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NEW YORK: December 14, 2010
A Regular Meeting of the Synod of Bishops is Held

The Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia met for a regular session at the Synodal building in New York on December 7, 2010, in the presence of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, opening the session with the singing of King of Heaven.

Participating in the meeting were His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, President of the Synod of Bishops; His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany, Vice President; His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, Secretary; His Grace Bishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada; His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland, Administrator of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America; and His Grace Bishop Jerome of Manhattan, Vicar of the Eastern American Diocese.

Hearing the report by clergymen of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand, Protopriest Michael Protopopoff, Dean of Victoria, and Protopriest Nicholas Dalinkevich on the sale of property belonging to Protection Cathedral in Melbourne, the Synod gave its blessing to the proposal made at its general meeting of clergy and parishioners. Divine services and all parish events will now be held in the newly-built cathedral and adjacent premises.

The Synod of Bishops called Divine blessings upon the work of Protopriest Andrei Sommer, Vice President of the Synodal Youth Department, and gave its blessing for its work, which in the past year organized five large events for youth of the Russian Church Abroad.

Having read the attestation on the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God signed by His Eminence Archbishop Alypy of Chicago and Mid-America, Bishop Peter, the clergymen of Holy Protection Cathedral in Chicago Protopriest Andre Papkov and Priest Valery Vovkovsky, the Synod of Bishops approved the position of the signers and their proposal.

Having discussed the court decision on the return of EU 405,000 donated in 2006 to the parish by a certain individual to the Association of Archangel Michael Church in Cannes, France, the Synod of Bishop gave its blessing for the parishs decision to donate this sum to French charities. The decision on which specific charities is left to a general Association meeting upon the recommendation of the Administrative Council with the consent of the President of the Synod of Bishops.

Further, the Synod of Bishops heard reports by Archbishop Mark; by Bishop Gabriel; by Bishop Peter, the Treasurer of the Synod of Bishops, on financial and administrative matters; and Hegumen Tikhon (Amelchenya), on the situation in the Holy Land. The Synod of Bishops directed Fr Tikhon to continue as Acting Chief of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

On Wednesday, December 9, the Synod of Bishops welcomed His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, who was accompanied by His Grace Bishop Tikhon of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylviania, Protopriest Leonid Kishkovsky and Alexei Liberovsky. During the conversation, held in a warm and friendly atmosphere, matters pertaining to the reestablishment of the fullness of ecclesiastical communion between the two churches were discussed, as well as pastoral, catechistic and other questions, as well as the situation of Holy Orthodoxy in North America. At the end of the meeting, Metropolitan Hilarion hosted a luncheon in honor of the visitors.

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This session of the Synod of Bishops concluded with a celebration of the feast day of the Cathedral of the Mother of God of the Sign and the 90th anniversary of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, which drew many clergymen and other worshipers.