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Holy Eparchial Synod Convenes Sept. 28-29

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Oct 6, 2005

New York, NY- The Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America convened September 28-29 under the presidency of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America. Several issues were discussed at length including: Holy Cross School of Theology/Hellenic College, permanent Deacons, regulations for Auxiliary Bishops and the operation and establishment of monasteries. All Synodal Hierarchs were present except for Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh who was recovering from a fall earlier in September. Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos was also present performing the duties of the Chief Secretary.

1) Holy Cross School of Theology and Hellenic College

Rev. Father Nicholas Triantafilou, president of HC/HC, had been invited and reported on issues concerning the life and operation of the School. An extensive discussion ensued regarding language, finances and number and background of seminarians. The Holy Eparchial Synod, among other conclusions, recommended that the Hierarchs increase their visits to the School, individually or in groups, as an expression of affection, care and essential contribution to its holy mission.

2) Permanent Deacons

The issue of permanent Deacons, which has been under consideration by the Holy Synod, was examined in its final stage and decisions were made for the application of specific relevant programs.

3) Regulations regarding Auxiliary Bishops

Archbishop Demetrios presented to the Holy Synod the Regulations regarding Auxiliary Bishops, which were drawn according to the Charter of the Holy Archdiocese (Article 15) and which were recently ratified by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The English translation is in the process of being finalized.

4) English translation of General Regulations regarding the Establishment and Operation of Holy Monasteries within the Holy Archdiocese of America

Archbishop Demetrios presented to the Holy Synod the English translation of the General Regulations. The original Greek text has been already distributed to the Holy Monasteries in America. When said translation is published, it will be distributed to all Monasteries and Parishes of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

5) Various Issues

The meetings concluded with discussion of issues specific to individual Metropolises including:

a) Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago requested that an Auxiliary Bishop be elected to serve his Metropolis. The Holy Synod agreed that the request was reasonable and decided to begin the procedure that is provided for by the Charter regarding Auxiliary Bishops of the Archdiocese of America.

b) The Holy Synod agreed to convene henceforth four times annually instead of two, as the number of two sessions per year was deemed insufficient for its work.

c) The Holy Synod also considered several Canonical issues (impediments of acceptance into the clergy, special cases of marriages and divorces etc.), issues of Monasticism and liturgical practice.

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