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After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways ... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church. ~St. Philaret of NY

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Synod Meeting in English


A Special Session of the Synod of Bishops of the ROCA 
Odessa, November 9-10, 2011 

Minutes No. 1. 
  
The session of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad was held on October 27\November 9, 2011, in Odessa at the Archangel Michael Cathedral residence. 

The following Synod members were present: the Most Revered Agafangel, Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch and Chairman of the ROCA Synod of Bishops; the Right Reverend Sofroniy, Archbishop of St. Petersburg and Northern Russia; the Right Reverend Georgiy, Bishop of Bolgrad and Belgorod-Dnestrovsk and Secretary of the Synod of Bishops; the Right Reverend Afanasiy, Bishop of Vologodsk and Velikoustyuzhsk. 

The following bishops were invited to attend:  the Right Reverend Kirill, Bishop of Voronezh and Southern Russia; the Right Reverend Dionisiy, Bishop of Novgorod and Tver; the Right Reverend Nikon, Bishop of Verkhotursk, and the Right Reverend Nikolay, Bishop of Potinsk.  Protodeacon German Ivanov- Trinadtzaty attended the Synod meeting representing the Right Reverend Iriney, Bishop of Lyon and Western 
Europe. 
  
The Synod session began at 10:40 with the prayer “O Holy King...” 
  
The Chairman presented the agenda. 
Resolved: To accept the agenda of the Synod of Bishops session to include the following: 
1. The Synod Chairman’s general report. 
2. Reports from the bishops on matters in their dioceses. 
3. Regarding the acceptance into the ROCA of communities employing the new calendar in their church services. 
4. Regarding the Synod residence. 
5. Regarding the borders of the dioceses. 
6. Regarding uniform liturgical practice. 
7. Regarding sergianism. 
8. Regarding the establishment of a monastery in the Bolgrad diocese. 
9. Regarding the next regularly scheduled Council of Bishops. 
10. Financial report. 
11. Other. 
  
1.  The Synod Chairman’s general report was heard. 
The Chairman reports that the state of affairs in the Church in the time since the last Synod session has been normal.  By the grace of God there have not been any serious divisions or splits.  It is essential to maintain unity and peace among the clergy and the flock, which necessitates open discussions of any problems that may arise and not allow matters in the life of the Church to get to the point of extreme contention.  The Chairman related noteworthy moments in the relationship with the sister-Church of the Greek Synod in Resistance and contact with its bishops which took place by correspondence with Bishop Ambrose and a personal meeting with Archbishop Chrysostomos in the US.  The Chairman said discussions by telephone were held with the Serbian bishop, Bishop Artemije.  Clergy and communities from other jurisdictions continue to approach the First Hierarch, which requires the bishops to determine general guidelines for acceptance into the body of the Church Abroad. 
Resolved:  To accept the report. 
2.  Reports by the bishops. 
 Archbishop Sofroniy reports that life in his diocese is peaceful, though this peace is occasionally disturbed by harassment and actions by the civil authorities of the RF and the Moscow Patriarchia.  A diocesan meeting was held in the Ishim-Siberian diocese to resolve certain matters, though matters in the diocese overall are good.  In St. Petersburg, they are still required to rent a space to conduct regular services, while the schedule of services in the Theophany monastery is augmented by the development of practical courses for clergy.  Clergy and from other jurisdictions have contacted him.  Abp. Sofroniy spoke of his travels to Ishim and Augsburg (Germany).  A group of faithful in Augsburg have severed ties with the ROCOR(MP) and wish to join our church and establish a parish.  Abp. Sofroniy visited Grece for five days, where he served with bishops of the Synod in Resistance, who send their respects and ask for the prayers of our bishops.  Abp. Sofroniy provided a detailed report on events at the parish and convent in the village of Dudachkino, where RF authorities conducted a search in response to anonymous calls regarding our religious communities there.  Abp. Sofroniy notes Hegumen Seraphim (Kuchinskiy) who was active previously in the ROCA has passed away.  He contacted Abp. Sofroniy before his passing, asked for forgiveness, took communion and made atonement with the Mother Church, the Church Abroad.  Burial of Fr. Seraphim was conducted befitting a cleric with the office of a hegumen. 
The bishops intone “Memory Eternal” in honor of Hegumen Seraphim. 
Resolved:  To accept Abp. Sofroniy’s report. 
  
