The final draft of the revised Statute of the Orthodox Church in America, slated to be presented for adoption at the upcoming 18th All-American Council (AAC) in Atlanta, GA July 20-24, 2015, is now available on-line.
The release of the revised Statute is in accordance with Article XIII of the current Statute, which stipulates that all proposed amendments must be released at least 60 days prior to the All-American Council. A detailed introduction to the document will be posted as soon as it is available.
The proposed text of the revised Statute was finalized at a meeting of an expanded Commission on Canons and Statute held at Holy Dormition Monastery in Rives Junction, MI April 28-30, 2015. In an effort to make the revision process as open, transparent and inclusive as possible, the preliminary text of the revised Statute had been released for public comment in February 2015.
Under the chairmanship of His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate, the expanded Commission on Canons and Statute undertook a systematic review of the preliminary draft, which had been prepared by the Statute Revision Task Force over the course of a year and a half. All comments and suggestions for revision which had been received by e-mail, as well as during several diocesan, deanery and other gatherings conducted by Archpriest Alexander Rentel, Commission Secretary, were carefully considered and incorporated into the text where appropriate. The Commission wishes to express its gratitude to those who submitted comments and suggestions, including the hierarchs of the Holy Synod of Bishops, who provided input during their spring session in March 2015.
“The revised Statute is an extension of a historical trajectory in the life of our Church—that is, our evolution from a diocese of the Russian Church to a freestanding, autonomous, independent, comprehensive and autocephalous national Church, a goal which all of us share,” said Judge E. R. Lanier, a Task Force member in summarizing the meeting and the content of the revised Statute. He added that the revised Statute is “faithful to the admonition in Thessalonians, holding fast to that which is good in the old Statute, preserving intact all of its features which have proven themselves positive and useful: the changes which appear in the revision are more in the nature of a realignment of emphasis than any sort of radical reworking of the old, tried and true provisions under which we have lived since 1971…. The revised text recognizes, supports, and implements our movement toward a more proactive stance for the dioceses and parishes of the Church.”
At their 2015 Spring Session, members of the Holy Synod blessed the Commission, which is mandated by Statute to consider proposed amendments, to invite other participants to its April meeting. Hence, also present were members of the Statute Revision Task Force and consultants. Besides Archbishop Nathaniel, who chairs both the Commission on Canons and Statute and the Statute Revision Task Force, and Father Rentel, Secretary of both bodies, other members participating in the meeting included His Grace, Bishop Daniel of Santa Rosa and Priest Ioan Cozma. Statute Revision Task Force members who participated, in addition to Judge Lanier, included Archpriest Dimitri Cozby and Alexis Liberovsky. Participating consultants were attorneys Michael Cuccaro and Angela Parks. Archpriest John Erickson, a member of both the Commission and the Task Force, was unable to attend due to a previous commitment.
Further information on the work of the Statute revision process over the last 18 months may be found at the following links.
- Statute Revision Task Force holds first meeting
- Statute Revision Task Force meets for second time
- Statute Revision Task Force continues work
- Statute Revision Task Force concludes week-long meeting
- Statute Revision Task Force completes first stage of work
- Holy Synod issues letter supporting continuation of Statute Revision process