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Source: International Business Times By Palash R. Ghosh As the Roman Catholic Church in the Vatican prepares to elect a new Pope under much media scrutiny and fanfare, one of the oldest Christian churches has already chosen its own new leader with much less global attention. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has elected Abune Matthias as its new patriarch, replacing Abune Paulos, who died of an undisclosed illness last August after leading the church since 1992. (‘Abune’ means ‘Our Father’ in the Ethiopian language.) Daniel Sefermikael, a church official, said Matthias received a majority of votes — 500 out of 806 –…

Source: Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [OCA] – The Lesser Synod of Bishops and the Metropolitan Council of the Orthodox Church in America met at the Chancery here February 25-28, 2013. His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon presided at the sessions. Members of the Lesser Synod who participated included His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel; His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin; His Grace, Bishop Michael, secretary of the Holy Synod of Bishops.  His Eminence, Archbishop Nikon also attended. Highlights of the meeting, according to Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary, included the following. In his opening remarks, Metropolitan Tikhon spoke about the first 105 days…

Source: Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America The Assembly of Bishops Research Coordinator, Alexei Krindatch, has prepared a range of reports on Orthodox Christianity in America. Along with the following research summaries, the full reports are available in PDF format. Ten Facts about Geographic Patterns of the Orthodox Church Life in the United States (Report #1) In the US today, there are approximately 800,000 Orthodox “adherents”— persons who participate (either regularly or occasionally) in the life of an Orthodox parish. This report provides detailed geographic information about Orthodox Church adherents, parishes, and monasteries in the US,…

Source: ABC News By VESELIN TOSHKOV Associated Press SOFIA, Bulgaria February 24, 2013 (AP) – Metropolitan Neofit of Ruse was elected Sunday as the new spiritual leader of Bulgaria’s Orthodox Christians amid social unrest threatening to throw the Balkan country in a serious political crisis. The 67-year-old Neofit was picked among three candidates shortlisted in a secret ballot by the 14 bishops that make up the Holy Synod of the church. An electoral college made up of 138 members gave 90 votes to Neofit. He is considered a compromise candidate after a power struggle within the church over who will…

Source: Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America The Secretariat welcomes Chrysanthe Loizos, the newly-appointed Communications Officer for the Assembly, to its ranks. Over the past fifteen years, Chrysanthe has worked for a number of nonprofit organizations, primarily in the humanitarian and social service sectors. Most recently she worked for International Orthodox Christian Charities as International Programs Coordinator. In that capacity she provided programmatic support to IOCC’s field offices abroad. During her tenure with IOCC, she worked in a number of its offices, including Beirut, Tbilisi, and Banja Luka. She has a bachelor’s degree in history from…

Source: The Sofia Globe by CLIVE LEVIEV-SAWYER After a day and a half of voting in more than 24 rounds, the governing body of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, the Holy Synod, chose on February 16 2013 the three metropolitans who will be the candidates in the election for the next Patriarch – Galaktion of Stara Zagora, Neofit of Rousse and Gavril of Lovetch. This puts Gavril – the only metropolitan eligible for election who was not a communist-era State Security agent – back in the race after he appeared to have been eliminated early in the first rounds of voting…

Source: Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [OCA] – Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, Secretary of the Orthodox Church in America, recently offered an update on Chancery activities for the remainder of February 2013. Among them: Members of the Board of Theological Education [BTE] will meet February 15-16 at Saint Stephen Cathedral, Philadelphia, PA. The Board oversees theological education and ensures standards for the OCA’s seminaries and other vocational programs. It also has specific oversight of the Diaconal Vocations Program and presents the names of candidates for ordination to the Holy Synod from among those who have completed their studies. Members…

Source: Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America The Assembly of Bishops has released minutes from its most recent meeting (Assembly III), held in Chicago from September 10-12, 2012. Though the final minutes will not be approved until the next meeting of the Assembly, scheduled for the Fall of 2013, the Assembly presents these as summary minutes. Some of the chief concerns of the last meeting, as reflected in the minutes, were: the creation of a budget, the completion of the By-Laws, a review of the work of the Committee for Canonical Regional Planning, and the drafting…

Source: Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [OCA] At their January 28, 2013 meeting, the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America established the Department of Continuing Education to provide for the ongoing development of clergy and lay leaders. This action came in response to decisions made at the 16th All-American Council with regard to the Strategic Plan. Simultaneously, the Holy Synod mandated an annual 20-hour continuing education requirement for all priests and deacons. The Department was charged with carrying out this mandate primarily through the Continuing Clergy Development (CCD) program. “CCD offerings will…

Source: Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [OCA] The independent audit of the Orthodox Church in America’s financial records for the year ending December 31, 2011 has been completed. The report of the auditors, Lambrides, Lamos, Taylor LLP, is now available in PDF format on the OCA web site. “For the second consecutive year the OCA has been issued an unqualified or ‘clean’ audit opinion,” said Melanie Ringa, OCA Treasurer. “The unqualified opinion is the best type of report an auditee can receive from the external auditor.” “The financial results for 2011 show total revenues of $3,351,622.00 and total operating…

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