 Bishop Afanasiy relates life in the Vologodsk diocese; construction of the church in Ferapontov has ended and services have begun, the parishes are busy with services and the convent in Vologda is doing well.  Persecution of our Church in the Vologodsk diocese from local authorities and the MP have subsided temporarily, but it safe to assume this will not last long, especially in light of proposed changes in the laws of the RF.  B. Afanasiy spoke of the need for all Church members to draw together to prepare for any possible harassment. 
 Resolved:  To accept B. Afanasiy’s report. 

Bishop Georgiy tells of matters in the Bolgrad diocese and the attacks by MP clergy and Moldovian authorities on the Resurrection monastery near Kishinev.  B. Georgiy relates how the monastics are dealing with the situation and certain aspects of the legal case to defend their rights.  A full parish life is enjoyed in Kishinev as well as in Kongaz, Chadyr-Lunge and Volkaneshtakh. 
Resolved:  To accept B. Georgiy’s report. 

Bishop Kirill reports a new parish with a church dedicated to the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia has been established in the city of Shchebekino in the Belgorod oblast.  An antimens for services was issued to the founder and rector of the parish, Hieromonk Ephraim (Maltsev).  B. Kirill tells of life in the parishes in Voronezh and the attempts to register the parish and the attendant difficulties.  Clergy from other jurisdictions have contacted him, but it is only in the talking phase.  B. Kirill asks for relics to be able to bless antimens.  The bishops discuss the good and bad aspects of trying to get communities registered and the difficulties when some faithful refuse to obtain new passports and taxpayer identification numbers. 
The Chairman states that it is unacceptable to have various groups of extremists intimidate the clergy with various ploys and try to manipulate the clergy. 
Resolved:  To accept B. Kirill’s report. 

Bishop Dionisiy says there has been little change in his diocese.  There has been a severe decrease in the number of parishioners as many of the elderly have passed away.  A youth camp continues its activity in the parish of Protopriest Timothy in the village of Lyubytin, where they have classes in the Law of God, excursions and canoe trips.  About 15 children attend the camp every year.  Fr. Mirofan’s parish in Moscow serves as an example of how to tend to parishioners who have left the Russian National Unity organization and want to be rid of its influence.  Bishop Dionisiy believes efforts should be made to influence parishioners who wish to be part of such organizations to consider instead the legacy of Imperialistic Russia and the White Movement. 
Resolved:  To accept B. Dionisiy’s report. 

 13:30 – Lunch break. 
The session resumed after the break at 15:10. 

Bishop Nikolay reports on his work in Georgia and Moscow and the ordination on July 18\31, 2011, of a priest for the parish in Poti.  B. Nikolay has a person suitable to become a deacon.  He directs the bishops’ attention to the matter of Reader A. Khitrov.  He also discusses the proposal of accepting into the ROCA an uncanonical group led by “Bishop” Isaac (Kvitko). 
Resolved:  To accept B. Nikolay’s report. 

  Bishop Nikon reports on life in Ishim, which is fine for the most part, with a regular cycle of services.  They are helping parishioners that have families with many children.  They are also helping others throughout the parishes.  In order to gather funds for the needs of the Ishim parish, they have opened a small business, a copy center, and with the help of others they have obtained the necessary equipment and have begun to purchase cement for construction of the store. 
Resolved:  To accept B. Nikon’s report. 

