Documents Related To The Antiochian Archdiocese of North America (Information Only, Not For Discussion)

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ialmisry:
I assume  everyone has access to the canons.

They may not have been able to find the SRACOANA Constitution, which binds all the involved parties.

As I had a little problem pulling up the official translation, I'm going to post the entire Constition of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocesan of North America, as we will have need to refere to it.

Here is the introduction on the Official Web Site of the Patriarchate of Antioch: I got it there, because 1)if it is on the AONA website, I couldn't find it 2) since we are autonomous, and NOT autocephalous (at this time at least), Antioch's version is the final version. As itself implies the English version would be determinative (the hierarchy specifically must speak it fluently, but need only a "knowledge of" Arabic), I didn't bother to look for the Arabic (which wouldn't be of use here anyway).  The announcement and the Constitution of Antioch are a different story, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

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Enclosed is the text of  Constitution of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America approved by the Holy Synod of Antioch in the 37th conciliar session held in the Patriarchate, in Damascus October 13-15, 2004.

This document is the culmination of a process begun by the request to the Patriarchate of Antioch from her North American archdiocese for "autonomy." The Holy Synod of Antioch met 7-10 October 2003 to consider this request and responded by passing unanimously a resolution that approved a status of  "self-rule" according to the specifics included in that official resolution. The North American archdiocese was asked to propose changes to its constitution consistent with the October 2003 Resolution. The said resolution stated (article 8) : "The Archdiocese shall submit its amended constitution to the Holy Synod of Antioch for approval."

Following the archdiocesan special convention held in Pittsburgh in July 2003, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip submitted to the Patriarch a proposed amended constitution. It was discussed during the course of the meeting of the Holy Synod, October 13-15, 2004, and the enclosed revised constitution was unanimously approved.

It ends with the enacting clause:
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Approved by the Holy Synod Antioch on: October 15- 2004.

Published by his Beatitude Ignatius IV
Thus in accordance with Apostolic Canonn 34, Nicea I c. 6, etc. the document is valid.
http://antiochpat.org/english/news/news.php?newsid=66
http://antiochpat.org/english/news/news.php?newsid=67


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ARTICLE I Section 1. The Name
The name of this self-ruled religious corporation shall be “Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocesan of North America”.

A. Legal
This organization derives its legal authority to function as a religious corporation by virtue of a charter issued pursuant to the provisions of Article 2, Section 15, of the “Religious Corporation Laws” of the State of New York.

B. Ecclesiastical
This Archdiocese derives its ecclesiastical authority to function as a self-ruling Archdiocese in accordance with this constitution from the Holy Synod of the Apostolic Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all  the East (“Holy Synod”) and shall constitute one unified ecclesiastical Antiochian entity as an Archdiocese of the Patriarchate of Antioch.

Its Primate is a member of said Holy Synod and is the duly elected Metropolitan Archbishop (“Primate”, “Metropolitan –Archbishop”), serving under a canonical Praxis issued by His Beatitude, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East (“Patriarch”).

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Section 3. Headquarters
The headquarters of this Archdiocese shall be located in the Greater Metropolitan New York City area, including northern New Jersey.

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Section 4. Qualifications for Metropolitan Archbishop and Diocesan Bishop
Candidates for the office of Metropolitan Archbishop of this Archdiocese and / or candidates for the office of Diocesan Bishop must be celibates and meet the following qualifications:

A. Metropolitan Archbishop

(1) He must be one of the canonical clergy who is qualified in all respects, including the possession of an earned degree in Orthodox theology and be a man of piety and good character.

(2) He must be fluent in the English language and have a good working knowledge of the Arabic language.

(3) He must be at least thirty-three (33) years of age.

(4) He must be physically and mentally sound.

(5) He must have been in accordance with the statutes of the Patriarchate of Antioch, a member of the clergy  of the Patriarchate for five years, and have served some time, as a clergyman in the Archdiocese.

B. Diocesan Bishop

(1) He must be one of the canonical clergy who is qualified in all respects, including the possession of an earned degree in Orthodox theology and be a man of piety and good character.

(2) He must be fluent in the English language and have a knowledge of the Arabic language.

(3) He must be at least thirty-three (33) years of age.

(4) He must be physically and mentally sound.

(5) He must have been in accordance with the statutes of the Patriarchate of Antioch, a member of the clergy of the Patriarchate for five years, and have served some time, as a clergyman in the Archdiocese.

Section 5. Nomination and Election Procedures Upon Vacancy of Metropolitan  See
A. Immediately upon the vacancy of the Metropolitan See, either by death, disability or retirement, the Archdiocesan Synod and the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees shall inform officially in writing the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East and appropriate civil and ecclesiastical authorities.

Upon any such happening, the Senior Bishop present, together with the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees and/or the Treasurer and/or the Chancellor shall seal important rooms at the Archdiocese headquarters, and make a record of same, signed by all present. (Thereafter, all properties or investments registered in the name of the Metropolitan Archbishop shall become the property of the Archdiocese). The Senior Diocesan Bishop and the Archdiocesan Synod will, with the members of the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees, assume responsibility for the administration of the Metropolitan See.

B. The duties and functions assigned to the Senior Diocesan Bishop in Sections 5A, C and D shall cease to be performed by him and shall be performed by the Patriarchal Vicar appointed by the Patriarch of Antioch upon assumption of his duties.

C. Within a period of sixty (60) days after the vacancy of the Metropolitan See, the Senior Diocesan Bishop and the Archdiocesan Synod together with the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees, shall call a Special Convention, which must be held on or before the expiration of thirty (30) days of the date of call, for the nomination and election of candidates for the position of Metropolitan Archbishop by secret ballot.

D. (1) The Senior Diocesan Bishop, and the Archdiocesan Synod in agreement with the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees, shall prepare a list containing all the names of worthy clergymen who are qualified for nomination as per the list of nominees kept in the records of the Patriarchate and the Holy Synod, and including the names of those qualified under Section 4 of this Article.

(2) The delegates attending such Convention shall select, by secret ballot, three candidates from such list. Each delegate shall be entitled to one vote. The three clergymen with the highest number of votes of the general assembly shall thereupon be designated as candidates.

