NEW YORK: 24 February 2023
A regular session of the Synod of Bishops convenes

On Thursday, 23 February, 2023, a regular session of the Synod of Bishops convened via video-conference, presided over by His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Participating in the meeting were: His Eminence Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany; His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, Secretary; His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada; His Eminence Archbishop Peter of Chicago and Mid-America; His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe and His Grace Bishop Theodosy of Seattle.

Opening the meeting, Metropolitan Nicholas greeted the participants on the coming Great Lent, calling upon his brethren to augment their prayers for the persecuted and suffering hierarchs, clergy and flock of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church headed by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onouphry of Kiev and All Ukraine. His Eminence also discussed the celebrations of the Nativity of the Lord and the Epiphany in his diocese, and of the Three Hierarchs at Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY, and other news from Church life.

The archpastors then commenced their work, hearing reports on: financial affairs by the Synod’s Chief Financial Officer, Archbishop Gabriel; Bishop Irenei, Secretary of the Synod’s Inter-Orthodox Affairs Department; Archpriest Roman (Krassovsky), Chief of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem of the Russian Church Abroad; and Nicholas Ohotin, Jurisconsult, on legal matters.

Professor Nicolas Schidlovsky, Dean of Holy Trinity Seminary, reported on the planned 75th-jubilee celebrations to be held on 15-17 September, 2023.

Hearing an appeal by Archpriest Andrei Papkov, President of the Synodal Liturgical Music Commission, after which it was resolved: “To invite to participate in the commission 1) Gregory Kotar, choir director of St Nicholas Cathedral in Seattle, WA, and 2) Michelle Ganson, assistant choir director at Epiphany of the Lord Church in Boston, graduate of the Synodal Liturgical Music School.”

The Synod also discussed various disciplinary, property and administrative matters, and heard intercessions by the hierarchs for ecclesiastical awards for their clergy and flock.

Metropolitan Nicholas advised the Synod members of an invitation made by His Grace Bishop John (Berzins) of South America and Caracas to visit Buenos Aires, where His Eminence will officiate at divine services on Thomas Sunday as a show of support to Vladyka John, his clergy and flock.

Metropolitan Mark then proposed holding the next meeting of the Synod of Bishops on May 4 in Germany, where Metropolitan Nicholas will be visiting starting the third week after Holy Pascha. The schedule will be published in advance.

Concluding the session of the Synod of Bishops, the First Hierarch asked the forgiveness of his brother archpastors, wishing them Divine aid in carrying out their Lenten duties, and wished them a joyous Pascha season.


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