Resolution of the Syracuse and St. Nicholas, Ottawa and Canadian, Australian and New Zealand Diocese
We can no longer reconcile ourselves with the situation that has developed in our Church. Owing to his
selection of certain people, Metropolitan Agafangel is now in the position that any of his decisions are
approved unopposed by a majority of bishops obedient to him. The Synod serves only to approve the
Metropolitan’s decisions. Such a situation, though seemingly lawful, is in essence anti-canonical.
Metropolitan Agafangel is violating the sobornost of the Church, placing it under his personal control.
The Metropolitan is not the Pope of Rome; the Metropolitan is the first among equal bishops. He does
not have the right to be in command of the dioceses of other bishops.
The Church is not ruled by the bishops, but by the Holy Spirit. The Church does not live by the will of
the Metropolitan, but by the will of God, to which the members of the Church freely submit. No one
can impose his will on the Church, regardless of his rank. The situation where a group of bishops, who
happen to be in the majority, impose their will on other bishops and the entire Church is unacceptable.
This is not compatible with the spirit of freedom and love, by which the Church lives.
It is appropriate here to cite a quote from the “Epistle of the Temporary Higher Church Administration
of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad to its Faithful Members” signed by the Metropolitan himself on
September 4, 2008; “We consider the main goal to be the need to establish a solid conciliar structure, so
that the Church is led and administered not by a small group of people, but by the entirety of the Church,
including clergy and laypeople, that will take the most active role in resolving the primary matters of the
whole Church in the spirit of the edict of the Local Council of the Russian Church in 1918. Only by
such a conciliar arrangement of our internal life, can we resist all the temptations and seductions that
seek to overpower us.”
Apostle Paul states that religious authority is given for the building up of the Church, not for tearing it
down (2 Corinthians 13:10). While for Metropolitan Agafangel and his Synod, it has become
commonplace to dispose of undesirable clergy and laypeople without a trial. We hear all the time that
the Synod has censured someone or threatens someone with censure. We exist in a state of terror.
Nothing like this existed in the ROCA of old; bishops were loved and respected, but not feared. The
bishops of the Odessa Synod have adopted the dictatorial traits of the bishops of the Moscow
Patriarchia, while forgetting that which is said in the Gospel, “may the first among you be the servant of
all.” The good shepherd, according to the Gospel, leaves the 99 sheep and goes in search of the one that
is lost, while our “shepherds” without hesitating, cut off hundreds of rational sheep from the Church.
In accordance with the Statute of the ROCA, a metropolitan is tried by the Council of Bishops of the
ROCA. However, in our situation when a majority of the bishops are obedient minions of the
Metropolitan, such a trial can become just another farce. The way out of this crisis can only be the
convening of an All-Diaspora Council with the participation of the clergy and laypeople. To that end,
we announce the need to create a pre-council committee made up of clergy and laypeople.
Moreover, since the Council will be convened to try the Metropolitan and his Synod, they may not take part in the preparations for the All-Diaspora Council.
Until the All-Diaspora Council, we are switching over to temporary self-rule under the charge of the
bishops of our Church. We are not breaking with the bishops, clergy and laypeople that are under the
authority of Metropolitan Agafangel.
The diocesan conference has approved the rescinding of Abp. Andronik’s signature from his statement
of August 3\16, 2016. The diocesan conference has decided to create a pre-council committee made up
of members of the Syracuse and St. Nicholas, Ottawa and Canadian, Australian and New Zealand
The decision was approved to conduct a meeting on September 7, 2016, at which the committee must
present proposed issues for discussion before the convening of the Council, in preparation for the All Diaspora
Fr. Dmitriy Amelchenko
August 13\26, 2016
Apodosis of the Transfiguration