(3) Immediately, thereafter, the names of the candidates for the office of Metropolitan Archbishop, shall be submitted to the Synod of the Archdiocese which will certify the results of the nomination and submit the names of the candidates to the Holy Synod, who will, within forty days of submittal, elect one of the nominees to be the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archdiocese.

Section 6. Nomination and Election of Diocesan Bishops

A Diocesan Bishop shall be nominated and elected in the following manner:

A. The Metropolitan Archbishop is agreement with the Archdiocesan Synod and the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees, shall prepare a list containing the names of the worthy clergymen who are qualified for nomination as per the list of nominees kept in the records of the Patriarchate and the Holy Synod and mentioning the names of those qualified under Section 4B of this Article, and a copy of this list shall be included in the call for the Convention.

B. A General Convention, or a Special Convention called for that purpose by the Metropolitan Archbishop, shall, from a list provided for in accordance with Section 6A above, nominate, by secret ballot, three (3) candidates for the office of Diocesan bishop. Each delegate shall be entitled to one vote times the number of offices to be filled and each of such votes must be for a different candidate. The entire list of candidates shall be submitted to the Archdiocesan Synod with the candidate’s respective number of votes received. When Diocesan Assemblies shall be constituted, the nominations shall then be made by said Assemblies.

C. The Electoral Board of Diocesan Bishops is constituted of the Metropolitan – Archbishop with the Diocesan Bishops and the Auxiliary Bishop.

D. Where one Diocesan Bishop is to be elected, the Electoral Board shall elect, by a majority vote, from the three candidates receiving the highest number of votes of the Convention. With respect to the election of additional Diocesan Bishops at the same time, the Electoral Board may elect, by a majority vote, from the entire list of nominees. Such election(s) shall occur within 40 days thereafter. The Metropolitan Archbishop of this Archdiocese shall set the time and place for the electoral assembly and shall preside over it. 

Section 7. Consecration of Metropolitan and/or Diocesan Bishop

A. The consecration of the Metropolitan Archbishop shall take place at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Damascus by the laying on of hands of the Patriarch, and the members of the Holy Synod. His enthronement (installation) shall take place at the Cathedral of the Archdiocese.

B. The consecration of Diocesan Bishops shall take place at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Damascus by the laying on of hands of the Patriarch and the members of the Holy Synod. Their enthronement (installation) shall take place at the Cathedral of their diocese.

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ARTICLE II MEMBERSHIP AND JURISDICTION
Section 1. This Archdiocese consists of all dioceses, churches, missions, parishes, monasteries, departments, agencies, orders, societies and committees in North America (“units”) heretofore or hereafter established by the Archdiocese of North America.

Section 2. This Archdiocese shall remain one unified Antiochian entity as an Archdiocese of the Patriarchate of Antioch and may not be divided except if Orthodox unity in North America is implemented by decision of the Antiochian Holy Synod and of the Orthodox Churches concerned.

Section 3.  Upon the dissolution or separation from the Archdiocese of any unit, the assets and property shall revert to the Archdiocese. No real property of any unit may be sold or mortgaged without the express written approval of the Metropolitan Archbishop and no assets in excess of $ 100,000 (one hundred thousand dollars) of any unit may be sold or mortgaged without the express written approval of the Metropolitan Archbishop.

Section 4. Any provision of the Constitution of any unit of this Archdiocese that is in any way inconsistent with, or in conflict with any provision of this Constitution shall cause said provision of the unit Constitution to be deemed void and of no effect.


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ARTICLE III PURPOSES
Section 1. The purpose of the Archdiocese is the pastoral care of the Antiochian Orthodox people of North America. It maintains  spiritual unity, coordinates religious work or activity, and promotes collaboration and closer relations with the governing and advisory bodies of other Orthodox Christian Jurisdictions in the territory hereinbefore mentioned, with the intent of propagating, practicing and forever perpetuating religious worship, services, ministrations, sacraments, and teachings in full accord and unity with the doctrine, rules, ritual, canon law, faith, practice, discipline, traditions and usages of the Orthodox Christian Church.

Section 2.  In  fulfilling the purpose set forth in Section 1, of this Article, to exercise governing and advisory authority over all the component divisions of this Archdiocese hereinbefore mentioned.

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ARTICLE IV GOVERNMENT
Section 1. The governing code for this Archdiocese shall be the Holy Scripture, Sacred Tradition, Holy Canons, the Constitution of the   Church of Antioch and the Constitution of the Archdiocese as approved by the Holy Synod of Antioch.

Section 2.  The Archdiocesan Synod comprised of the Metropolitan Archbishop and the Diocesan Bishops shall be the governing ecclesiastical authority of the Archdiocese. The Metropolitan Archbishop shall preside over the Archdiocesan Synod. The Synod shall determine the number of dioceses, their boundaries, and the respective diocese(s) and/or area of responsibility of each bishop. It shall also determine all matters of hierarchical discipline of bishops of the Archdiocese.
 
Section 3.  The decisions of the Archdiocesan Synod may be appealed to the Patriarch and Holy Synod of Antioch who shall be the final judge on the matter.

Section 4. All administrative authority is vested in the Metropolitan Archbishop and the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees as hereinafter provided.

Section 5.  All legislative authority is vested in the General Convention of the Archdiocese as approved by the Metropolitan Archbishop and by the Archdiocesan Synod.

Section 6. The decisions of the Holy Synod of Antioch shall be binding on the Archdiocese on matters of doctrine, liturgy, sacraments, relations with autocephalous Orthodox Churches and ecumenical policy with regard to other Christian and non-Christian bodies.

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ARTICLE V MEETINGS
Section 1. The General Convention shall be held biennially within the last twelve days in July at a location set by the General Convention at its meeting four years preceding its determination. In the event of an emergency or circumstances which in the discretion of the Metropolitan Archbishop and the Board of Trustees justify the postponement or a change in the time, place or bidding for a future convention, such postponement and/or change in the time, place or bid therefore shall be valid.

