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A.               The Primary Canons (Constitution) of the Roum Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch

(Adopted June 20—23, 1972)

 

Introduction

 

Article 1:         The Church of Antioch, known as “The Roum Orthodox Patriarchate” of Antioch and all the East, is an Autocephalous, Apostolic Church In communion with the whole of the Orthodox Church in faith, sacraments and tradition.

 

Article 2.         The jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Antioch extends over Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Kuwait, Turkey, Iran, the Arabian Peninsula, North and South America, Central America, Australia and New Zealand.

 

Article 3.         The city of Antioch is the ancient Apostolic See, while presently the official residence of the Patriarch is sits in the city of Damascus, Syria.

 

Article 4.         The Holy Synod is the highest authority in the Church.

 

Article 5.         Clergy and Laity share in the life of the Church, each according to the gift bestowed by the Spirit.

 

Article 6.         In this constitution, the word “clergy” refers to the Patriarch, the Metropolitan, the Bishop, the Priest and the Deacon.

 

Article 7.         Every clergyman is the servant of God and His people; his ministry is gratuitous, in that he is not to be financially compensated for the ministry he renders.

 

Article 8.         The Church shall provide livelihood to her ministers out of the donations of the faithful, as well as from the revenues derived from Church properties and endowments.

 

Chapter One

The Holy Synod

 

Article 9.         The Holy Synod shall consist of the Patriarch as president and the Metropolitans as members.

 

Article 10..      The Holy Synod is the ultimate authority in matters of faith, the legislative body, as we11 as the supreme court in the Church. Its verdicts are final and may not be disputed.

 

Article 11.       The Synod nominates and elects the Patriarch from among Its members, and also nominates and elects the Metropolitans and Bishops, according to the By-Laws of the Antiochian Patriarchate.

 

Article 12..      The Synod exercises Judiciary power over the Patriarch, the Metropolitans and the Bishops, according to the By-Laws. Its verdicts are final.

 

Article 13..      The Synod has the power of establishing new Archdioceses and of adjusting the boundaries of existing Archdioceses.

 

Article 14..      The Synod is the definer of the kind and extent of the relations of the Church of Antioch with other autocephalous Orthodox Churches, as well as with other churches and religious bodies.

 

Article 15.       The Synod shall supervise the saint John of Damascus Theological Academy, the Balamand Ecclesiastical School, and the Pastoral School.

 

Article 16.       The Patriarch shall issue the By-Laws governing the See of Antioch. Such By-Laws shall define the work of the Synod, the number of departments as well as the authority of such departments and the conducting of their meetings.

 

Chapter Two

The Patriarch

 

Article 17.. The Patriarch Is the president of the Holy Synod, the executor of Its decisions, the symbol of the unity of the Church of Antioch, the liaison between her and the universal Church, and her representative to other churches1 religious bodies and States.

 

Article 18.       The Patriarch shall oversee the Church properties and endowments In Antioch. Damascus and the Patriarchal Monasteries, and he shall have the right of Immediate supervision over them all.

 

Article 19.       The patriarch shall be accorded all the ecclesiastical rights and privileges of his office.

 

Article 20.       The Patriarch shall appoint the Patriarchal Exarchs within the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Antioch, and they shall be responsible to him.

 

Article 21.       The Patriarch shall not lend, borrow, exchange, mortgage, accept in mortgage, or sell any of the properties and endowments of the See of Antioch, except by an edict issued by agreement of the Holy Synod.

 

Article 22.       The Patriarchal Throne shall be considered vacant in the event of death, resignation, deposition or permanent disability.

 

Article 23 .      Upon the vacancy of the Patriarchal Throne, the Holy Synod shall convene upon a summons issued by the Patriarchal Vicar and shall elect from among Its members a Patriarchal locum tenens who shall exercise the privileges defined in the By-Laws.

 

 Article 24. The Patriarchal locum tenens shall call the members of the Holy Synod to session within ten days from the date of the vacancy in order to nominate and elect the new Patriarch according to the By-Laws.

