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TORONTO: September 9, 2013
A Regular Session of the Synod of Bishops is Held in Toronto

On September 5-6, 203, a meeting of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was held at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Toronto, Canada. Presiding was His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, and participating were His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America; His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada; His Eminence Archbishop Michael of Geneva and Western Europe; His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland, Administrator of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America, and His Grace Bishop George of Mayfield.  

The archpastors discussed the internal life and external relations of the Russian Church Abroad.  

Discussing current events in the Middle East, a “Statement by the Synod of Bishops on Events in the Middle East” was approved for publication. 

After hearing a report by the Synod Treasurer, Eugene Grigoriak, the members appointed Archbishop Gabriel as Chief Financial Officer of the Synod of Bishops.  

The Synod members heard a report by its President on Archangel Michael Church in Cannes, France, and decided to regularize the canonical status of Alexei Serafimovich, who was ordained without blessing by retired Bishop Varnava, and to assign him into the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand.  

It was decided that the next Council of Bishops will convene in San Francisco from June 24-July 1, 2014. The celebration in that city of the feast day of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco will take place on Sunday, June 29. The Synod of Bishops in its deliberation of this matter decided to call upon the rectors of nearby parishes to cancel divine services on that day and invited them and their parishioners to the Cathedral of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” to participate in the services marking the 20th anniversary of the canonization of the holy hierarch.  

Having discussed the approaching 700th anniversary of the birth of St Sergius of Radonezh the Miracle-worker, the Synod of Bishops gave its blessing for a symposium to be held at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, to mark this important year, and to hold a Church-wide celebration at St Sergius Cathedral in Cleveland, OH, on Wednesday, October 8, 2014, and to schedule a concurrent meeting of the Synod of Bishops.  

Other matters of an administrative nature were discussed by the Synod of Bishops, as well as intercessions by the archpastors for ecclesiastical awards to clergymen and laypersons.  

On Friday, September 6, the Synod of Bishops met at the children’s summer camp “Ruskoka” in Ontario. Located one hundred and fifty miles from Toronto on the wooded shores of a river, the “Rus on the Muskoka” is a scenic setting reminiscent of the Russian north, established in the year 2000. Having completed its work here, the Synod member archpastors performed a moleben before the miraculous icons of the Mother of God—the Kursk-Root Icon and the “Softener of Hardened Hearts”—at the Church of Holy Tsarevich Alexei, and then blessed the organization’s administrators.