Section 2.  Special Convention

A.  The Metropolitan Archbishop may call a Special Convention at any time he deems it necessary and advisable.

B. Upon a petition by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of Diocesan Bishops or of parishes of the Archdiocese in good standing to the Metropolitan Archbishop and the Board of Trustees for a special convention, the Metropolitan Archbishop and the Board of Trustees shall call a special convention.

C. The time and place of such convention shall be fixed by those responsible for calling such convention.

Section 3.  Notices for Convention

A. Notices for regular conventions shall be sent to all parishes and missions of the Archdiocese and to all those who are entitled to be represented at the convention no less than sixty (60) days prior to the date of the convention.

B. All notices for special convention shall state the purpose for which the convention is being called and shall be sent by mail that will positively certify receipt by signature no less than thirty (30) days in advance of the date of such convention to all parishes and missions of the Archdiocese and to all those who are entitled to be represented at a convention.

Section 4.  Delegates

A. All Diocesan Bishops pastors, full-time assistant pastors, retired pastors, and all full-time clergy directly employed by the Archdiocese shall be delegates to any convention and shall each be entitled to one (1) vote in person or by written proxy.

B. Each one hundred (100) persons or any fraction of one hundred (100) which exceeds fifty (50) persons in every parish or mission, in good standing in the Archdiocese, shall be represented by one lay delegate at a convention. Each delegate may vote on behalf of one (hundred (100) persons in his parish or community or on behalf of any fraction of one hundred (100) exceeding fifty (50) in number. A parish or community may send as many delegates or written proxies as it wishes without affecting its right to have cast in its behalf the votes to which it is entitled. These delegates shall be elected in accordance with the provisions of the local parish constitution and by-laws and be faithful Orthodox in good standing under the rules of their parish or community and the Archdiocese.

C. (1) All regular members of the Board of Trustees of the Archdiocese shall be delegates at large and shall be entitled to one vote.

 (2) Each Diocesan Fellowship of St. John the Divine shall be represented by as many delegates as it wishes to send and each Diocesan Fellowship of St. John the Divine shall be entitled to one (1) vote.

(3) Each Diocesan SOYO shall be represented by as many delegates as it wishes to send and each Diocesan SOYO shall be entitled to one (1) vote and the NAC president shall be a delegate and shall be entitled to one (1) vote.

(4) Each Diocesan AOCWNA (Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America) shall be represented by as many delegates as it wishes to send and each Diocesan AOCWNA shall be entitled to one (1) vote.

(5) Each Diocesan Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch shall be represented by as many delegates as it wishes to send and each Diocesan Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch shall be entitled to one (1) vote.

D. A delegate’s proxy shall be recognized if it bears the signature of the pastor and/or chairman of the Parish Council. The proxy of a priest shall be recognized with the approval of the Metropolitan Archbishop of the presiding officer of the Convention or his duly appointed representative. A proxy by telegram will be accepted in an emergency if it is approved by the Metropolitan Archbishop or the presiding officer of the convention or his duly appointed representative.

Section 5.  Convention Officers
A. The Metropolitan Archbishop or his duly appointed representative shall preside over all conventions.

B. The Metropolitan Archbishop or his duly appointed representative shall appoint the following officers of the convention: A lay vice-chairman, a secretary or secretaries, sergeants at arms and one or more parliamentarians.

C. The secretaries shall be responsible for recording the minutes of the convention.

D. In the event of prolonged absence of the Metropolitan Archbishop, his duly appointed representative or upon the failure to so appoint, the Senior Diocesan Bishop shall preside at a  convention.   

Section 6.  Quorum

A majority of the established Churches, missions and organizations which are under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese represented by delegates (either in person or by written proxies), together with a majority of active clergy of the Archdiocese, (either in person or by written proxies) shall constitute a Quorum for the transaction of business at all conventions.

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ARTICLE VI ADMINISTRATION

Section 1.  Officers

A.  Metropolitan Archbishop
The Metropolitan Archbishop is the chief shepherd of, and shall guide the entire unified, self-ruled Archdiocese. He shall bear the title “Metropolitan of All North America and Archbishop of New York”. The Metropolitan Archbishop shall be a member of the Holy Synod of Antioch, and the presiding officer of the Archdiocesan Synod, the Board of Trustees, Regular and Special General Assemblies, the Department of Finance, and the administration of the Archdiocese. Upon request of the Metropolitan and nomination by the General Assembly, one Auxiliary Bishop who will assist the Metropolitan with the administration of the Archdiocese shall be elected by the Archdiocesan Synod. This Auxiliary Bishop shall be a non-voting member of the Archdiocesan Synod. A candidate for Auxiliary Bishop shall satisfy the same requirements as, and be nominated and elected by the same procedure as that of a candidate for Diocesan Bishop. An Auxiliary Bishop will perform his duties under the jurisdiction and direction of the Metropolitan Archbishop. He is a member of the Archdiocesan Synod, and the Board of Trustees. He is entitled to one vote in the general assembly in person or by written proxy. The Auxiliary Bishop shall attend gatherings or synaxis of the Antiochian Bishops that may be called by the Patriarch of Antioch.

B. Diocesan Bishop
The Diocesan Bishop exercises his rights and responsibilities in accordance with the Canons of the Holy Orthodox Church, this Constitution, the decisions of the Synod of the Archdiocese and in accordance with the duties and responsibilities specified by the said Synod in “The Manual of Hierarchical Duties and Responsibilities”. The Diocesan Bishop shall bear the title of “Bishop of (city and area)”. The Diocesan Bishop shall attend gatherings or synaxis of the Antiochian Bishops that may be called by the Patriarch of Antioch.

C. Vicar General
The vicar General, who shall be selected from among the married clergy, shall perform his duties under the jurisdiction and direction of the Metropolitan Archbishop and shall be appointed by him.

D. Protosyngelos (Dean of the Clergy).
The Protosyngelos shall perform his duties under the jurisdiction and direction of the Metropolitan Archbishop and shall be appointed by him.

E. Executive Secretary
The Executive Secretary shall keep the Archdiocese records, issue regular statistical reports, and perform the duties of the Secretary of the Archdiocesan Corporation. The Executive Secretary shall be appointed by the Metropolitan Archbishop.