 

Chapter Three

The Metropolitan

 

Article 25.The Metropolitan is the shepherd of his Archdiocese, the symbol of its unity, its liaison with the ecclesiastical community, and its official representative to the State.

 

Article 26. The Metropolitan shall oversee the monasteries, the churches, the institutions, and the properties in his Archdiocese and he shall have the right of immediate supervision over them

all.

 

Article 27.       The Metropolitan shall not lend1 borrow, exchange, mortgage, accept in mortgage, or sell any of the properties and endowments of his ,Archdiocese, except by an edict proposed by the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees and confirmed by the written permission of the Patriarch.

 

Article 28..      The Archdiocesan Throne shall be considered vacant in the event of death, resignation1 deposition, or permanent disability.

 

Article 29. Upon the vacancy of the Archdiocesan Throne, the Patriarch shall appoint a Patriarchal Vicar for the vacant Archdiocese who shall exercise the privileges defined in the By-Laws.

 

Article 30. The Patriarch shall call the members of the Holy Synod to session within forty days from the date of the vacancy in order to nominate and elect the new Metropolitan according to the

By-Laws.

 

Article 31.       The candidate for the office of Bishop or Metropolitan must meet the following requirements:

A.       He must be a member of the Patriarchate of Antioch.

B.       He must be at least thirty-three years of age.

C.       He must hold a Baccalaureate degree or its equivalent.

D.       Me must hold an earned theological degree from the Saint John of Damascus Theological Academy or any other Orthodox theological academy.

E.       He must have appeared in the presence of a special committee appointed by the Synod which shall decide upon the candidate’s worthiness for the office of the episcopate.

 

Chapter Four

The Parish Priest

 

Article 32..The Parish Priest Is the spiritual father of his parish.

 

Article 33. He shall celebrate the divine services In the church to which he is assigned.

 

Article 34. He shall be subordinate to either the Patriarchal See or to the Metropolitan of the Archdiocese to which he belongs, and shall be directly responsible to him.

 

Article 35.The candidate for the priesthood must meet the following requirements:

A.       He must be at least twenty-five years of age and be of good repute.

B.       He must hold a bravet (sic) degree.

C.       He must hold a certificate from the Pastoral School.

 

Chapter Five

The Deacon

 

Article 36.The Deacon shall assist the Patriarch1 the Metropolitan and the Priest at the divine services and with community work.

 

Article 37.       The Deacon shall be subordinate to either the Patriarchal See or to the Metropolitan of the Archdiocese to which he belongs.

 

Article 38. The Deacon shall not be ordained celibate until he reaches twenty—five years of age.

 

Article 39. Sections B. and C. of Article 35 apply to the candidate for the diaconate.

 

Chapter Six

The Monk

 

Article 40. The monk is he who lives in a monastery, fulfilling his vows according to the Orthodox monastic tradition and the discipline of the monastery.

 

Article 41.       Upon the death of a non-Syrian monk or celibate clergyman, his movable and immovable property shall revert forthwith to the Church.

 

Chapter Seven

The Archdiocese and the Parishes

 

Article 42. The geographical boundaries of the Archdioceses of the Antiochian See are defined in the By-Laws.

 

Article 43.       The Archdioceses are divided Into parochial units, each headed by the Priest and centered around the parish church.

 

Article 44.       Every Orthodox Christian residing within the boundaries of a given parochial unit is ipso facto a member of that particular parish.

 

Chapter Eight

The Archdiocesan Boards of Trustees

 

Article 45.       The Archdiocesan Boards of Trustees shall be defined and governed by the By—Laws.

 

Chapter Nine

The Saint John of Damascus School of Theology

 

Article 46.       The Saint John of Damascus Theological Academy shall be administered by a Board of Trustees according to a special constitution ratified by the Holy Synod.

 

Chapter Ten

Provisions

 

Article 47. The Patriarch shall publish these canons and make them known to all Antiochian Archdioceses.

