The news has been officially released. Glory to God !
This will give to the Russian Church actual Western Rite parishes in addition to the present basically solitary 3 or 4 monastics here and there.
Dear Brothers in Christ,
It is with great pleasure that I announce to you that the Archdiocese of New
York of The Holy Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church of America, the
Former Exarchate of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria has
petitioned The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia to be received into
It was our intention to do this quietly, without fanfare, until all the
clergy were received and ordained. The post made here unfortunately
This is the culmination of a long journey, many prayers, and great patience.
It will also require the humility of our bishops, priests and deacons to bow
their heads for ordination in the Russian Church which we do with great joy
for the sake of the unity of the Church. We have accepted the use of the
Julian Calendar as we were already on it for the Paschalion and most of us
have been greatly disturbed by the commercialization of Christmas. We will
also be able to keep our Liturgy which is based on the Dom Augustine
Liturgy. We will also be able to continue our practice of gathering each
year in the Fall for a Conference/Retreat and now open it up to other
Western Rite Clergy. The 2011 Conference will be held at St Mary's Villa,
Sloatsburg NY, Tuesday October 25th to Friday October 28th.
So that we are clear, the parishes being received were non-canonical
Orthodox, not Anglican. Most of us come from the Roman Church though some of
us have spent time in the Anglican Church, Episcopal, Continuing, or
Charismatic Episcopal. We all became Western Rite Orthodox.
Archbishop Anthony and Bishop Michael will resign the episcopacy and be
ordained and elevated to be Archimandrites and His Eminence, Metropolitan
Hilarion has asked former Archbishop Anthony to be Vicar/Dean of his group
of Western Rite parishes. The historic significance of this is that the
Orthodox Western Rite will have almost ten new parishes and, when all are
received about 18 more clergy. We will have an informal group called The
Fraternity of St Gregory.
Those clergy who have already been received into the Russian Church have
experienced the warm welcome and generous kindness of Metropolitan Hilarion
and Vladyka Jerome who have been paragons of patience in doing all of the
required ordinations for us. The Russian clergy surrounding them have been
most welcoming to their new Orthodox brothers who will be using the Western
Some have commented on the humility that it has taken for me and Bishop
Michael to give up the episcopacy. Anyone who knows our history also knows
that we did what we had to do to keep our group together and to offer a
place for those who wanted to be Orthodox Western Rite as we awaited the
time God would appoint for our entrance into the Russian Church.
Conversations were being held with Moscow through Fr Daniil Sosoyev (RIP)
who through his martyric death has accomplish what he could not finish in
We wish to thank Father James of Christminster who urged us for years
constantly to hope and pray, Fr Ambrose (NZ) who continued to fast and pray
for us all and who encouraged us, Fr Michael for his encouragement, Fr David
(FL) and Fr Ambrose (GOA) for their prayers. We wish also to acknowledge the
ongoing novena to St John of Shanghai and San Francisco for the past 9 years
and the maternal graces secured for us by the Holy Mother of God.
Finally, we remember the words of the old Western prayer: "O Lord Jesus
Christ, who for the accomplishment of Thy greatest works, has chosen the
weak vessel of the world that no flesh may glory in Thy sight...." may we
who have been called to the work of bringing the West to Orthodoxy have the
strength and grace to perform it by your prayers.
Archbishop Anthony [Bondi]