F. Chancellor or Chancellors
The Archdiocesan Chancellor or Chancellors shall be qualified attorneys-at-law, and shall act as legal advisor(s) to the Archdiocese. They shall be appointed by the Metropolitan Archbishop with the advice of the Board of Trustees.

G. Financial Advisor-Comptroller
The Financial Advisor-Comptroller shall act as advisor in the management of the finances of the Archdiocese and shall perform the duties usually performed by a comptroller. He shall be appointed by the Metropolitan Archbishop with the advice of the Board of Trustees.

H. Treasurer
The Archdiocesan Treasurer shall be a layman and a member of the Board of Trustees. He shall be properly bonded in a suitable sum, and shall fulfill the ordinary duties of the office of Treasurer. He shall be elected by the Board of Trustees of the Archdiocese.

I. Assistant Treasurer
The Archdiocesan Assistant Treasurer shall be a layman and a member of the Board of Trustees. He shall be properly bonded in a suitable sum, and shall fulfill the ordinary duties to the office of Assistant Treasurer. He shall be elected by the Board of Trustees.

Section 2.  Board of Trustees

A. Function. This Board shall accumulate and administer all funds and properties belonging to the Archdiocese and such properties shall include but not be limited to all funds, properties, insurance policies, trusts, foundations and any other properties, including those of the Dioceses.

The Metropolitan Archbishop will, with the assistance of the Archdiocesan and Board Officers, and the various committees and orders later described in Section 3 of this Article, actually supervise the various activities of the Archdiocese. He shall present to the Board of Trustees an annual budget which will be sufficient to carry out the necessary functions. The Board of Trustees may, however, after consideration and consultation, revise, modify, increase or decrease any appropriation requested in the proposed budget.

B.  Membership.

The Archdiocese Board of Trustees shall consist of the Metropolitan Archbishop, the Diocesan Bishops, the Auxiliary Bishop, the Vicar General, the Protosyngelos (the Dean of the Clergy), the Executive Secretary, the Chancellor or Chancellors, the Financial Advisor- Comptroller, the President of the North American Council of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, the President of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America, the Chairman of the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch and thirty (30) additional members to be selected as follows: ten (10) members shall be appointed by the Metropolitan Archbishop : five (5) members shall be appointed for a term of two years; and five (5) members shall be appointed for a term of four years. The remaining twenty (20) members of the Board shall be elected by the General Conventions: ten (10) members for a term of two years; and ten (10) members for a term of four years. Upon the expiration of the appointed or elected terms as set forth hereinabove, such Board members thereafter shall be appointed or elected for full terms of four years.

In the event of a vacancy in the Board of Trustees, the Metropolitan Archbishop shall appoint a person to complete the unexpired term.

The Metropolitan Archbishop and the Board of Trustees may appoint honorary members to the Board of Trustees who shall have all rights of membership, except they shall not have the right to vote. Unless otherwise expressly provided, all appointments, or reappointments to honorary membership shall be limited to a term of two years or until the next succeeding biennial convention, whichever shall first occur.

This Board shall elect from among its members a vice-chairman, who shall preside at the request of the Metropolitan Archbishop, or in his absence at the request of the Senior Diocesan Bishop, and also a Secretary from among its members who shall keep proper records of the deliberations of the Board.

C. Meetings

The Board of Trustees shall hold regular meetings during Spring and Fall of each year at such time and place as may be determined by the Metropolitan Archbishop with the advice of the Board of Trustees. In addition, the Board of Trustees shall meet biennially during the General Convention of the Archdiocese.

Additional meetings of this Board may be called at any time when the Metropolitan Archbishop deems it advisable, or upon the request of a majority of the members of the Archdiocesan Synod or the Board who shall request the Executive Secretary of the Archdiocese to notify the members in writing of the time and place of the meeting. Any action required or permitted to be taken by the Board of Trustees may be taken without a meeting if all members of the Board consent in writing to the adoption of a resolution authorizing the action. The resolution and the written consents thereto shall be filed with the minutes of the proceedings of the Board.

Twelve (12) voting members of the Board of Trustees at any meeting duly called shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The Chairman shall vote only in the event of a tie.

Section 3.  Archdiocesan Committees and Orders

The Metropolitan Archbishop shall create and appoint all Committees, Commissions and Orders necessary to accomplish the purposes of the Archdiocese, after consultation with the Board of Trustees as he deems it necessary.

Section 4. Finance
A. Authority to Assess.
Each parish shall contribute to the Archdiocese a sum of money annually. Pursuant to resolutions duly made, the formula and the amount to be assessed, shall be adopted by the Board of Trustees and a majority vote of the General Assembly at the Archdiocese Convention and approved by the Metropolitan Archbishop.
B. General Fund
The contributions of the parishes as hereinbefore mentioned, together with any other general contributions, shall be deposited in the name of the Archdiocese and shall constitute the General Fund of the Archdiocese.

C. Special Funds
The Board of Trustees may create other funds titled under specific or separate names for the purposes of receiving and accumulating pledges, gifts and inheritances which may be designated for the fulfillment of any specific purpose or purposes contained in the constitution. Funds, property, pledges, gifts and inheritances received by any diocese of this Archdiocese shall be held and administered by the Archdiocese for the benefit of the diocese.

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ARTICLE VII Subject to the requirements of Article II, Section 4, the Constitution of the Archdiocese may be revised or amended in either of the following manners:

Section 1.A resolution duly passed by a majority vote of a General or Special Convention shall be submitted to the department of Legal Affairs for the purpose of studying and determining the legality of any change. The Department of Legal Affairs, at a date no later than the Spring Meeting of the Board of Trustees, shall report its recommendations to the Board of Trustees and the Metropolitan Archbishop. The Metropolitan Archbishop thereafter shall include in the notice of the next succeeding convention the recommendations of the Board of Trustees for or against adoption together with the description in substance of the contemplated change.

The Contemplated amendment shall be put on the agenda of the next succeeding convention and shall be adopted after an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the total vote cast thereon subject to the approval of the Metropolitan Archbishop and the Archdiocesan Synod.