 

Article 48.       The Patriarch shall present these canons to the proper civil authorities.

 

Article 49. Any rulings contradicting these canons shall be abrogated; all previous boards and organizations that are in contradiction with these rulings shall be considered dismissed as of the date of ratification of these canons.

 

Article 50. Within six months following the publication of the By-Laws, the rulings of these canons shall apply to the Archdiocesan Boards of Trustees.

 

Article 51. These canons may be amended only by a two-thirds majority vote of the members of the Holy Synod.

B.               The By-Laws of the Roum Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch

(Promulgated by the Patriarchate - January 1983)

 

Introduction

 

1.        The application and execution of the Constitution of the Roum Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East, adopted by the Holy Synod of Antioch at its regular session convened at the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Saidnaya on June 20-23, 1972, shall be determined by the following By-Laws.

 

2.        The Antiochian Church, known officially as “The Roum Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East,” consists of the following Archdioceses and Vicariates which are defined ecclesiastically, historically, and geographically:

 

A.       The Archdioceses

1.        Antioch, Damascus and Dependencies: headquartered in Damascus, Syria.

2.        Latakiya (Laodicia) and Dependencies: headquartered in Latakiya, Syria.

3.        The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America: headquartered in Englewood, New Jersey, U.S.A.

4.        Basra, (Bousra) Houran and Jabal al-Arab: headquartered in Al-Suwaida, Syria.

5.        Baghdad, Kuwait and Dependencies: headquartered in Baghdad, Iraq.

6.        Buenos Aires and all Argentina: headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

7.        Beirut and Dependencies: headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon.

8.        Jubail, (Byblos) Al-Batroun (Botryos) and Dependencies: headquartered in al-Hadath - Brummana, Lebanon.

9.        Aleppo, (Berrhoea, Alexandretta), Iskandaroun and Dependencies: headquartered in Aleppo, Syria.

10.     Hama (Epiphenia) and Dependencies: headquartered in Hama, Syria.

11.     Homs (Emessa) and Dependencies: headquartered in Homs, Syria.

12.     Zahleh, Baalbek (Helioupolis) and Dependencies: headquartered in Zahleh, Lebanon.

13.     Tyre, Sidon and Dependencies: headquartered in Marjayoun, Lebanon.

14.     Tripoli, Al-Kourah and Dependencies: headquartered in Tripoli, Lebanon.

15.     Akkar (Arcadia) and Dependencies: headquartered in al-Sheikh Tabba -Akkar, Lebanon.

16.     Sao Paulo and Dependencies: headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

 

B.       The Vicariates

1.        Australia: headquartered in Sydney, Australia.

2.        Western Europe: headquartered in Paris, France.

3.        Central America: headquartered in Mexico City, Mexico.

4.        Rio de Janeiro: headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

5.        Chile: headquartered in Santiago, Chile.

 

3.        The city of Antioch is the ancient Apostolic See; the city of Damascus, Syria, is the present headquarters of the Patriarch.

 

4.        Both the Clergy and the Laity participate in the life of the Church, each according to his gift.

 

5.        In these By-Laws, the term “Clergy” refers to the Patriarch, the Metropolitan, the Bishop, the Priest and the Deacon; the term “Laity” refers to all other members of the Church.

 

Chapter One

The Holy Synod

 

6.        The Holy Synod is the ultimate authority in all matters of faith, the legislative body, and the highest judicial authority in the Church. All Clergy, Monastics and Laity are bound by its

decisions.

 

7.        The Holy Synod consists of the Patriarch as president and the Metropolitans of the Archdioceses as members.

 

8.        The Holy Synod exercises the following privileges:

A        Protection of the Orthodox faith, its unity and the laws of the Church.

B        Strengthening of fraternal ties with the rest of the Orthodox Churches.

C        Investigating innovations, heresies and violations; dealing with such matters and disciplining the offenders.

D        Establishing new Archdioceses and Vicariates and altering their geographical boundaries either through merger or division.