Protodeacon German, who is representing Bishop Iriney and is the diocesan secretary, reports on the obstacles that hinder his ruling bishop from traveling outside of Germany.  Protodeacon German thanks the bishops for allowing him to attend the Synod meeting and for the decision to continue the Diocese of Western Europe.  He hopes the diocese will grow and develop further in the future.  He provides a historical overview of the many notable bishops who have led the diocese including, Archbishop Nathaniel (Lvov), St. John of Shanghai who blessed Europe with his presence for 11 years and Archbishop Anthony (Bartashevich), who was the ruling bishop of the diocese for 37 years.  He reports on life at the St. Nicholas church in Lyon, which is well-staffed with clergy and attendants and has a wonderful choir and church building.  The church in Cannes was acquired by force by the Moscow Patriarchia four years ago, but thanks to the donations of parishioners, our side is engaged in legal action and he believes there is still hope.  The case will be heard again on December 8, 2011 (NS), and he asks for everyone’s prayers.  Threats have been received from the MP, but we know who we are up against.  We have about 20-25 parishioners in Cannes who meet, but do not have a priest.  Bishop Iriney visits them on major feasts.  Protodeacon German then discusses the situation in Strasbourg and that they maintain good relations with the convent in Lesna.  There is a priest in Norway, Fr. Aleksey Tarkhov, who is an artist and is forming a parish.   
Fr. Sergey Turchik, a former ROCOR priest has written to him.  With the Chairman’s blessing, Fr. German will ask Fr. Sergey to form a parish in Bari, Italy, and have the parishioners petition the ROCA administration to name Fr. Sergey as the rector. 
Resolved:  To accept Fr. German’s report. 

3.  Discussed: The Chairman explained the essential principles upon which new-calendar communities from other jurisdictions can be accepted into the ROCA.  His opinion is that they can be taken in under one condition, that within 3-5 years they must gradually return to the traditional liturgical practice.  B. Dionisiy points out that such communities may have other modernistic features besides the new calendar and that the canonicity of their clergy must be reviewed and determined whether they can remain in the priesthood.  The bishops have a detailed discussion of accepting such modernists who not only observe the new calendar, but have other differences (for example communities that conduct church services in the Ukrainian or Belarusian languages). 
Resolved:  In accordance with the practice of the ROCA, it is permissible to accept new-calendar communities with the condition that within 3-5 years they must gradually return to the traditional liturgical practice and move away from any other modernistic innovations

4.  Discussed: The Chairman explained the matter of a residence for the Synod in America. 
The Chairman gave the reasons why Mountain View cannot be used for a residence for the Synod.  The results of discussions with our clergy and laypeople in America is provided.  The outcome was that with the lower real estate prices and economy in New York City, it would be better for the Church to purchase its own property.  There are some initial sums available owing to donors and an existing balance in the Eastern American Diocese account.  An announcement to the entire Church can be made to gather at least 20% of the total price.  That will allow us to obtain a mortgage and purchase a piece of property.  A chapel can be established on the premises and another part to be used for the needs of the Synod. The Bishops discussed various aspects of this matter. 
Resolved:  To bless a fund drive to allow for the purchase of a residence for the Synod.  To this end, ask our clergy and flocks to take active interest in this necessary effort. 

5.  Discussed: The Chairman discusses the situation in Siberia.  He proposes to designate the Ishim- Siberian diocese as an independent diocese and name B. Nikon its ruling bishop. A discussion follows. 
Resolved:  To free Abp. Sofroniy as the pro tem ruling bishop of the Ishim-Siberian diocese.  To name B. Nikon as the ruling bishop of the Ishim-Siberian diocese with the title “Bishop of Ishim and Siberia.” 

Discussed: The Chairman explains he has been contacted by people who support Hieromonk Yermogen (Petrov) and Deacon Fr. Mikhail Buryakov and who ask that their community be designated as a stavropegial parish. 
Resolved: To ask the named clergy and the flock to come under the authority of the ruling bishop of the Ishim-Siberian diocese. 
  
In the course of discussions by the bishops of the last point, the matter of “roaming” clergy, who do not belong to any diocese is brought up. 
Resolved:  In accordance with the many statutes, the following clergy, Hieromonk Savva (Bogdan), Hieromonk Ilya and Hierodeacon Juvenal (Polovinkin), have until 25\12\2011\07\01\2012 to resolve their canonical standing by joining the ranks of clergy of one of the ROCA dioceses and a confirmation of this action must be presented to the Chairman of the Synod of Bishops.  If this requirement is not fulfilled in the stated time period, they will be barred from serving and will not be considered a member of the clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. 

Discussed:  B. Georgiy discusses matters and the needs of the flock in the Moldovan Republic. 
Resolved:  To establish an independent diocese in the Moldovan Republic.  To name the Right Reverend Bishop Georgiy the ruling bishop with the title “Bishop of Kishinev and Moldova.” 

