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a local or special ecclesiastical council, esp of a diocese, formally convened to discuss ecclesiastical affairs



a meeting of higher clergy in a number of Orthodox and Protestant churches. A synod was the supreme governing body of the Orthodox Church in Russia from the early 18th through the early 20th century; since 1917, it has been an advisory body under the patriarch of Moscow and all Rus’.

The Synod was created in Russia in 1721 to replace the patriarchate, which had been abolished. The Synod was responsible for purely religious matters, such as the interpretation of church dogmas and regulations on church rituals and prayers; for church administrative and economic matters, such as the appointment and removal of church officials and the management of church property; for matters of church “policing,” such as the struggle with heretics and schismatics, the supervision of church prisons, and church censorship; and for judicial matters involving the clergy. The Synod was also the supreme organ with jurisdiction in certain areas of family law, such as marriage cases, including marriages between relatives, and divorce cases. The members of the Synod were chosen from among high church officials and were appointed by the emperor. The synod was supervised by the chief procurator (ober-prokuror), a secular official appointed from the military or the civil service. The authority of the chief procurator increased in the late 18th century and became especially great at the end of the 19th century, when the office was held by K. P. Pobedonostsev.

The Synod as a state body was abolished by one of the first decrees of the Soviet government. After the restoration of the patriarchate in the Russian Orthodox Church in 1917, the Synod was reestablished as a purely ecclesiastical body—an advisory council of hierarchs under the patriarch. It is composed of permanent and temporary members. Permanent members include the metropolitans of Krutitsy-Kolomna, Kiev, and Leningrad, the bishop in charge of the affairs of the Moscow patriarchate, and the chairman of the department of external church relations of the Moscow patriarchate. Temporary members include the eparchial bishops, who are summoned in turn to attend one of the sessions of the Synod.

In the Catholic Church, the Synod of Bishops was established in the 1960’s. There are also synods headed by patriarchs in some of the churches that recognize the primacy of the papacy, such as the Coptic Church in Egypt, the Armenian Church in Lebanon, and the Chaldean Church in Iran.

References in periodicals archive ?
The Huguenot literary figure Jean Rou, imprisoned in the Bastille during the mid-1670s, noted that the provincial Synod of the Ile-de-France had called for a fast on April 3, 1676, the Friday before Easter.
105) As late as 1671, the provincial Synod admonished the Kampen church council to remain diligent in insisting that the civic government require Anabaptists to be married in the Reformed Church and, following the example of Zwolle, not to permit any Socinian Anabaptists to reside in the city.
We need stronger provincial synods, which may be better suited to regional realities.
If the motion passes in September, the province will undertake to "explore possible realignment of dioceses," and then report back to the next provincial synod in 2015.
A transition plan will be developed and sent to the Ontario provincial synod in October 2011.
According to the Anglican Church of Canada's Declaration of Principles, changes to canons dealing with doctrine--such as the marriage canon, for example--must be "referred for consideration to diocesan and provincial synods, following the first approval of the General Synod.
By summarily expressing the opinion that it affirms the 'sanctity' of committed adult same-sex relationships," the bishops said, the synod appeared to pre-empt the work of the diocesan and provincial synods over the next three years.
These elections, in differing proportions, paid lip servic e to the rule of the order, the pronouncements of popes and councils, the dictates of provincial synods, and the customs of the convent and locale.
Initially, bishoprics belonged to the resources of royal power, although Cubitt argues that the role of the king could have been limited at early provincial synods.
The Forward in Faith statement said the proposals must be considered by provincial synods in September and the outcomes could be debated a month later when Forward in Faith holds its annual meeting.
Sunshine's key sources for this book include early Protestant ecclesiastical histories, many (but not all) of the oldest consistory registers and decisions of provincial synods, and above all the conclusions of the eight national synods held between 1559 and 1572.
I do remind them, however, that next year all the provincial synods will meet, and this matter is likely to be on the agenda for each one.

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