E        Nominating and electing the Patriarch, the Metropolitans and the Bishops according to the provisions of these By-Laws.

F        Compiling and approving an annual list of clergyman who are eligible for the episcopate.

G        Appointing the Synodical Committees, giving them direction, appointing their chairman, and reviewing their reports.

H        Supervising the Saint John of Damascus Theological Academy and the Pastoral School.

I          Studying the state of the Archdiocese and Vicariates, their financial status, development, and their pastoral, educational and liturgical life, and giving the necessary counsel when necessary.

J         Nullifying any contracts which were made contrary to the provisions outlined in Articles 21 and 27 of the Constitution of the Patriarchate, and disciplining the offenders.

K        Accepting the resignation of the Patriarch, Metropolitan and Bishop, and defining the ramifications of their permanent disability.

 

9.        The Holy Synod convenes twice each year at the Patriarchal Headquarters, or at any other site designated by the Patriarch; the first meeting is held during the first half of October and the second is held during the Pentecost season. Special meetings of the Synod may be called at any time deemed necessary either by the Patriarch or upon the written request of three (3) members of the Synod.

 

10.     The Patriarch shall issue a written call to meeting at least two months prior to the date set for the opening session. This call to meeting shall include the agenda and all documents pertinent to discussion at the meeting.

 

11.     The agenda for a regular session of the Holy Synod shall consist of all old business, unimplemented decisions, and any new business which the Patriarch and the Metropolitans have presented for inclusion on the agenda. Business transacted at special sessions of the Holy Synod is limited to the subject(s) for which the special session is called.

 

12.     The Holy Synod meets upon the invitation of the Patriarch and under his presidency, except in instances when the Synod is convened as a court to judge the Patriarch. In the latter instance, the Synod is convened at the invitation of the senior (in ordination) member of the Synod and under his chairmanship.

 

13.     Sessions of the Holy Synod are legal when a majority of its members are present, unless otherwise stipulated in these By-Laws.

 

14.     Voting at the sessions of the Holy Synod is strictly limited to the members of the Holy Synod.

 

15.     Voting takes places in an open matter, unless a secret ballot is desired by the majority of members present.

 

16.     The Holy Synod makes decisions by a majority of the members present.

 

17.     The Patriarch is a voting member of the Holy Synod. In the event of a tie, his will be the deciding vote.

 

18.     The Holy Synod appoints one of the Patriarchal clergy Recording Secretary; he may be the Patriarchal Vicar.

 

19.     The Secretary of the Holy Synod must record all of the minutes in the official Book of Records of the Synod, and distribute of these minutes to each member.

 

20.     The Patriarch and all members of the Holy Synod must sign the minutes of each session.

 

21.     Following each meeting of the Holy Synod, the Secretary must prepare and distribute a press release pertaining to the decisions made.

 

22.     The Holy Synod appoints the following committees:

 

A        The Committee for the Saint John of Damascus Academy which:

i.         Supervises the Academy, the Pastoral School and the study of theology by correspondence.

ii.        Provides books, educational and religious publications for children, young people and adults.

iii. Arranges clergy symposia and meetings.

 

B        The Committee for Ecumenical Affairs which:

i.         Studies all matters proposed by the Sister Churches, other Christian bodies and religious groups.

ii.        Attends the conferences and meetings related to the business of this Committee.

 

C        The Committee for Public Relations which publicizes the news of the Church through the media.

 

D        The Liturgical Committee which publishes and corrects liturgical books and studies and corrects abuses in the ecclesiastical arts (architecture, iconography, music).

 

E        The Pastoral Committee which secures and maintains information about the celibate clergy, and prepares an annual list of eligible candidates for the episcopate. This list is submitted to the Holy Synod for approval.

 

The Holy Synod has the privilege of increasing or decreasing the number of Committees dependent upon the present need.

 

23.     Each Synodical Committee serves for a period of three (3) years from the date of its appointment. At the expiration of the three year term, new committee members are appointed.