Discussed:  B. Georgiy discusses matters and the needs of the flock in the Bolgrad diocese. 
Resolved: To ask Bishop Georgiy to serve the needs of the Bolgrad diocese in Ukraine. 
   
The first day of the meeting of the Synod of Bishops concluded at 19:05 with the prayer “It is Truly 
Meet...”. 

Protocol No. 2 
  
The second day of the session, October 28\November 10, 2011. 
  
The Synod session began at 11:20 with the prayer “O Holy King...” 
Protocol No. 1 from the previous day is read and corrections are made. 
  
6.  Discussed: The Chairman discusses uniformity of liturgical practice. 
Resolved: To preserve unchanged the liturgical practice as it was handed down from our predecessors, the founding fathers and bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.  Slight differences on a personal level may occur, but only with the ruling bishop’s blessing. 

Archbishop Sofroniy raises the question of properly conducting hierarchical services, including the correct blessing of the flock using the Dikiriy and Trikiriy. The bishops discuss how to prepare various reference materials to achieve uniformity of liturgical practice including, training films, booklets, etc.  The Chairman notes the standard for us should be services as they are held at the Our Lady of the Sign Cathedral in New York.  Bishop Dionisiy says Protodeacon German has booklets published previously by the Church Abroad that cover hierarchical services.  Bishop Nikon suggests all ROCA publications should be issued only after being approved by the Synod of Bishops.  The Chairman adds that the diocesan conference in New York resolved to reissue the “Psalmist’s Guide,” which was popular and much-used in the past in parishes of the Church Abroad.  Bishop Afanasiy reminds everyone that the previous decision of the Synod to issue a service book has not been done.  The Chairman proposes to issue a service book that includes guidance on the liturgical practice of the ROCA. A discussion ensues of the necessity for uniformity guided by the Calendar and Typicon and in accordance with previous decisions of the Synod and Council of Bishops. 
Resolved:  To have the Chairman develop a draft of the service book with explanations.  To have all services guided by the Calendar and Typicon issued by the Synod of Bishops. 

7.  Discussed:  The Chairman discusses the matter of sergianism. 
The Chairman believes the time has come for us to present a specific opinion on this matter.  It is 
essential that the flock today and those in the future be warned that it is unacceptable to rely on an anti-Christian government to protect the overall security of the Church.  We must pass along our experience to future members of the Church.  Also that the matter should be discussed on a broader plane, perhaps without even referring to Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky) and the Moscow Patriarchia.  Bishop Dionisiy stresses a serious approach must be used when discussing this matter.  There is an important historical aspect to the matter, to show how the church ideology of Patriarch Tikhon differed from Metropolitan Sergius.  Since at different moments various groups departed from one or the other for different reasons.  It is also important to point out that things have changed now and we are dealing with neo-sergianism.  On one hand, we must remain apolitical and stress independence from any secular authority, but on the other hand, we cannot fall into the trap of sectarianism and reject any secular authority.  It is important that our contemporary flock understand that in preserving the independence of the Church, we are not rejecting the family, personal property or government.  He cites the example of the eastern Orthodox Churches under the yoke of the sultans, when Greek patriarchs had to agree to various compromises.  B. Dionisiy adds the discussion of the question of sergianism should not dissolve into simple sloganeering.  The Chairman notes we must indicate to the flock what is right and what is wrong.  Bishop Dionisiy says one cannot do that in a few words.  Bishop Afanasiy says we must first decide in what way we will present this discussion.  Before the break, the Chairman asks the bishops to consider the draft of an anathema of sergianism which was discussed on his blog.  A brief discussion of the draft is held. 

14:15 – lunch break. 
The meeting resumed at 15:30. 

