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New York City: Regular Session of Expanded Synod of Bishops Convenes

On Tuesday, December 8, the Leavetaking of the Feast of the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple, a regular session of the Synod of Bishops took place via videoconference, chaired by His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad. Participating in the meeting were Their Eminences: Metropolitan Mark of Berlin & Germany, Archbishops Kyrill of San Francisco & Western America, Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, Gabriel of Montreal & Canada, Peter of Chicago & Mid-America, and Their Graces: Bishops John of Caracas & South America, Irenei of London & Western Europe, and Nicholas of Manhattan, Deputy Secretary of the Synod of Bishops and vicar of the Eastern American Diocese.

Opening the meeting with a greeting, the President of the Synod of Bishops proposed prayerful commemoration of His Holiness Patriarch Irinej, Metropolitan Amfilohije (Radović) of Montenegro & the Littoral, Metropolitan Theophan (Ashurkov), Metropolitan Job (Hiob; Tywoniuk), Schema-Archbishop Amvrosy (Merezhko, +November 26/December 9, 1974) and Archpriest Rostislav Gan (+November 25/December 8, 1975). His Eminence then congratulated Metropolitan Mark on the 40th anniversary of his episcopal consecration, wishing His Eminence many years of good health, and wished the other members of the meeting God’s aid in their continued work. The agenda, having been distributed in advance, was approved in writing.

Having heard reports by Dr. Nicolas Schidlovsky, dean of Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY, Synodal treasurer Subdeacon George Schatiloff and Nicholas Ohotin on legal and financial matters, the members of the Synod of Bishops then discussed correspondence between the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad and Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk on the participation of His Grace Ambrozie, Bishop of Bogorodsk, in the International Meeting for Peace in Rome, as well as matters pertaining to inter-Orthodox relations.

The Synod of Bishops then heard detailed reports by Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco & Western America and Bishop John of Caracas & South America on parish and monastery life in Mexico and South America.

Deacon Andrei Psarev of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, and a professor at its seminary, was once again included in the Commission of Concording the Calendar of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, was granted blessing to conduct modest celebrations, due to quarantining measures being instituted by the state of Israel, of the 100th anniversary of the translation of the relics of the Holy Martyrs of Alapaevsk: Grand Duchess Elizabeth and Nun Barbara, to Russian Gethsemane.

Matters relating to expanding the episcopacy, Church discipline, and administrative and managerial topics were then discussed, along with a series of petitions by the bishops on ecclesiastical awards for clergy and laity.

The meeting concluded with the singing of the theotokion for the feast of the Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple. The next session will be held via videoconference on March 9, the Tuesday of Cheesefare.

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