 

Chapter Two

The Patriarch

 

24.     The Patriarch is President of the Holy Synod, the executor of its decisions, the symbol of the unity of the Church of Antioch, the liaison between her and the universal Church, and her representative to other churches, religious bodies and States.

 

25.     The Patriarch has the right to oversee the Church properties and endowments in Antioch, Damascus and the Patriarchal Monasteries, and he has the right of immediate supervision over them all.

 

26.     The Patriarch enjoys all the ecclesiastical rights and privileges of his office.

 

27.     The Patriarch exercises the following privileges:

A        He corresponds with the various Churches, the Metropolitan of the See of Antioch and the Vicariates.

B        He signs all agreements, documents and letters in the name of the See, but only after they have been submitted by the parties concerned.

C        He issues the Praxis upon the election of the Metropolitan and Bishop, and endorses their signatures.

D        He wards medals in the name of the See of Antioch upon the recommendation of the Metropolitan of an Archdiocese of the Bishop of a Vicariate.

E        He issues the call for the regular and special meetings of the Holy Synod, presides at these meetings, and may invite to these sessions members of the Clergy or Laity whose knowledge and expertise will benefit the Holy Synod.

F        He mediates all disputes within the Patriarchate.

G        He calls the Bishops and Vicars for a regular biennial meeting, and presides at said meeting.

H        He calls for a General Convention of the entire Patriarchate, and presides at said Convention.

I          He convenes and chairs the Council of Development and Economics of the Patriarchate.

J         He appoints members of Antiochian delegations after consultation with the concerned Synodical Committee(s).

K        In the Archdiocese of Damascus, he enjoys all the privileges as the Metropolitan of Damascus.

L         He appoints the superiors of the Patriarchal Monasteries.

M        He appoints one of the Metropolitans of the Antiochian See to be his Vicar (Locum Tenens) in a vacant Archdiocese.

N        He appoints all of the Patriarchal Vicars and is their ultimate authority.

O        He nominates three (3) of the eligible clergy, and the Holy Synod elects one of them, to be Patriarchal Vicar.

 

28.     The Patriarch safeguards the canons of the Local and Ecumenical Councils, and the canons and laws of the See of Antioch.

 

29.     The Patriarch does not have the right to lend, borrow, mortgage, or sell any of the properties and endowments of the See of Antioch, except by an edict issued by agreement of the Holy Synod.

30.     The Patriarch appoints all of the chairmen and the advisors of the Spiritual Court of Appeal in Syria and Lebanon and determines the place of its meeting.

 

31.     In the event of his permanent disability, the Patriarch is placed in one of the Patriarchal Monasteries or in a hospital, and the Patriarchate is bound to provide for his proper care.

 

Chapter Three

Election of the Patriarch

 

32.     A candidate for the Patriarchal Throne must be a member of the Holy Synod and must have served in this capacity for at least five (5) years.

 

33.     The Patriarchal Throne is considered vacant in the event of death, resignation, deposition, or permanent disability.

 

34.     Upon the death of the Patriarch, the Patriarchal Vicar must lock the Patriarch’s private quarters and offices and seal them with red wax in the presence of the Director of the Patriarchal Offices and whomever from the community may be in attendance. A report concerning this sealing must be signed by all those in attendance. The Patriarchal Vicar will then announce the death of the Patriarch to the Metropolitans by telegram.

 

35.     Within twenty-four (24) hours of the announcement of the death, the Metropolitans convene under the chairmanship of the senior (in ordination) member of the Holy Synod for the purpose of electing from among their number a Patriarchal Locum Tenens.

 

36.     Upon assuming this position, the Patriarchal Locum Tenens shall formally announce to the Church and State the death of the Patriarch, the time appointed for the funeral, and inform them of this own election as Patriarchal Locum Tenens.

 

37..    The deceased Patriarch is to lay in state in the Patriarchal Cathedral awaiting the funeral service, after which he is interred in the Patriarchal Tomb.