Bishop Nikon says sergianism results in the Body of Christ, the Church, becoming an earthbound organization.  The Chairman adds sergianism infringes on the freedom of the Church and makes it dependent on secular authorities.  Bishop Dionisiy notes it betrays the community.  This problem cannot be decided by formal pronouncements.  Only by having a different life in the Church can you show the error of that life.  The Chairman notes declarations of the Church help create the proper life.  The flock must be forewarned what to do and not to do in response to persecution. Sergianists believe that one should agree to all compromises, while we must show that they do not possess any “special wisdom.”  There are two paths – either betraying the Church or being a confessor of the faith.  Bishop Georgiy believes if a declaration is issued, we should immediately say to whom it is intended (to our flock), so that we do not have a result similar to the one after the anathema against ecumenism, which was abused by some and used as an excuse for creating divisions in the Church.  Bishop Dionisiy says you can anathematize specific dogmas of those who strayed from the Church, as it was done by the Ecumenical Councils.  To do so with [Met. Sergius’] Declaration and come to some conclusions is not easy.  He repeats that sergianism needs to be refuted by the example of a proper life in the Church, in contrast, the New York Synod fell because of its attachment to material things.  He offers other examples and illustrations.  He cautions that declaring an anathema may stop the current of clergy and laypeople in the MP who have come to their senses, as they will fear that it will mean the clergy offices and sacraments performed by the MP may be considered invalid.  The Chairman notes that only the principle of sergianism will be anathematized, as an unsound way of thinking.  It will not mean a judgment of the MP as a religious body or a personal condemnation of Met. Sergius.  If we only issue a declaration, it will simply vanish into the past, while an anathema has more weight.  
We must work on this question before the meeting of the Council of Bishops and decide if we will take action or not.  Archbishop Sofroniy suggests determining the opinion of all the hierarchs and clergy and asking them what form they would prefer, an anathema or simply a Declaration.  Bishop Georgiy notes that sergianism is in itself a schism.  The Chairman believes that we should not concern ourselves with that at this time, but only the false teaching that gave rise to it.  It is essential that we not condemn Met. Sergius personally, but the sergianist way of thinking.  Bishop Dionisiy notes it was not a way of thinking, but a political ideology.  The Chairman says not exactly.  Bishop Dionisiy says we need to clearly show the difference between the way of thinking of Patriarch Tikhon and Met. Sergius, since there were some that even spilt from Patriarch Tikhon.  The Chairman says Patriarch Tikhon did not violate sobornost, did not censure other bishops for violating the canons, as Met. Sergius did to Met. Kirill of Kazan and others.  Bishop Nikon speaks of the fractured life in the church within the MP.  The Chairman says that spiritual life based on sergianism begins the split between Christ and Belial.  Bishop Dionisiy points out the low level of morals in sergianism.  Bishop Georgiy notes everything is connected in spiritual life, dogmas and morality.  Perhaps all of this has already become a heresey.  Bishop Dionisiy says indeed, it influences teachings within the MP and spirituality.  The Chairman says it is the inclusion of politics in the life of the Church; canonizations for the sake of politics, the veneration of Ivan the Terrible, etc. is in the same vein.  Bishop Dionisiy says you cannot change this by anathema, one must present the example of the unspoiled way of having a life in the Church exemplified by the Church Abroad.  Bishop Georgiy says people need specifics.  Bishop Dionisiy says people need to be taught to move away from the idea that anathematizing sergianism will magically result in a shower of grace upon their heads.  It is a complex development in history.  Bishop Nikon says we must determine what it is exactly, and if it is a false teaching, then anathematize it.  The Chairman says the time has passed for open and obvious heresies.  Sergianists now declare on the surface that they are remaining true to the teachings of the Holy Fathers, while in practice, they do whatever they feel like doing; having married bishops, clergy that get married twice and other violations.  They say they are professing the Orthodoxy faith, while all the rest are personal sins.  And many who seek the truth in the MP run up against this.  How do you avoid that pitfall, who do you explain it to people?  Has it become for sergianists a teaching on the level of a creed, “Say one thing and do something else..”? 
Protodeacon German on behalf of the Western European Diocese proposes to glorify the four ROCA First Hierarchs as saints.  He believes it is necessary not because of their personal sainthood, but to confirm the spiritual foundation upon which we stand.  Issuing another anathema is an action with a negative connotation, while glorification is a positive step, which will be new and constructive. The Chairman says the difficulty lies in that Met. Anthony, for example, is a multi-faceted person, and as a result, his opinions, theological arguments are not understood by many and there may be protests or unhappiness.  He cites the example of elders in the diaspora who are critical of Met. Anthony.  Personally, he is not opposed to glorification, as long as it does not lead to divisions.  After a lengthy discussion, it was... 
Resolved:  To ask Bishop Georgiy to gather the opinions of the heirarchs as well as the clergy and laypeople of our Church on the matter of sergianism in preparation for a decision at the forthcoming Council of Bishops. 

