NEW YORK: February 21, 2017
A Meeting of the Synod of Bishops is Held

On Tuesday, February 21, 2017, a regular session of the Synod of Bishops took place, chaired by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Participating in this session were also His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin in Germany; His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America; His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada; His Eminence Archbishop Peter of Chicago and Mid-America and His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan.

Opening the session, Metropolitan Hilarion welcomed the member bishops and greeted them on the approaching Great Lent, wishing everyone a salvific spiritual period of preparation for Holy Pascha.

Having read a letter from His Eminence Metropolitan Varsonofy of Saint Petersburg and Lagoda, Administrator of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church, regarding the transfer of a portion of the holy relics of Holy Great Duchess Elizabeth and Nun Barbara, the Synod of Bishops gave its blessing to Archbishop Mark to contact the curator of Holy Myrrh, relics and antimensia of the Moscow Patriarchate in order to coordinate the transfer of the relics. This is because as part of the preparations to mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the godless persecutions in Russia, a reliquary containing the holy relics of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia will be created, to be used this year to consecrate the antimensia and altar tables in the dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church which do not yet have relics of the Martyrs of the twentieth century.

Further, discussing the proposal by the Foundation of Apostle Andrew the First-Called, a reliquary containing the relics of Saint Tihon, Patriarch of All Russia the Confessor, the Synod of Bishops established a working group to organize events corresponding to the visit of the relics to the parishes of the Russian Church Abroad in the United States. The committee will include Protopriest Andrei Sommer, Protopriest Serafim Gan, Protopriest Gregory Joyce, Peter Lukianov, and Paul Kuzubov. It is expected that the relics will be visiting parishes of other Local Orthodox Churches as well. The visit of the reliquary of St Tikhon will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the reestablishment of the Patriarchy in the Local Russian Orthodox Church. A detailed schedule will be published shortly.

The Synod of Bishops then turned to administrative matters. The Pre-Council Commission will prepare the agenda and list of speakers for the forthcoming Council of Bishops, which will take place in Munich, to coincide with the consecration of the Cathedral of Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.

The Synod then discussed other ecclesio-administrative matters, desliberating on intercessions for awards to clergyman and laity who worked to the benefit of the Church of Christ.

In concluding this session of the Synod of Bishops, Metropolitan Hilarion asked forgiveness from his brother bishops, wishing them God's blessing in their Great-Lenten efforts towards the joyful celebration of the Pascha of Christ.

The next session of the Synod of Bishops will take place on May 1, 2017.


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