 

38.     The authority of the Patriarchal Locum Tenens is limited to presiding at the election of the new Patriarch. He must confine his duties to the Patriarchal Offices and has no particular authority to change or alter any of the situations, personnel, Properties, endowments or other Patriarchal possessions or belongings.

 

39.     Following the funeral, and within ten (10) days of the date when the Patriarchal Throne became vacant, the Holy Synod will meet for the nomination and election of the new Patriarch under the chairmanship of the Patriarchal Locum Tenens. Two-thirds (2/3) of the membership of the Holy Synod will constitute a quorum. If, upon the first call to meeting, this quorum is not met, the Patriarchal Locum Tenens shall send telegrams to the absent Metropolitans requesting their presence. If after twenty-four (24) hours the two—thirds membership is still not present, the Holy Synod shall leegally (sic) convene with those members present constituting the quorum. Each member present shall name on a ballot three (3) candidates, whose eligibility is defined in Article 23 of these By-Laws. Results are tabulated and the three (3) Metropolitans with the majority of votes are recognized as the nominees for the office of Patriarch.

 

40.     If this vote results in a tie between two (2) persons, one of them shall be chosen by lot.

 

41.     The following rules are to be observed in the selecting of candidates:

A        If a ballot contains more than three (3) names, the first three (3) names listed on the ballot will be accepted for tally.

B        If a ballot contains only one (1) or two (2) names, it will be accepted for tally.

C        If one (1) name appears more than once on a single ballot, it shall only be counted as one (1) vote.

D        All illegible ballots will be invalidated.

E        Any ballot containing names other than those of the eligible candidates will be invalidated.

 

42.     The election of the Patriarch shall take place in the Patriarchal Cathedral in the following manner. If on the first ballot a nominee receives two—thirrds (2/3) of the votes, he is accepted as the new Patriarch. If, however, on the first ballot no nominee receives two-thirds (2/3) of the votes, the balloting is repeated. On this second ballot, the nominee receiving the majority of votes is accepted as the new Patriarch, and the results are recorded in the official Book of Records.

 

43. The rules enumerated in Article 41 of these By—Laws (concerning ballots of nomination) also apply to the ballots of election.

 

44.     Upon the announcement of the election of the new Patriarch, a thanksgiving service is celebrated presided over by the newly elected. All present greet the new Patriarch and the results of the election are announced through the media.

 

45.     The enthronement of the Patriarch takes place at a time designated by him, and he announces it to the Churches and civil authorities.

 

46.     The Patriarch presides at the Divine Liturgy on the day of his enthroning and is assisted by delegates from the other Orthodox Churches. He receives his pastoral staff from the senior (in ordination) Antiochian Metropolitan, and delivers an address in which he pledges to safeguard the dogmas and laws of the Church and outlines his plans for the See of Antioch.

 

47.     The Patriarch commences his duties by blessing the faithful and by sending a Letter of Peace to the heads of all Orthodox Churches.

 

Chapter Four

The Metropolitan of the Archdiocese

 

48.     The Metropolitan is the shepherd of his Archdiocese, the symbol of its unity, its liaison with the ecclesiastical community, and its official representative to the State. He has the right of immediate supervision of all endowments, monasteries, churches, institutions, shrines (chapels), and is the chairman of all the councils, organizations, institutions and religious bodies, and he supervises all this according to the accepted rules and by-laws.

 

49.     He chairs the Elementary Spiritual Court of the Archdiocese, following and applying the “Personal Status Code.”

 

50.     He maintains baptismal, betrothal and marriage records, and the contracts for endowments, properties, holy utensils, manuscripts and icons in the Archdiocese and submits copies of them to the Secretary of the Holy Synod. He must safeguard all the furnishings of the Archdiocese and the Possessions of the churches and monasteries.

 

51.     He cares for the clergy of his Archdiocese, securing for them a good standard of living, and meets with them regularly to supervise their pastoral activities. He must maintain a file on each clergyman, containing his name, birth-date, dates of ordination, education and behavioral background. If the clergyman is celibate, a record of his possessions which he has received through inheritance, bequest or gift, is included and a copy of that is submitted to the Secretary of the Holy Synod.

