On Thursday, 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 convened by video connection, presided over by His Eminence Nicholas, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad.
Participating in the meeting were Metropolitan Mark of Berlin & Germany; Archbishops Kyrill of San Francisco & Western America ‒ secretary, Gabriel of Montreal & Canada, and Peter of Chicago & Mid-America; Bishops Irenei of London & Western Europe and Theodosius of Seattle ‒ deputy secretary.
Opening the session, Metropolitan Nicholas congratulated his fellow participants on the conclusion of the feast, beseeching divine aid for their forthcoming work. His Eminence also thanked the archpastors for their prayers and their brotherly support.
Accepting the proposed agenda, which had been distributed in advance, the Synod of Bishops heard a report by Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem of the Russian Church Abroad.
A report by Bishop Irenei was also presented, during which various matters pertaining to inter-Orthodox relations were discussed, as were recent events in the Orthodox world.
Metropolitan Mark proposed separately to examine and deliberate on matters pertaining to the life of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is now subjected to persecutions and politically motivated agitation. The Synod of Bishops expressed its alarm over the aggression and violence directed against the life of the canonical Church on the territory of Ukraine, calling upon all those in positions of authority not to close their eyes, but to lift their voices and insist on the reestablishment and observance of the elementary rights and religious freedoms of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Onufry, the archpastors, pastors and many millions who constitute the flock of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The Synod of Bishops deliberated on various ecclesio-disciplinary, property, and administrative matters, as well as the intercessions of the eminent archpastors for clerical awards for their clergymen and parishioners.