Regular Session of the Synod of Bishops is Held
A regular session of the Synod of Bishops was held from 14/27 to
16/29 April 2004. The following members of the Synod of Bishops
participated: the Synod President, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus,
along with His Eminence Archbishop Mark, His Eminence Archbishop
Kyrill, His Grace Bishop Ambroise, His Grace Bishop Gabriel and
His Grace Bishop Michael.
The visit of His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus to Moscow with a delegation
(at the invitation of His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II and President
V.V. Putin of the Russian Federation) was discussed. The aim of
this visit is to become acquainted with the life of the Russian
Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, to hold meetings with
its President, His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II, and the members
of the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate. The delegation plans
to make pilgrimages to some of the holy sites of the fatherland,
hoping to visit Kursk, whence comes the oldest icon of the Russian
Church, the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, which is also
where Saint Seraphim of Sarov was born and raised. In addition,
the delegation hopes to visit Sarov and Diveevo, and also make a
trip to Ekaterinburg, where the last Russian Tsar and His August
Family were martyred.
Archbishop Mark reported that soon after the visit of Metropolitan
Laurus and his delegation, a meeting of the committees of both Churches
is planned to begin discussions of the questions and problems that
divide the two parts of the Russian Church. Archbishop Mark also
reported on the life of our monasteries in the Holy Land, where
His Eminence spent some time during Great Lent.
Archbishop Kyrill reported on the settlement reached in the matter
of the convent near San Francisco. According to the settlement,
a part of the property will return to our Church after a period
of time, including the main property of the convent in Moss Beach.
Bishop Ambroise of Vevey reported on the life of the Western European
Diocese. In part, he spoke of the sorrowful news in Bari, when Priest
Andrei Trufanoff suffered an early death during Bright Week, leaving
behind his matushka and four children.
Bishop Michael reported on his trip to Russia, and also on his visit
to our Mission in Haiti, where he ordained a new deacon. Bishop
Michael met with representatives of the Fund of St. Andrew the First-Called,
a society which wishes to establish an international program in
Moscow in honor of Holy Martyr Elizaveta Feodorovna and the Marfo-Maria
Convent, which just marked its 95th anniversary. Bishop Michael
relayed to them the blessing of the Synod of Bishops to send them
on a temporary basis a reliquary containing a part of the relics
of SS Elizaveta and Varvara.
The next session of the Synod is scheduled to be held in San Francisco
in connection with the ten-year anniversary of the glorification
of St. John, the Miracle-worker of Shanghai and San Francisco, in
decree of the Synod of Bishops, Communications Director N.A. Ohotin
was awarded an icon.
Synodal Building of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
on the corner of 93rd Street and Park Avenue in New York.