Section 2. A Resolution submitted to the Archdiocesan office on or before April 1st of any year by the Department of Legal Affairs, or any members of the Board of Trustees or any parish of the Archdiocese in good standing during the immediately preceding General Convention of the Archdiocese, said resolution to be certified by the sponsor and submitted to the Metropolitan Archbishop and the Department of Legal Affairs (if not initiated by the Department of Legal Affairs) for the purpose of studying and determining the legality of such proposed change. The Department of Legal Affairs, at a date no later than the Spring Meeting of the Board of Trustees, shall report its recommendations to the Board of Trustees and the Metropolitan Archbishop. The Metropolitan Archbishop thereafter shall include the notice in the next succeeding convention the recommendations of the Board of Trustees for or against adoption together with the description in substance of the contemplated change.

The contemplated amendment shall be put on the agenda of the next succeeding convention and shall be adopted after an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the total votes cast thereon subject to the approval of the Metropolitan Archbishop. This amended Constitution and future amendments to it shall be effective upon adoption of the Metropolitan Archbishop and the Archdiocesan Synod and approval by the Holy Synod of Antioch. Such amendments shall be consistent with the self-rule status granted to the Archdiocese by the Resolutions of the Holy Synod of Antioch dated October 9, 2003 and October 15, 2004.

Article II, Section 4, refered to in this Article's title:
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Section 4. Any provision of the Constitution of any unit of this Archdiocese that is in any way inconsistent with, or in conflict with any provision of this Constitution shall cause said provision of the unit Constitution to be deemed void and of no effect

ialmisry:
Quote from: ialmisry on March 19, 2009, 02:48:58 PM

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The contemplated amendment shall be put on the agenda of the next succeeding convention and shall be adopted after an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the total votes cast thereon subject to the approval of the Metropolitan Archbishop. This amended Constitution and future amendments to it shall be effective upon adoption of the Metropolitan Archbishop and the Archdiocesan Synod and approval by the Holy Synod of Antioch. Such amendments shall be consistent with the self-rule status granted to the Archdiocese by the Resolutions of the Holy Synod of Antioch dated October 9, 2003 and October 15, 2004.


Said Resolutions:
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October 20, 2003 – Englewood, New Jersey

 

HOLY SYNOD OF ANTIOCH GRANTS SELF-RULE TO THE ANTIOCHIAN ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF NORTH AMERICA
 On Thursday, October 9th, 2003, the Holy Synod of Antioch voted unanimously to grant self-rule to the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.  The full text of the authorized English translation of the Synodal Resolution is included below.

Resolution of the Holy Synod Regarding the Status of the Antiochian Archdiocese in North America   

1.  Self rule and Jurisdiction
The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America is and shall remain self-ruled within its present jurisdiction (The United States of America and Canada) and shall constitute one unified ecclesiastical Antiochian entity.

2.  Governance
The Archdiocese is governed by the Holy Scripture, the Sacred Tradition, the Holy Canons, the Constitution of the Church of Antioch and this Synodical resolution and by its Constitution and Bylaws.

3.  Recognition of Auxiliary Bishops as Diocesan Bishops and Local Synod
Upon adoption of this resolution, the Auxiliary Bishops of the Archdiocese shall become Diocesan Bishops and bear their given titles. The Diocesan Bishops will constitute under the Metropolitan the Local Synod of the Archdiocese which will be its governing authority. The Local Synod shall determine the number of dioceses and their boundaries.

4.  Procedure of election of Diocesan Bishops
A- The General Assembly of the Archdiocese will nominate three candidates for a Diocesan Bishop. When Diocesan Assemblies shall be constituted the nominations shall then be made, by the said assemblies.

B- The Patriarch of Antioch shall delegate two or three Metropolitans to participate on behalf of the Holy Synod together with the Local Synod in the election of the Diocesan Bishops. The Metropolitan shall preside over the electoral assembly.

C- The consecration and enthronement of the Bishops shall be accomplished in North America by the Metropolitan, the Patriarchal Delegate and the members of the Local Synod.

D- In case of insufficient number of qualified nominees from the Archdiocesan clergy, the Archdiocese shall nominate from the list of nominations kept in the Patriarchal records.

5.  Procedure of election of the Metropolitan Primate
The Metropolitan Primate shall be nominated according to the Constitution of the Church of Antioch and the Constitution and Bylaws of the Archdiocese. The three nominees for the office of Metropolitan Primate shall be submitted to the Holy Synod of Antioch to elect one of them. The Metropolitan shall be a member of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate as well as of the Local Synod of the Archdiocese.

6.  Right of appeal and Synaxis
In all matters of hierarchical discipline, Bishops of the Local Synod have the right to appeal to the Patriarch of Antioch and the Holy Synod. The Archdiocesan Bishops, after consultation with the Metropolitan, shall attend the gatherings or synaxis of the Antiochian Bishops which may be called from time to time by the Patriarch of Antioch.

7.  Decisions of the Holy Synod of Antioch
The decisions of the Holy Synod of Antioch shall be binding on the Archdiocese on matters of doctrine, liturgy, sacraments, relations with autocephalous Orthodox Churches and ecumenical policy with regard to other Christian and non-Christian bodies.

8.  Amendment and translation
The Patriarchate of Antioch and the Archdiocese shall each amend its constitution in accordance with the above. The Archdiocese shall submit its amended constitution to the Holy Synod of Antioch for approval.  The Arabic text of this resolution and its English translation shall have equal force and validity.
http://www.antiochian.org/News/Release20031020SelfRule.htm

Obviously this recent action contradicts points 1 and 3.  Point 7 does not specify praxis as to bishops.



ialmisry:
For some reason, I can't get the October 15, 2004 decision (though that is the date of the Constitution text the Patraiarchate posts.  I did come across this:
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January 27, 2005

IMPORTANT MESSAGE REGARDING OUR CONSTITUTION

TO BE PUBLISHED IN THE PARISH BULLETIN

Beloved Hierarchs, Clergy, Members of the Board of Trustees and Faithful of this God-Protected and Self-Ruled Archdiocese:

It has come to our attention that many of you may have received an email from Tarek Mitri dated January 25, 2005, with the subject “The North American Constitution.” Please be advised that this email is considered a serious intrusion into the affairs of this Archdiocese by Tarek Mitri, who has no ecclesiastical capacity to send such a communication to our clergy under his own signature.

