NEW YORK: March 7, 2012
The Synod of Bishops Convenes
On Tuesday, March 6, 2012, the Synod of Bishops held a regular teleconference, presided over by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Participating in the call were the Synod members: His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany; His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America; His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada, and His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland, Administrator of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America.
Opening the session, the President of the Synod of Bishops greeted everyone on the beginning of Great Lent and wished them beneficial spiritual labors. His Eminence then reported on his meeting with His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on February 2, 2012, which took place at the Synodal Patriarchal Residence at Danilov Monastery in Moscow. Vladyka Hilarion’s conversation with the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church concentrated on the forthcoming celebration of the fifth anniversary of the reestablishment of unity within the Russian Orthodox Church. An official delegation of the Russian Church Abroad, headed by Metropolitan Hilarion, will travel to the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church to attend celebrations in May. The delegation will include members of the Commission on Strengthening Church Unity, which is preparing for the celebration of the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion. Church celebrations abroad will be held concurrently with an assembly of archpastors of the Russian Orthodox Church in the diaspora to be held in London later this year.
His Eminence also reported on the decision of a French Court, recently recognizing the prior regulations and membership of the Association of the Church of Archangel Michael in Cannes dating from 2006. In connection with this, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia appointed the retired Bishop Varnava (Prokofieff) as Rector of this church, which is under the direct authority of the President of the Synod of Bishops of the Church Abroad.
Archbishop Mark reported on the canonization of Holy New Martyr Alexander (Schmorell) of Munich, which took place on February 5 in Munich, attended by an enormous gathering of worshipers. He also reported on the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem.
Other administrative and financial matters were discussed, followed by intercessions by the archpastors for awards for their diocesan clergymen and laypersons. The next session of the Synod of Bishops will be held on June 12.