SYNOD OF BISHOPS: April 29, 2004

A 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 July.

By decree of the Synod of Bishops, Communications Director N.A. Ohotin was awarded an icon.

The Synodal Building of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on the corner of 93rd Street and Park Avenue in New York.