 8.  Bishop Georgiy told of the establishment of a monastery in the Moldova Diocese. 
 Bishop Georgiy relates on life at the Holy Resurrection Monastery near Kishinev and shows some photographs. The monastic community was formed a year ago.  Presently, it includes a hegumen, two hieromonks and two novices.  They have built a residence with a house church in honor of Great Martyr St. George the Conqueror.  They are also building a church, which is already framed out and has a roof.  There is a plan to build another residence with monastic cells.  They try to have at least 4 services a week and there are many parishioners (about 500 faithful attended the feast day of St. George).  The monastery is able to be self-sufficient.  It is supported and welcomed by the locals.  Bishop Georgiy believes the community should be designated a monastery.  He relates the biography of Hegumen Anthim.  Asks that Hegumen Anthim (Tudos) be named the abbot. 
 Resolved:  To designate the Holy Resurrection monastic community in the village of Noviy Sagaydak in Moldova as a monastery in honor of the Holy Resurrection and to name Hegumen Anthim (Tudos) as the abbot. 
  
9.  Discussed the date and location of the next Council of Bishops. 
Resolved:  To convene the ROCA Council of Bishops in the Holy Theophany monastery in the St. Petersburg Diocese on May 9\22 – 12\25, 2012. 

10.  Financial Report. 
After presenting the financial report, the Chairman proposes to apply part of the funds to the purchase of a Synod residence. 
Resolved:  To approve the financial report.  To transfer $2,000 from the Synod account to the Synod Residence Fund to purchase property for the Synod. 

11.  Discussed the draft of the Declaration of the Synod of Bishops on “Hitlerism”. 
After a lengthy discussion,  
Resolved:  To approve and release the Declaration

Bishop Nikolay asks what he should tell the priests he ordained in the uncanonical jurisdiction and the validity of the sacraments they performed during that time. 
Resolved:  To ask Bishop Nikolay to explain to the priests that after they join the ROCA through chirotonia, all of the priestly duties they performed will be considered valid. 


Archbishop Sofroniy reminds everyone that they need to resolve the matter of accepting the clergyman Isaac (Kvitka) into the ROCA. 
 Bishop Nikolay leaves the room to get clergyman Isaac (Kvitka). 

The Chairman speaks of the bishop ordination in Serbia performed by bishops of the RTOC.  He believes it is necessary for us to comment on such uncanonical actions, especially after a schismatic fragment that arises in the body of the ROCA is now operating in the territory of a Local Church.  He proposes to issue a statement that we do not recognize this ordination and any other ordinations performed by the RTOC in the future.  Bishop Nikon asks what the RTOC’s opinion is of us.  The Chairman explains there is an extremist faction within the RTOC that has Archbishop Tikhon in a bind and prevents him from contacting us.  Similar circumstances exist with ROCA(V) and the followers of the other Chrysostomos.  Archbishop Sofroniy offers it is unnecessary for us to react to every uncanonical action of the RTOC.  Bishop Dionisiy asks what will it get us?  The Chairman explains it will show we have nothing to do with such actions.  Bishop Dionisiy warns we should not cut off a way for members of RTOC to join us.  They have indeed backed themselves into a corner as a result of their church politics.  Bishop Afanasiy asks what grounds do we have for such declarations?  Why should we care what they do?  The Chairman explains they broke away from us and now they bring their schism to the territory of the Serbian Church.  In a way, we are tangentially responsible in all of this.  We need to distance ourselves from it. After discussing it further,  
Resolved:  To announce that the ROCA Synod of Bishops does not recognize the bishop’s ordination of Hieromonk Akakiy conducted by bishops of the RTOC for the Serbian Church.  In light of the other violations of the canons, this action by the RTOC casts doubt on the validity of any of their subsequent decisions. 

