On Tuesday, March 9, the feast of the 1st and 2nd Findings of the Head of St. John the Forerunner of the Lord, a regular session of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad was held remotely. Chairing the meeting was His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York, First Hierarch of ROCOR. Participating in this session were: Their Eminences Mark, Metropolitan of Berlin & Germany; Archbishops Kyrill of San Francisco & Western America, Secretary of the Synod of Bishops; Gabriel of Montreal & Canada; and Peter of Chicago & Mid-America; and Their Graces, Bishops Irenei of London & Western Europe and Nicholas of Manhattan, Deputy Secretary of the Synod of Bishops.
Hearing a report by Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), Head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, the archpastors prayed for the repose of the newly departed Abbess Moisseia (Bubnova), who spent the last few years in retirement, and sisters of Ascension of the Lord Convent on the Mount of Olives Schema-Nun Christina and Nun Ruthina. Mother Moisseia and Sister Ruthina died of complications from the Coronavirus, and Mother Christina died of cancer. The funeral and burial of Abbess Moisseia were performed on the patronal feast day of the Church of the Finding of the Head of St. John on the property of the Mouth of Olives Convent.
The Synod then deliberated on a written report by Archimandrite Nektariy (Hajji-Petropoulos) of the Western American Diocese, rector of Holy Trinity Monastery in Mexico, on the status of the Mexican mission.
Bishop Irenei, Secretary of the Office of Inter-Orthodox Affairs of the Synod of Bishops, gave a detailed report on the latest events in the Orthodox world and offered for consideration a draft of new Diocesan Regulations for London & Western Europe.
Archbishop Gabriel, Chief Financial Officer of the Synod of Bishops, reported on the financial situation, and also on the results of a meeting of the Council of Directors of Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY.
Upon considering a written report by His Grace George, Bishop of Canberra, on Sts. Cyril & Methodius Theological Institute of the Diocese of Australia & New Zealand, the Synod of Bishops invoked God’s blessing on his administration, teachers, and students.
To mark the coming 220th anniversary of the assassination of Emperor Paul I, it was decided to conduct Church-wide divine services on the first Soul Saturday of Great Lent, March 14/27 of this year, which will be announced by a corresponding directive.
Archpriest Serafim Gan, Chancellor of the Synod of Bishops, reported on a new Russian-language book being published on the 100th anniversary of the All-Diocesa Council, titled Grains of Wisdom and Piety from the Late Archpastors of the Russian Church Abroad. The tome, scheduled for publication this May, will include 100 spiritual and practical lessons of the reposed bishops of our Church, with photographs of their lives and service. Readers will learn about the spiritual legacy of the Russian Church Abroad.
The Synod of Bishops deliberated on a report by Archpriest Andre Papkov on the 2nd Pan-European Church Music Conference, and plans for this year of the Synodal Liturgical Commission which he heads.
The expansion of the episcopacy was discussed, along with pastoral, disciplinary, and administrative matters; also discussed were intercessions by the bishops for ecclesiastical awards to clergymen and laity.
The session ended with the singing of "It is Truly Meet." The next session will take place on Tuesday, May 18.