Communications under the direct signature of His Beatitude Patriarch IGNATIUS IV to Metropolitan Philip and this Archdiocese are, of course, always welcome.

As you all know, the Archdiocese Constitution that was legally adopted by our Special Convention held in July 2004 in Pittsburgh is in harmony with the Synodal self-rule resolution of October 9, 2003 which was adopted unanimously by the Holy Synod, and signed by His Beatitude Patriarch IGNATIUS IV and all of the members of the Holy Synod. The Pittsburgh Constitution was submitted to the Holy Synod by Metropolitan PHILIP on October 13, 2004.

There is a very serious inaccuracy in the last sentence of the email from Tarek Mitri. In referring to our legally adopted Pittsburgh Constitution, he states that “It was discussed during the course of the meeting of the Holy Synod, October 13-15, 2004, and the attached revised constitution was unanimously approved.” Contrary to this statement, the proposed October 15, 2004 constitution (which was attached to Tarek Mitri’s email), although read by the Patriarch’s legal adviser in the meeting, was not even discussed in detail by the members of the Holy Synod nor was it unanimously approved.

Our Metropolitan PHILIP in not supporting such proposed constitution, pointed out to the members of the Holy Synod that our Constitution, by law, could only be amended by our General Assembly in the ways provided by our Constitution. Moreover, any amendments to our Constitution became effective immediately upon adoption at a General or Special Convention and the approval of our Metropolitan. Therefore the proposed constitution of October 15, 2004 could only be considered as suggested changes to our Constitution. These suggestions were submitted to the Department of Legal Affairs to avoid any inconsistencies with our existing Constitution and the Holy Synod’s self-rule Resolution of October 9, 2003.
The legal department in reviewing the suggestions of the legal advisor to the Patriarch in the proposed Constitution has noted that:

1. The proposed October 15, 2004 constitution violates the spirit and letter of the irrevocable Synodal self-rule resolution of October 9, 2003, which was itself immediately effective. Moreover it is not appropriate for any person to attempt to rewrite the Constitution of this self-ruling Archdiocese and to attempt to negate self-rule and give less authority to the Archdiocese than it had prior to the Synodal Resolution of October 9, 2003.
2. Under Section 8 of the October 9, 2003 self-rule resolution, the Holy Synod of Antioch was required to approve the Pittsburgh Constitution insofar as it was consistent with that resolution. Since the Pittsburgh Constitution is entirely consistent with the Synodal Resolution none of the suggested changes apply and any required approval has been given.

3. The proposed October 15, 2004 constitution did not receive enough scrutiny by the Holy Synod, nor was it discussed in detail in the Holy Synod meeting.


We will, at all times in this Archdiocese, be bound by our legally adopted constitution and the civil laws of this land in which we reside. Article VII of our constitution allows timely proposed amendments to be submitted for consideration only by any of the following procedures:

1. by a majority vote of the General Assembly of a Regular or Special Convention

2. by a recommendation from the Archdiocese Department of Legal Affairs

3. by a recommendation from the Archdiocese Board of Trustees

4. by a recommendation from any parish of this Archdiocese in good standing


Under all of the above procedures, any proposed amendments are “to be certified by the sponsor and submitted to the Metropolitan Archbishop and the Department of Legal Affairs for the purpose of studying and determining the legality of such proposed change.” As a courtesy, the proposed October 15, 2004 constitution was submitted to the Department of Legal Affairs for review.

As communicated in the press release of January 18th, 2005, the Department of Legal Affairs rendered a decision that the “major appropriate suggested changes do not require amendments to the Pittsburgh Constitution” and the legally adopted Pittsburgh Constitution “stands as the Constitution of this Archdiocese, without the need for further revision.”

Yours in Christ,

The Department of Legal Affairs

Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America


http://www.antiochian.org/newsjan272005

Abbu-Issa:
Quote from: scamandrius on March 20, 2009, 12:24:24 PM

The DOWAMA Council of Presbyters headed by Fr. Peter O'Callagan at St. George Cathedral in Wichita wrapped up a meeting they had on Tuesday.  My priest is a memeber of this body and here are a few of his thoughts as to what went on.

First, the meeting ran for seven continuous hours.  Bishop BASIL was not himself present as he does not intervene in this body.  A letter was composed and signed by all of the members, including all of the non-convert, Arab priests, some of whom are from the old country, indicating that this issue is troubling to convert and cradle alike.  This letter was then forwarded on to Bishop BASIL, Met. PHILIP and to His Beatitude, IGNATIUS IV, Patriarch of Antioch.  Met. PHILIP should receive his in a few days, though, it may have been leaked to him, via fax, the same day.  Who knows when or if His Beatitude will receive it.

The letter was a series of questions as to the implementation of this directive from the Holy See of Antioch.  Some of the main questions were of the legal variety.  In reading both the Archdiocesan Constitution and the Patriarchal Constitution, the priests were of the belief that this directive is not legal.  The reasons are many, but here are some of the highlights.  First, there must be a quorum of 10 Metropolitans from the Holy Synod to  vote on this.  There were only nine.  The Patriarch was one of these nine.  Second, a demotion of a bishop or transfer or defrocking of a bishop can only occur if some major injurious event has occurred.  Such has not happened, so why the move?  Third, this move is patently uncanonical as the bishop is the center around the local church, following Ignatius and the councils.  There are other matters as well.

My priest again said that for the average layperson, this will not be any major trouble.  However, with this centralization of power into one man, how can we expect good governance of this land's Antiochian Orthodox from one person's office in Englewood.  It is my understanding that Met. PHILIP does not travel much nor far because of health reasons.  So, how does one effectively deal with problems that are on the other side of the country?

My priest also believes that there are some who will resist this decision and will do so with their pocketbooks by refusing to support the archdiocese financially.  And this could be a huge blow especially as some of the major ANtiochian Orthodox and finanicial contributors are here in DOWAMA which remains steadfastly supportive and behind Bishop BASIL.

