Holy Synod Announces Changes [CLOSED]

Orthodox Church in America

Posted on OCA.org 02/25

SYOSSET, NY [OCA] — From February 22-24, 2011, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America participated in a retreat in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH led the hierarchs in a review of matters affecting the life of the Orthodox Church in America, including the OCA strategic plan, preparations for the upcoming Assembly of Bishops and plans for the 16th All American Council in Seattle.

During their retreat, His Beatitude presented a request to the Holy Synod for a time of personal retreat and spiritual renewal. The Holy Synod granted His Beatitude’s request for a period of 60 days and appointed the senior Hierarch, His Eminence, Archbishop NATHANIEL, of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate to assist in the temporary administration of the OCA during His Beatitude’s retreat.

As an additional means of assistance to His Beatitude, the Holy Synod relieved him from his responsibilities as Locum Tenens for the dioceses of the South and of the Midwest. The Holy Synod appointed Bishop NIKON as Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the South, with Bishop MARK of Baltimore continuing as Administrator. The Holy Synod also appointed Bishop TIKHON Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the Midwest with Bishop-elect Archimandrite MATTHIAS continuing as Administrator.

In other matters, the Holy Synod accepted the resignation of Archpriest Alexander Garklavs as Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America and appointed His Grace, Bishop MELCHISEDEK of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania as interim Chancellor.

At the conclusion of their retreat, the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops expressed their joy at the upcoming Bright Week consecration of Archimandrite MATTHIAS as Bishop of Chicago and the Midwest. The consecration will take place over the weekend of April 29 to May 1 and will be concelebrated by His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH, the hierarchs of the OCA and other guests.

The Holy Synod also bestowed its pastoral blessing on the clergy and faithful of the OCA and wished them a profitable season of prayer and repentance during the season of Great Lent.


  1. His Beatitude presented a request to the Holy Synod for a time of personal retreat and spiritual renewal.

    This is something I understand. I would love to go somewhere, detached from worldly life and worldly things. I am SO tired and I have no place to rest.

  2. The Metropolitan made a statement today at St. Nicholas Cathedral:


    I think reports of his demise are greatly exaggerated.

    best regards,

    • The questions are:

      Why would a foreign publication report on this first? And why would someone want to exaggerate this situation? As it stands, I’ve notice that even this statment by His Beatitude isn’t enough for some.

    • Dean: for what it is worth, he seemed worried, nervous, humbled but defiant. If that’s an oxymoron, so be it, but that’s how he seemed. He also almost pulled a Boehner cry at one point but composed himself. I am not taking any particular side. However, this IS serious. How it will play out, we can only guess and pray.

      • Geo Michalopulos

        Nick, I could be wrong but I didn’t pickup any nervosness at all. Instead confidence and defiance. I caught the Boehner-crying jag but that’s understandable.

  3. Hi Nick,

    Don’t take my comments to mean I am dismissing the events of the past 48 hours. I’m not…not for a minute.

    But i do get the sense that we are witnessing only the tip of the iceberg….that most of the action remains hidden from public view. Just a guess.

    And I think Macedonia’s question is a good one…how does this come in from Romfea first? Sorry, but the Mossad the Greeks ain’t.

    Was it a coincidence that the Chambesy group was meeting at the same time..discussing autocephaly procedures?

    Personally, I smell a setup here…some people knew this was going to happen. Answer the question “why” and we’d probably have a big piece of the puzzle filled in.

    Anyway, I take it VERY seriously….believe me

    Best Regards,

    • Hi Dean:

      Was it a coincidence that the Chambesy group was meeting at the same time..discussing autocephaly procedures?

      In my opinion, there was no coincidence.

      Personally, I smell a setup here…some people knew this was going to happen.

      I don’t think it was a “setup”. I think that Met. Jonah knew what was going to happen a week or two ago. He did not go into the retreat caught off guard. That is my best guess. I think the handwriting was on the wall when he recently went back to Moscow. I’m not a fortune teller. But, when he went to Moscow when he did, shortly ahead of the Chambesy meeting, my radar said “This is going to be a problem”.

      I also don’t think the Synod decided to “can” him. I think they decided that over-zealousness and immaturity was at play and they said, “Go reflect, think this through, and then let’s talk later”. At least, I hope that is what happened. Otherwise, the press release was dishonest.

      I’ve given my thoughts on why I think he was wrong and premature in wanting to re-think the autocephaly in other posts, so I won’t repeat those here.

    • Geo Michalopulos

      Dean, I’ve recently received an e-mail exchange from some of the principals involved on the anti-+Jonah side. It’s difficult to sort through but the bottom line is that a coup was being attempted over the last couple of weeks. I smelled a rat in Stokoe’s well-written piece, namely that prejudgment was the order of the day and a trap was being set up for +Jonah to fall through. Stokoe’s bill of particulars against +Jonah weren’t written in a day but are the result of careful note-taking going on at least for six months or so. If not longer. It appears that Garklavs report was the bait, especially the fact that he wasn’t going to give HB the decency of a “heads-up.+ HB may have taken the bait and fallen into the trap of anger at being left out of the loop (after he’s on the Holy Synod too). Hence his hasty decision to to cut short the Dallas engagment with Alfeyev and catch the red-eye back to Syosset.