with its response the petition of the diocesan bishops of the Exarchate to open new parishes and monasteries; such petitions are considered taking into account the opinion of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Office on foreign institutions;
    10. sends to the Patriarch and the Holy Synod with his response the petition of the diocesan bishops of the Exarchate about sending clerics from the dioceses of the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church to their diocese; such petitions are considered taking into account the opinion of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Office on foreign institutions; Note:
      • the assignment of a cleric from the diocese of the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church to the diocese of the Exarchate is carried out by the decision of the Holy Synod, which also decides on the end of such a trip;
      • the transition from the sending letter of a cleric from the diocese of the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church to the diocese of the Exarchate is carried out with the consent of the bishops of both dioceses and the written blessing of the Patriarch;
    11. forwards to the Patriarch with his response the petition of the diocesan bishops of the Exarchate on awarding clerics; such petitions are considered taking into account the opinion of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Office on foreign institutions;
    12. receives from the Diocesan Bishops of the Exarchate copies of annual, including financial, reports sent to the Patriarch, as well as copies of the Patriarch’s resolutions imposed on such reports;
    13. receives, in a notification procedure from the diocesan bishops of the Exarchate, information about their planned trips outside their dioceses;
    14. receives, in a notification order from the diocesan bishops of the Exarchate, information about future visits of their dioceses by other bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as bishops of other Local Orthodox Churches;
    15. has the right to visit, where necessary, all the dioceses of the Exarchate;
    16. may address messages to the clergy and laity of the whole Exarchate;
    17. resolves other issues in accordance with the norms of the canon law of the Orthodox Church and this Statute.
  16. The name of the Exarch is commemorated in all the temples of the Exarchate after the name of the Patriarch in the following wording: “Our lord, His Eminence, the Metropolitan of Singapore and Southeast Asia, the Patriarchal Exarch of Southeast Asia.”
  17. The Exarch has the right to liturgical and protocol primacy before the bishops of the Exarchate, as well as sitting in the high place in all the temples of the Exarchate.
  18. Diocesan and vicar bishops of the Exarchate are elected and appointed by the Holy Synod.
  19. Decisions on the formation or abolition of the dioceses belonging to the Exarchate and on the determination of their territorial boundaries are made by the Holy Synod with the subsequent approval by the Bishops’ Council.
  20. The Exarchate includes dioceses: Singapore (Republic of Singapore, Malaysia and Republic of Indonesia), Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Republic of Korea), Thailand (Kingdom of Thailand, Kingdom of Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Republic of the Union of Myanmar), Philippine – Vietnamese (Republic of the Philippines and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam). This list of canonical subdivisions is changed when another diocese is formed or is included in the Exarchate by the decision of the Holy Synod.
  21. The Exarchate receives Holy Myrrh from the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

Father Silouan

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    • The blessing of the Lord! These are dioceses of the Moscow Patriarchate. ROCOR’s mission here consists of me and my one parish, plus one other priest who is currently studying in America. Since about 2014, with our Metropolitan’s blessing, we have cooperated with the MP mission. Now that there is to be a local diocesan bishop here, I expect we will be released to the new MP bishop before long.