We can only wait and see especially for what transpires at the Bright Friday meeting with the hierarchs in Englewood.  Once there is a draft letter available from the council of presbyters, online, I'll be sure to post it here.


  The Constitution of the AOCA did disappear off the Patriarchal Website a few days ago.  I found it by googling it, but reproduced from their website.  Does anyone have a shredder?  What mischeif are they really up to?  Watching the comments on this web site and OCAnews, I  am more than a little discouraged.  It seems few understand that Metropolitan Philip and the Holy Synod of Antioch has LTTLE to No REGARD of the HOLY CANONS!  They only use them when helpful and disregard them when they get in the way!  
   
Here is what we are really talking about :

1.)  The AOCA Constitution and the Constitution from the Patriarchate do not agree.
2.)  Does it really matter since Metropolitan Philip, the Patriarchate and the Holy Synod have acted unilaterally without regard to either Constitution?  the Diocesan Bishops? the Clergy (except the CHOSEN)? the Board of Trustees (Except the CHOSEN)? and the Laity?
3.)If Philip reposes now will they simply do what they want as in this instance? Those who ignore history are doomed to see it repeated!
4.) Why have the Diocesan Bishops been ignored? The clergy (Except the CHOSEN)? the Board of Trustees (except a few who cannot be trusted!)? The Laity?
5.)Why do they all continue to be ignored by Metropolitan Philip?
6.)  If history is any indicator, like with Joe Allen, Fr John Namee lost his housing allowance when he disagreed.
7.) If history is any indicator, he will simply pull rank and shut down dialogue as he did in Detroit over the issue of tithing, when he humiliated the V Rev. Fr Elias Bitar and the Rt Rev Michael Evans! Metropolitan Philip does not function well when confronted with facts!
8.)  What will he do when he realizes that the only way the faithful may communicate their opinions to him is through LACK of MONEY or with their feet?

I find in 2005 the department of Legal Affairs of THE AOCA  stated un-categorically the AOCA Constitution could not be amended by the Patriarchate,

January 27, 2005

IMPORTANT MESSAGE REGARDING OUR CONSTITUTION

TO BE PUBLISHED IN THE PARISH BULLETIN

Beloved Hierarchs, Clergy, Members of the Board of Trustees and Faithful of this God-Protected and Self-Ruled Archdiocese:

It has come to our attention that many of you may have received an email from Tarek Mitri dated January 25, 2005, with the subject “The North American Constitution.” Please be advised that this email is considered a serious intrusion into the affairs of this Archdiocese by Tarek Mitri, who has no ecclesiastical capacity to send such a communication to our clergy under his own signature.

Communications under the direct signature of His Beatitude Patriarch IGNATIUS IV to Metropolitan Philip and this Archdiocese are, of course, always welcome.

As you all know, the Archdiocese Constitution that was legally adopted by our Special Convention held in July 2004 in Pittsburgh is in harmony with the Synodal self-rule resolution of October 9, 2003 which was adopted unanimously by the Holy Synod, and signed by His Beatitude Patriarch IGNATIUS IV and all of the members of the Holy Synod. The Pittsburgh Constitution was submitted to the Holy Synod by Metropolitan PHILIP on October 13, 2004.

There is a very serious inaccuracy in the last sentence of the email from Tarek Mitri. In referring to our legally adopted Pittsburgh Constitution, he states that “It was discussed during the course of the meeting of the Holy Synod, October 13-15, 2004, and the attached revised constitution was unanimously approved.” Contrary to this statement, the proposed October 15, 2004 constitution (which was attached to Tarek Mitri’s email), although read by the Patriarch’s legal adviser in the meeting, was not even discussed in detail by the members of the Holy Synod nor was it unanimously approved.

Our Metropolitan PHILIP in not supporting such proposed constitution, pointed out to the members of the Holy Synod that our Constitution, by law, could only be amended by our General Assembly in the ways provided by our Constitution. Moreover, any amendments to our Constitution became effective immediately upon adoption at a General or Special Convention and the approval of our Metropolitan. Therefore the proposed constitution of October 15, 2004 could only be considered as suggested changes to our Constitution. These suggestions were submitted to the Department of Legal Affairs to avoid any inconsistencies with our existing Constitution and the Holy Synod’s self-rule Resolution of October 9, 2003.
The legal department in reviewing the suggestions of the legal advisor to the Patriarch in the proposed Constitution has noted that:

1. The proposed October 15, 2004 constitution violates the spirit and letter of the irrevocable Synodal self-rule resolution of October 9, 2003, which was itself immediately effective. Moreover it is not appropriate for any person to attempt to rewrite the Constitution of this self-ruling Archdiocese and to attempt to negate self-rule and give less authority to the Archdiocese than it had prior to the Synodal Resolution of October 9, 2003.
2. Under Section 8 of the October 9, 2003 self-rule resolution, the Holy Synod of Antioch was required to approve the Pittsburgh Constitution insofar as it was consistent with that resolution. Since the Pittsburgh Constitution is entirely consistent with the Synodal Resolution none of the suggested changes apply and any required approval has been given.

3. The proposed October 15, 2004 constitution did not receive enough scrutiny by the Holy Synod, nor was it discussed in detail in the Holy Synod meeting.


We will, at all times in this Archdiocese, be bound by our legally adopted constitution and the civil laws of this land in which we reside. Article VII of our constitution allows timely proposed amendments to be submitted for consideration only by any of the following procedures:

1. by a majority vote of the General Assembly of a Regular or Special Convention

2. by a recommendation from the Archdiocese Department of Legal Affairs

3. by a recommendation from the Archdiocese Board of Trustees

4. by a recommendation from any parish of this Archdiocese in good standing


Under all of the above procedures, any proposed amendments are “to be certified by the sponsor and submitted to the Metropolitan Archbishop and the Department of Legal Affairs for the purpose of studying and determining the legality of such proposed change.” As a courtesy, the proposed October 15, 2004 constitution was submitted to the Department of Legal Affairs for review.

