NEW YORK: April 21, 2010
The Synod of Bishops Holds a Teleconference 

On April 21, 2010, the Synod of Bishops held a teleconference chaired by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. In addition to the President, participating in the call were: His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany; His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, Secretary of the Synod of Bishops; 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. 

Opening the meeting, His Eminence the President expressed his heartfelt Paschal greetings to all the participants of the teleconference. The President then reported to the Synod of Bishops on the serious illness of His Grace Bishop Daniel of Erie, Vicar Bishop for the Old Believer Community of the Russian Church Abroad, and his request for prayers for his health and salvation. 

The Synod then heard reports by Archbishop Mark, Overseer of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem and by Bishop Peter, Treasurer of the Synod of Bishops. The hierarchs also discussed the Russian Orthodox communities of Ottawa, Canada. 

Hearing the report by Archbishop Mark on the schismatic Priest Oleg Molenko, the Synod of Bishops decreed to defrock him.  

Hearing the request by the Executive Director of the Fund for Assistance to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Protopriest Victor Potapov, on the annual appeal for donations, the Synod of Bishops decreed to continue such appeals throughout the parishes of our Holy Church on the nearest Sunday to the American Thanksgiving Day.  

After discussing the request made by Protopriest Serafim Gan to remove him of his duties as Chancellor of the Synod of Bishops, Recording Secretary of the Synod of Bishops and Personal Secretary of the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, the Synod of Bishops decided to postpone a decision on this matter until its fall session. 

The Synod then heard an appeal by its President to grant awards to the clergy and parishioners of Resurrection Cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina, SS Peter and Paul Cathedral in Perth, Australia, and the Archbishop’s Church in Croydon (Sydney, Australia), on the occasion of their 50th anniversary. Other awards to the clergy of various dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia were likewise approved. 

The Synod of Bishops also discussed matters relating to the forthcoming visit of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God to the territory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Kursk Diocese, to be held this year during the feasts of the Ascension and Pentecost.

The next teleconference of the Synod of Bishops will be held on July 13.