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NEW YORK: October 10, 2012
A Regular Session of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad is Held

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, the feast day of the Evangelist St John the Theologian, a regular session of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was held, presided over by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch. Also participating in this session were: His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, Secretary of the Synod of Bishops; His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada, and His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland, Administrator of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America. 

The Primate opened the meeting congratulated the other members with the feast day of St John. Upon the proposal of Bishop Peter, the Synod members prayerfully remembered King Alexander of Yugoslavia, who died a martyr on this day.  

Hearing the written request of His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany, the Synod of Bishops relieved Archimandrite Tikhon (Amelchenya) of his duties as Chief of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem of the Russian Church Abroad. Hieromonk Roman (Krassovsky), resident of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, was appointed Acting Chief of the REM, a position he will assume in early November. 

The Synod of Bishops further deliberated on the forthcoming Conference of Archpastors of the Russian Orthodox Church serving outside the territory of the Moscow Patriarchate. The event will take place in London on October 18-21 and will be dedicated to the fifth anniversary of the reestablishment of unity within the Russian Orthodox Church.  

The Synod of Bishops read a letter addressed to the President from His Eminence Metropolitan German of Kursk and Rylsk, which said in part:

I thank you with all my heart for sending the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God “of  the Sign” to the place it was first discovered. Once again, just as last year, the icon drew  tens of thousands of people, young and old, who reverently streamed to venerate the  miracle-working icon.  

The Church of the Life-Bearing Wellspring in Kursk-Root Hermitage was  consecrated in  its presence, which we hastened to complete by the time of its arrival.

During its sojourn in the Kursk lands—in the church of the Nativity of the Most-Holy  Mother of God in Kursk-Root Hermitage and in Znamensky Cathedral in Kursk—the  miraculous icon was venerated by over 140,000 Kuryans and pilgrims from other  dioceses. The Kursk Diocese worked closely with the Kursk oblast administration and  the city of Kursk on logistics and security for the visit. 

Again, as in previous years, the Mother of God, through Her icon, brought the people of  Kursk peace, joy and spiritual consolation.  

I respectfully ask Your Eminence to grant blessing for bringing the miracle-working icon  here for our autumn procession of the cross next year from September 23 to October 2. 

Deliberating on Metropolitan German’s request, the Synod of Bishops expressed its willingness to send the main holy icon of the Russian Church Abroad to the city of Kursk next year.

The Synod of Bishops also discussed other administrative and financial matters, and reviewed intercessions made by the archpastors for ecclesial awards to clergymen and laypersons.

The next meeting of the Synod of Bishops, which will be in expanded form, will be held in London next week.