As communicated in the press release of January 18th, 2005, the Department of Legal Affairs rendered a decision that the “major appropriate suggested changes do not require amendments to the Pittsburgh Constitution” and the legally adopted Pittsburgh Constitution “stands as the Constitution of this Archdiocese, without the need for further revision.”

Yours in Christ,

The Department of Legal Affairs

Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America


http://www.antiochian.org/newsjan272005

Why are we not hearing from the Department of Legal Affairs NOW????

Abbu-Issa:
Quote from: Abbu-Issa on March 19, 2009, 11:09:45 PM

Quote from: SolEX01 on March 19, 2009, 11:02:27 PM

Did we really need to see the entire Antiochian Archdiocese Constitution posted twice?   ???

Sorry, I tried to go back an undo it but ran out of time.

As you will note, I tried to remove the copy of the Constitution I put up.  I never claimed the Constitution posted was other than the one on the Patriarchal Website.  When I noticed it was the same and from the same source, I noted I tried to remove it.  Simply go back and look.  I also commented to that effect stating I would look for the AOCA Constitution according to the Archdiocese.  Certainly it was published in the WORD magazine, perhaps in the Fall of 2004.  The significat difference is in regard to the death of the Metropolitan or his being incapacitated.  In 2005 when Met Philip was hospitalized the Archdiocese almost saw the Patriarch's version implemented.  According to the Patriarchate they would send a locum tenums.  The NA Constitution states the Senior Bishop ANTOUN) with the Vice Chair (Dr George Farha) for the Board of Trustees would administer the Archdiocese which is precisely what happened at that time.  Rather strange ecclessiology (Why have a local synod?).  I will search through old copies of the WOR Magazine and scan it when I have opportunity.  Perhaps someone else could look as well.  If you will note I have always maintained the Constitutions differed slightly and the Patriarchate did not the differences inthe NA version.  Met Philip and the Department of Legal Affairs have insisted that the NA Constitution was binding (see Feb 2005 letter).  That is at least until Met Philip decided he wanted it changed.

I will provide a few other historical documents beore they disappear from http://www.antiochian.org/1035


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 2004 – Englewood, New Jersey

SPECIAL CONVENTION IMPLEMENTS SELF-RULE STATUS FOR THE ANTIOCHIAN ARCHDIOCESE

On Friday, July 16th, 2004, the Special Convention of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America was convened at the Hilton Hotel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and was chaired by His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP.  The delegates to this Special Convention were called to discuss and implement four important items of business as follows:

1.  To consider and approve the proposed amendments to the Archdiocesan Constitution which would incorporate the October 9, 2003 Resolution of the Holy Synod of Antioch that granted self-rule status to this Archdiocese.

2.  To nominate candidates for the episcopacy, who will preside as Diocesan Bishops over three newly-created dioceses within the self-ruled Archdiocese.

3.  To discuss the new diocesan structure of the self-ruled Archdiocese, and the detailed Rights and Responsibilities of the Metropolitan, and the Diocesan Bishops.

4.  To approve a budget for the fiscal year ending January 31, 2006, that accounts for the additional expenses and income required in order to implement the self-rule status.

A quorum was present that represented 92% of the eligible voting delegates, an extremely high percentage, reflecting the historic nature of this gathering.

The reading of the message of His Beatitude, IGNATIUS IV, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East was the first item of business.  In his message, His Beatitude expressed his “deep love and confidence”, and expressed his feelings that “God has been and will always be, glorified by your deeds, since we are all together laboring for the well being of Christ’s Church.”

A lively, and constructive discussion ensued around the proposed amendments to the Constitution.  It was clear from the start that there was a “oneness of mind” among all of the delegates, with the love and unity of the Holy Spirit clearly present in the discussion.  The debate ended with a motion to approve the amended Constitution by acclamation, and this motion passed unanimously.

The new diocesan structure of the self-ruled Archdiocese was presented.  There are nine dioceses, including the Diocese of New York, which will be under the omophorion of His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP, Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of North America.  The other 8 dioceses will be under the omophorion of Diocesan Bishops.  Three existing Auxiliary Bishops (Bishop ANTOUN, Bishop JOSEPH, and Bishop BASIL) become Diocesan Bishops.  Three newly elected bishops will also become Diocesan Bishops.  Two dioceses will remain vacant for now, under the omophorion of one of the existing bishops. The hierarchs are members of the newly formed Local Holy Synod, with the Metropolitan as the presiding member.  In addition, a document was read which specifies the detailed Rights and Responsibilities of the Metropolitan and the Diocesan Bishops.  This document was approved unanimously by the Local Synod and will insure that good order is maintained in the working relationships of the hierarchs.

The proposed budget for the fiscal year that ends on January 31, 2006 was presented, and passed unanimously.  This budget is the largest in the history of the Archdiocese, and includes the increased expenses and income required to implement the self-rule status.  Included in these expenses are the stipends for the new Diocesan Bishops, as well as operational expenses for their chanceries.

Finally, the seven candidates for the Episcopacy were presented, and each spoke briefly on the subject of his vision for this Archdiocese.  After the presentations, all delegates to the General Assembly cast their votes by secret ballot to nominate candidates for election as Diocesan Bishops.  The Local Holy Synod has the ultimate responsibility to elect the new bishops, with the participation of three Metropolitans from the Holy Synod of Antioch, who will be designated by His Beatitude Patriarch IGNATIUS IV.  The election of bishops is expected to occur sometime after the October 2004 meeting of the Holy Synod of Antioch.

The Special Convention concluded with the celebration of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, which was attended by all of the clergy and laity who were present at the Special Convention.

Although the General Assembly had been scheduled for two days, all of this work was accomplished in one day, due to the cooperation, love, and unity which was clearly manifested throughout the deliberations.  All of the delegates departed from the Special Convention with a renewed spirit and optimism for a bright future.  We are united with our Mother Church of Antioch, we are united as one Archdiocese at home, and we are blessed with dedicated and competent leadership.  Our heartfelt appreciation and love is expressed to our beloved Patriarch IGNATIUS IV, and the members of the Holy Synod of Antioch for their expression of love and trust in their maturing children of North America.

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