Monday, March 24, 2014

OCA announces changes in Canada

Update: Thanks to a reader for finding the declaration itself from the document "MINUTES OF THE SPRING SESSION OF THE HOLY SYNOD OF BISHOPS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA, Diocese of the Midwest Chancery Chicago, Illinois" dated May 6, 2011 and available here (PDF).

Resolution 1 – LOCUM TENENCY

Be it resolved this day, May 3, 2011, by the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America, meeting in the City of Chicago, IL, pertaining to Article VI, Section 8 of the Statute of the Orthodox Church in America which states “In the event of a vacancy in the office of diocesan bishop, a locum tenens, appointed by the Metropolitan, shall convoke and preside over the Diocesan Assembly whose sole purpose at this time shall be the election of a new diocesan bishop,” that the Metropolitan shall appoint a locum tenens from among the other hierarchs of the Synod and not himself, so as not to burden the Primate with supervision of multiple dioceses.

(OCA)- On March 21, 2014, during their regular Spring Session, the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America made the following decisions.
  1. The Holy Synod has retired Archbishop Seraphim of Ottawa and the Archdiocese of Canada, effective immediately. He has been restricted to the Chapel of Saint Silouan, Spencerville, Ontario and Holy Trinity Church, Edmonton, AB, and must follow all restrictions placed upon him by the Canadian authorities as he awaits sentencing following his conviction on January 24, 2014 on one count of sexual assault.
  2. In addition, the Holy Synod declared the See of Ottawa vacant and appointed His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, as Locum Tenens of the Archdiocese of Canada. In due course, a Special Archdiocesan Assembly will be convened for the nomination of a new ruling bishop. My memory tells me that under Met. Jonah a new rule was put in place by the Synod that metropolitans were forbidden from being locum tenentes. Many found this decision to be one meant to draw down the responsibilities/powers of Met. Jonah at the time. Does anyone know if this rule is still in effect?
  3. His Grace, Bishop Irénée of Quebec City, continues to serve as Administrator of the Archdiocese of Canada. The clergy of the Archdiocese are directed to offer the commemorations in liturgical services as follow: “His Beatitude Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington and Metropolitan of All America and Canada, Locum Tenens of the Archdiocese of Canada and His Grace, Irenee, Bishop of Quebec City, Administrator of the Archdiocese of Canada.”
The Synodal Commission is directed to complete its investigation from an internal Church perspective as part of the ongoing canonical process that will lead to the convening of a Spiritual Court.

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