OCA Synod concludes special session
OCA Holy Synod of Bishops concludes special session
SYOSSET, NY [OCA Communications] -- The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, at the conclusion of a special session, Tuesday, September 1 through Thursday, September 3, 2009, issued the following summary of discussions and decisions.
"HEARD: The Holy Synod reviewed various legal issues facing the OCA and reviewed possible approaches to these issues.
"DECIDED: As this discussion is ongoing, no official decisions were made at this session.
"HEARD: The Holy Synod discussed the need for revision and clarification of the selection process for Episcopal candidates.
"DECIDED: The Lesser Synod will compile a list of criteria and procedures to be followed for the selection of Episcopal candidates within the Orthodox Church in America.
"HEARD: The Holy Synod received a report on the Extraordinary Diocesan Assembly of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey.
"DECIDED: The Holy Synod will consider the candidate nominated by the Assembly at its Fall Session at the end of September 2009.
"HEARD: The Holy Synod heard a report concerning St Tikhon’s Seminary from Bishop Tikhon.
"DECIDED: The Holy Synod received the report and supported Bishop Tikhon in the continuation of his work.
"HEARD: The Holy Synod further discussed the recent decision to separate the Diocese of Washington from the Diocese of New York and New Jersey.
"DECIDED: The Holy Synod determined that, in accordance with the Statute of the Orthodox Church in America (Article IV, Section 4.n), and in accordance with canon law and Church tradition, the residence of the primate must be within his diocesan territory. It is understood that, in due time, the Office of the Metropolitan would likewise be within that territory.
"HEARD: The Holy Synod discussed the Strategic Plan for the OCA.
"DECIDED: The Holy Synod prepared a document to be presented to the joint meeting of the Holy Synod and Metropolitan Council. This document lays out some practical short term goals and long term directions for implementation by the Strategic Planning Committee.
"HEARD: The Holy Synod considered a resolution from the Diocesan Council of the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania requesting clarification concerning the governing authority for St. Tikhon's Monastery.
"DECIDED: The Holy Synod reaffirmed that the term “stavropegial” refers to institutions that fall directly under the omophorion of the primate of a local church. Therefore, St. Tikhon's Monastery, as a stavropegial institutions of the Orthodox Church in America, falls under the Episcopal authority of the Metropolitan. The Holy Synod also decided that all seminarians are under the omophorion of their respective diocesan hierarchs.
"HEARD: The Holy Synod heard a report on the possibilities of mission work in Guatamala.
"DECIDED: Bishop Andres (Giron) of the “Catholic Orthodox Church of Guatemala” will be invited to meet the members of the Holy Synod at the 2009 Fall Session.
"* The Holy Synod heard an update on the finances of the Church by OCA Controller, Archpriest Dennis Swencki.
"* The Holy Synod received a preliminary report from His Grace, Bishop Nikon concerning the Special Investigation Committee for St. Tikhon’s Monastery.
"* The Holy Synod heard a report from Metropolitan Jonah on his planned visit to the Church of Georgia at its invitation.
"* The Holy Synod reviewed various clergy matters.
"* The Holy Synod heard an update from Archbishop Nathaniel on the dialogue between the Romanian Episcopate and Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas.
"* The Holy Synod received an update on the recent meeting at the OCA Chancery discussing issues related to how the Church addresses cases of sexual misconduct.
"* The Holy Synod heard an update on the preliminary work in preparation of the 16th All-American Council."
The Holy Synod will meet again at the end of September for its 2009 regular Fall meeting. This meeting will overlap with the Fall meeting of the OCA Metropolitan Council to allow for both bodies to meet in joint session.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]