18:50 - clergyman Isaac (Kvitka) is asked to enter the meeting room. 

 The Chairman explains to the bishops that Isaac (Kvitka) was previously a monk in his diocese and then left it in order to join an uncanonical jurisdiction.  In that jurisdiction, he was made a bishop, and a short while ago, he along with his parishes and clergy contacted us again.  The Chairman explained to him that he can be accepted back in the rank in which he left, a monk.  He can then speak with his parishes and ask his clergy to contact us to be accepted after completing the necessary chirotonias.  After a probationary period, clergyman Isaac can become the dean of these parishes.  He asks clergyman Isaac to speak.  Clergyman Isaac says he spoke with his clergy and they decided that I should be accepted as a bishop and then they will follow with their parishes, as I have already ordained them.  

The Chairman says we accept faithful in to the ROCA for the sake of their salvation primarily, but if a person demands to be bishop first then how can that be acceptable to us.  Bishop Nikon asks clergyman Isaac to tell them about himself.  Clergyman Isaac gives a short summary of his life; he is 33 years old, he was a sacristan and a monk in the MP, came over to the ROCA, left it for the UOC KP, where he was ordained a deacon and later a priest.  Then he switched to the so-called Ukrainian Autocephalous Church where in 2004 he was elevated to bishop.  He oversees 7 parishes and 9 priests in the Cherkassy oblast.  The Chairman asks if you were a monk, why did you leave the ROCA?  Clergyman Isaac admits he made a mistake.  Bishop Nikolay considers clergyman Isaac a conscientious person who knows the rules of the church, is a friend of his, has visited him in Cherkassy, is familiar with some of the priests and parishioners and asks that clergyman Isaac be allowed to be with us.  
Bishop Afanasiy cites “Those who come unto Me, I will not turn away.”  We should accept you, but in what status. 
The Chairman says the problem is he wants only to be a bishop.  Then all the bishops need to decide without me.  I offered for him to be a dean. 
Clergyman Isaac says he cannot leave his parishes without the care of a bishop, it may affect their registration and relations with local authorities.  If you accept me, that will be your decision, but I would like to be with you and would be grateful if you agree. 
Bishops Nikon, Georgiy and Dionisiy ask clergyman Isaac about his humility in seeking the will of God, about the parishes in his diocese, does he have any nationalistic or extremist views, is he beholden to any political organizations, etc. 
After a lengthy discussion and deliberation, 
Resolved:  To ask Archbishop Sofroniy to visit the clergyman Isaac’s parishes in Cherkassy, to meet with the clergy and report his findings to the Synod of Bishops. 

19:20 – dinner break. 
The session resumes after dinner at 20:30. 

Discussed: the pending 90th anniversary of the First Ecumenical Council. 
Resolved:  To commemorate the 90th anniversary of the First Ecumenical Council by having the bishops and parish priests celebrate a moleben of thanksgiving and relate its history and decisions to their flocks.  To ask Protodeacon German to prepare the appropriate materials. 


The bishops turn to the matter of awards for the clergy. 
The Chairman, on behalf of Bishop Iriney, proposes Deacon Fr. Yevgeniy Doroshin to be made a protodeacon. 
Resolved: to award Deacon Fr. Yevgeniy Doroshin the office of protodeacon. 

The Chairman proposes Hieromonk Andrew (Erastov) be made a hegumen. 
Resolved: to award Hieromonk Andrew (Erastov) the office of hegumen. 

Bishop Nikon asks if it is possible to receive an electronic version of the Calendar\Typicon so it can be printed out.  The Chairman explains demand for the printed version will lessen and printing costs will increase, which are high already.  Also, many may not be happy with the quality of the printout. 

The session of the Synod of Bishops concludes at 21:15 with the prayer “It is Truly  Meet...” 

The Chairman of the Synod of Bishops: 
+Metropolitan Agafangel 

Members of the Synod of Bishops: 
+Archbishop Sofroniy 
+Bishop Georgiy 
+Bishop Afanasiy 

Hierarchs: 
+Bishop Kirill 
+Bishop Dionisiy 
+Bishop Nikon 
+Bishop Nikolay 

Thank you D.G. for this translation

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