[OCA Communications]—On Tuesday, April 2, 2002, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, shared with members of the Holy Synod of Bishops his desire to retire from the office of Metropolitan of All America and Canada in July 2002.
The announcement came on the second day of the spring session of the Holy Synod of Bishops, held at the OCA Chancery.
“You are intimately aware that these past two years have been particularly difficult for me as I have faced increasing health problems,” Metropolitan Theodosius told the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops in reference to his declining health. “I have found that my physical condition is once again deteriorating to such an extent that, given my limited physical abilities, I find myself unable to respond to the demands of my office in the manner which the Church needs and deserves of its Primate.”
Metropolitan Theodosius added that increasing demands placed upon him “have only served to be the cause of even greater inner anxiety and personal concerns.”
“Please be assured that this request has not been made quickly but only after consultation with medical professionals, much prayer for guidance and with an awareness of your love for me and your concern for the welfare of the Church,” Metropolitan Theodosius concluded. “It is my hope that you will accept my petition and that my retirement will come into effect after the convening of the first session of the 13th All-American Council.”
According to the Very Rev. John Matusiak, OCA Communications Director, “Metropolitan Theodosius continues to suffer the residual effects of strokes he had suffered in late 2000 and early 2001. Despite a four-month medical leave of absence from May 1 until September 1, 2001, which he took at the recommendation of his physicians, he found the ever-increasing burdens of his office too demanding.”
The members of the Holy Synod of Bishops granted Metropolitan Theodosius’ request by issuing a Synodal Resolution on April 2, 2002, the text of which reads as follows:
“Having heard the request of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius that, in light of his failing health, he be granted retirement from the office of Metropolitan of All America and Canada and be granted the status of Retired Hierarch of the Orthodox Church in America; and that this retirement occur during the 13th All-American Council to be held in Orlando, Florida, the members of the Holy Synod unanimously resolved:
[ a.] To grant His Beatitude’s request to retire from the office of Metropolitan of All America and Canada of the Orthodox Church in America;
[ b.] To grant him the status of Retired Hierarch, effective following the first session of the 13th All-American Council to be held in Orlando, Florida July 21, 2002; and
[ c.] To express to His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, their fraternal love and gratitude for his primatial service and archpastoral labors.”
In conjunction with the decision to grant Metropolitan Theodosius’ request, Protopresbyter Robert Kondratick, OCA Chancellor, announced that the procedure by which a new Metropolitan is elected is being prepared and will be reviewed and finalized at a special session of the Holy Synod of Bishops which will be held at St. Tikhon’s Monastery on May 24, 2002. Further information on the forthcoming election will be sent to all parishes, as well as published in a forthcoming issue of The Orthodox Church newspaper and on the OCA website at www.oca.org.