Monday, October 22, 2012

Conference of Russian Orthodox Hierarchs Abroad Held in London

A conference of Russian Orthodox hierarchs serving outside the canonical territory of the Moscow Patriarchate involving diocesan and auxiliary hierarchs of both dioceses directly under the Patriarchate and under the autonomous Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) as well as Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk has been held in London, England. Hierarchs representing dioceses in North America, Oceania, and Western Europe were present for the conference.

In addition to concelebrating together the gathered hierarchs discussed issues relating to joint pastoral work between the various dioceses (previously separated by the split between the Russian Orthodox Church in the USSR and the ROCOR), 'internal missionary work' relating to the Belorussian/Russian/Ukrainian Diasporas, 'external' missionary work amongst the non-Orthodox peoples of the West, differences in liturgical practice, and variations in how converts are received into the Russian Orthodox Church outside the former USSR.

A summary of the conference, which also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the organization of the patriarchal Russian Orthodox diocese in the United Kingdom, can be found here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Consecration Date for New ACROD Bishop Announced

The American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese (ACROD) has announced that Bishop-elect Gregory (Tatsis) will be consecrated ruling Bishop of Nyssa and the ACROD this coming November in the diocesan Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Hierarchs of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA will concelebrate the consecration. More here.

UOCUSA Nominates Next Metropolitan

An extraordinary council (собор) of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (UOCUSA) and the Diaspora has nominated Archbishop Antony (Scharba) of Hierapolis and the Eastern American Eparchy for election by the Holy Synod of the Constantinopolitan Orthodox Church as first hierarch of the UOCUSA. Axios! More here.

New Coptic Orthodox Pope to be Chosen in November

The Coptic Orthodox Church has changed the date for its upcoming papal elections from the end of November to 29 October, with the lot between the final nominees to be drawn on 4 November. The list of candidates for the papacy was recently reduced to five, with all of the diocesan hierarchs previously included being dropped from the list for canonical reasons. More here.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Armenian Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Reposes

Patriarch Torkom II (Manoogian) of the Armenian Orthodox Church of Jerusalem has fallen asleep in the Lord at the age of ninety-three. Born in Iraq and educated in Baghdad and Jerusalem, Patriarch Torkom spent a total of thirty-seven years in the service of the Armenian Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, twenty-two of them as its first hierarch. Patriarch Torkom also spent twenty-four years as Bishop (and later Archbishop) of Eastern American Diocese of the Armenian Orthodox Church of Echmiadzin, during which time he supervised the construction the magnificent Cathedral of St. Vartan in New York City. More on his life can be found here. May Patriarch Torkom's memory be eternal!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

In Memoriam: Archbishop Aghan of Sydney

Archbishop Aghan (Baliozian) of Sydney, ruling hierarch of the Armenian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand, has fallen asleep in the Lord at the age of sixty-six. Born Yeghia in 1946 to Armenian parents in Aleppo, Syria, the future archbishop was educated in his native city and at the seminary of the Armenian Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, where he became a member of the Patriarchate's Brotherhood of St. James.

In 1968 Yeghia was ordained a monastic priest with the name of Aghan by Patriarch Yegishe (Derderian) of Jerusalem. Fr. Aghan spent the next 6 years serving the Gevorkian Theological Seminary in the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, returning to Jerusalem briefly before entering the Yerevan State University in Armenia. In 1974 Fr. Aghan again returned to Jerusalem to serve as dean of the Armenian Orthodox Patriarchate's Jarangavorats Theological Seminary.

In 1975 Fr. Aghan moved to Australia with the blessing of Catholicos Vasken (Baljian) of Echmiadzin to serve as vicar general of the Armenian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand, and in early 1982 was consecrated to the episcopacy and enthroned as the new ruling Bishop of Sydney, Australia, and New Zealand. After eleven years of service in the Diocese Bishop Aghan was elevated to the rank of archbishop.

In addition to serving the Armenian Orthodox Church in Australia and New Zealand Archbishop Aghan also oversaw the Armenian Orthodox parishes in India and the Far East, served in the central administration of the Catholicate of Echmiadzin, and represented the Armenian Orthodox Church in Australian and international ecumenical organizations.

Archbishop Aghan died on 22 September 2012 in Sydney of heart failure. May his memory be eternal! More on his life can be found here.