The Statute Commission of the Orthodox Church in America received two proposed Statute amendments to be considered at 15th All-American Council.
The proposed resolutions are as follows.
Article III, Section 15 (Concerning the Auditing Committee)
The present text reads as follows.
An auditing committee (consisting of three members of the All-American Council) shall be elected at the All-American Council. Its duties shall be to audit the accounts of the Treasurer and the funds of all Church-related institutions on a quarterly basis and to report to the Metropolitan Council. Members of the auditing committee attend sessions of the Metropolitan Council only to make their reports. Vacancies in the auditing committee are filled by the Metropolitan.
SYOSSET, NYThe proposed amendment reads as follows.
An auditing committee consisting of three members shall be nominated and appointed by the Metropolitan Council at its first meeting following the election of Metropolitan Council members at the All-American Council. The term of service shall be from appointment to the end of the next All-American Council. Its duties shall be to audit all accounts of The Orthodox Church in America on a semiannual basis and review the audited accounts of all stavropegial institutions on an annual basis and to report same to the Metropolitan Council. The Chairman of the auditing committee shall attend sessions of the Metropolitan Council only to make the committee’s reports. At least one auditor shall have relevant professional experience. An auditor shall succeed himself for only one additional term, and may only be removed for cause by a two thirds vote of the Metropolitan Council. Vacancies in the auditing committee are filled by the Metropolitan Council.
Article IV, Section 4 (Concerning the Election of the Metropolitan)
The present text reads as follows.
When a vacancy has occurred in the office of Metropolitan, the bishop senior by rank and date of consecration shall convene the Holy Synod. After the formal vote declaring the vacancy, the Holy Synod will proceed with the election of a locum tenens. Within a period not exceeding three months (unless some unavoidable necessity forces a prolongation of this period), the locum tenens will convene an All-American Council at which a successor shall be elected. If not already a bishop, a candidate for the office of Metropolitan must fulfill the canonical, moral, and educational requirements stated in Article VI, Section 9. The election shall take place according to the following order:
a. The Council nominates candidates by secret ballot without previous discussion of names. A blank paper ballot shall be distributed to each member of the Council before the vote.
b. On the first vote, one single name may be written on each ballot. If the name of a candidate is written on a number of ballots equal to at least two-thirds of the total number of members in attendance at the Council, his name shall be submitted to the Holy Synod for approval by majority vote; in case of rejection, the Holy Synod shall formally state the reasons which motivated the rejection.
c. If no candidate receives a number of ballots equal to at least two-thirds of the total membership in attendance, or if the person receiving that number of ballots fails to receive the approval of the Holy Synod, a second vote shall be taken.
d. In the second vote, two names shall be written on each ballot; the tellers shall not count any ballot on which fewer or more than two names are written. The names of the two candidates who receive the highest number of ballots on the second vote shall be submitted to the Holy Synod for their choice by majority vote.
Upon his election, and before the dismissal of the All-American Council, the new Metropolitan will be enthroned according to the established ritual.
The proposed amendment reads as follows.
The election (of the Metropolitan) presided over by the ranking member of the Synod of Bishops shall take place according to the following order:
a. The Council nominates candidates by secret ballot, without previous discussion of names. A blank paper ballot shall be distributed to each member of the Council before the vote.
b. Each Council member writes three names on the ballot.
c. The ballots are counted and the names of the three men receiving the most votes are announced to the Council, with the number of votes each man has received.
d. Should any of the men so nominated not already be a bishop, his name is given to the Synod of Bishops for canonical clearance. If the Synod determines that the nominee is not canonically qualified to be consecrated a bishop, they announce the reason for his disqualification, and the procedure for electing nominees is repeated according to the above rules until three nominees are secured.
e. The Synod of Bishops receives the acceptance of nomination from each of the nominees. Should any refuse, the procedure is repeated until three nominees are secured whose names are written on three identical sheets of paper, identically folded, put into an appropriate vessel, covered, and placed on the Altar Table.
f. After the Divine Liturgy is celebrated by the locum tenes and the Synod of Bishops, followed by a Service of Prayer, a member of the Church appointed by the Synod of Bishops picks one paper from the vessel.
g. The new Metropolitan, chosen by lot, is immediately enthroned in office according to the established ritual. Should he not be a bishop, the Synod of Bishops announces the time and place of his episcopal consecration and enthronement as primate of the Orthodox Church in America.
The Statute Commission submits these proposed amendments with no recommendation. At the same time it notes that the issues under consideration in these proposed amendments will have to be taken up again in the near future in the context of a complete revision of the Statute.
In addition to the above proposed Statute amendments, proposed resolutions to be discussed at the 15th All-American Council may be read here.