Press Release of the Episcopate Council of The Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America
[Grass Lake, Michigan – April 8, 2016] On April 2nd, 2016, the Episcopate Council met under the presidency of His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel, and discussed administrative, canonical and educational-pastoral matters.
The Episcopate Council:
1. …heard the decision of the Holy Synod of The Orthodox Church in America concerning Policies, Standards and Procedures (PSP) to be followed by the staff working with children in parishes (Sunday School, Youth Groups, Educational Programs, Dance groups, Sports activities, etc.);
2. …discussed the “Open Letter” written by His Grace, Bishop Irineu, to His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, and to the members of the Holy Synod, March 27. His Grace asked “put me and the monastery (Holy Ascension, Clinton, Michigan) under the omophorion of another Hierarch or under your Beatitude’s omophorion, whatever you consider.”
Council expressed its concern over this correspondence and addressed a letter to His Beatitude.
Council took note of the letters, petitions, and manifestos sent to the Chancery Office concerning frustration over the length of time of the investigation of some alleged activities of Bishop Irineu.
His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel, reminded Council that the investigation of the allegations brought against His Grace, Bishop Irineu, is not and cannot be conducted by any department of our Episcopate. The Archbishop read the following update from ORSMA: “An investigation is in progress, conducted according to the policies, standards and procedures of the Orthodox Church in America. It is a complex investigation because it is so thorough, the allegations being so serious and a great number of people had to be interviewed, many of them needing translators. Thus, it would be inappropriate to comment on the outcome. However, the investigation is drawing to a close and the final report, with recommendations, is being written. Once that report has been completed, decisions can be made.”
3. …briefly analyzed the pastoral and administrative activities of parishes in the Vicariates;
4. …discussed the requests of certain parishes to buy properties;
5. …heard the 2015 and first trimester of 2016 Financial Reports from the Department of Finance;
6. …established a commission to review Clergy salaries and various ways to implement remuneration standards in the Episcopate;
7. …discussed the financial support of the faithful to the parishes and Episcopate: membership vs. pledge;
8. …heard a report on the activity by the Department of Publications of ROEA;
9. …heard an update by the Department of Youth and Adult Youth Ministries Junior and Senior Camps at the Vatra and other Camps organized across Canada and U.S.;
10. …was informed of the financial reports and status of the Vatra Generations Campaign;
11. …reviewed some organizational matters regarding the “Family Life Conference”;
12. …discussed the preparation and structure of the 2016 Episcopate Congress in September.