ERIE, PA: June 25, 2008
Metropolitan Hilarion Consecrates a New Bishop For the Russian Church Abroad

On June 21, 2008, Hegumen John (Berzins) of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America was consecrated to the episcopacy in the Church of the Nativity of Christ in Erie, PA. He was given the title Bishop of Caracas and will administer the South American parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

Divine Liturgy and the rite of consecration, and the rite of nomination held the evening before, were celebrated and performed by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, President of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Grace Bishop Daniel of Erie, and His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland.

The election of Fr John as Bishop of Caracas took place at the recent Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and, in accordance with the Act of Canonical Communion signed on May 17, 2007, was confirmed by His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The divine services of June 21, as is customary in the Old-Rite Church of the Nativity in Erie, was performed in the ancient tradition. Participating were a multitude of clergymen who gathered in the city for the Orthodoxy in the 21st Century Conference, including Priest John Mirolub, Secretary of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Committee on Old-Rite Parishes.