 

52.     He may not accept into his Archdiocese any clergyman who does not possess a canonical release.

 

53.     The Metropolitan is to encourage preaching and teaching throughout his Archdiocese and is to visit the members of his flock as often as possible and maintain a statistical count of them.

 

54.     He exercises his membership in the Holy Synod by attending its meetings, implementing its decisions and following its By-Laws.

 

55.     He, together with the Board of Trustees of his Archdiocese, prepares an annual financial report.

 

56.     It is forbidden for the Metropolitan to be a member of a political party or secret organization.

 

57.     He is not permitted to lend, borrow, exchange, mortgage, accept in mortgage, or sell any of the endowments of his Archdiocese except by an edict proposed by the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees and confirmed by the written permission of the Patriarch. Any action to the contrary is considered null and void.

 

58.     He safeguards the canons of the Local and Ecumenical Councils and the canons and laws of the See of Antioch.

 

59.     In the event of temporary disability, the Metropolitan shall request of the Patriarch the appointment of a temporary Vicar to administer his Archdiocese. In the event of terminal or permanent disability, the Metropolitan is placed in one of the Patriarchal Monasteries and his Archdiocese is bound to provide for his proper care.

 

Chapter Five

Election of the Metropolitan

 

60.     A candidate for the office of Metropolitan must meet the following qualifications.

A        Be a member of the See of Antioch.

B        Be well-versed in the Arabic language and the language of the Archdiocese for which he is to be nominated.

C        Be no less than thirty-three (33) years of age, and not more than sixty-five (65) years of age.

D        Possess a theological degree from the Saint John of Damascus Theological School, or from any other Orthodox academy.

E        Be a clergyman within the Patriarchate of Antioch for at least five (5) years, having a good reputation and service record.

F        Be on the Synodical List of eligible candidates for the office of the episcopate. He has to declare in writing all of his possessions acquired before his ordination and that acquired after his ordination by inheritance, bequest or gift.

 

61. The Archdiocesan Throne is considered vacant in the event of death, resignation, deposition, or permanent disability.

 

62.     In the event of death, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese is to send a telegram to the Patriarch, and immediately call for a meeting of the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees at which time an official inventory is made of all the contents of the Archdiocesan Headquarters, and the departed Metropolitan’s private quarters are locked and sealed with red wax.

 

63.     The body of the Metropolitan is to lay in state at his Cathedral.

 

64.     Upon receiving the news of the death of the Metropolitan, the Patriarch shall appoint one of the Metropolitans as Patriarchal Vicar and announce the death of the departed Metropolitan to the other Metropolitans and Bishops.

 

65.     The funeral arrangements are to be made by the Patriarchal Vicar and the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees.

 

66.     The Patriarchal Vicar assumes the responsibilities outlined in Article 38 of these By-Laws.

 

67.    

A        The Patriarchal Vicar issues a call for an Archdiocesan Convention within forty (40) days of the vacancy of the Archdiocesan Throne. The Convention is charged with the responsibility of selecting six (6) candidates whose names are on the Synodical List of eligible clergy. The Patriarchal Vicar immediately informs the Patriarch of        the results of this Convention.

          

B        The Holy Synod assumes the responsibility of selecting, nominating, and electing only if there is not an Archdiocesan Convention, or if it is deemed impossible for any such meeting to be convened, or if the safety of the Archdiocese necessitates such action.

 

68.     Upon receiving the results of the selection, the Patriarch calls the Holy Synod for an election meeting according to Articles 39, 40, 41, 42, and 43 of these By-Laws. At the end of the meeting, the Patriarch is informed of the results by the senior (in ordination) Metropolitan.

 

69.     The Patriarch notifies the Metropolitan-elect and confirms his acceptance. If there is an acceptance, the Patriarch calls him to discuss with him the arrangements for the consecration. If, however, there is no acceptance, the Holy Synod returns to its session to choose another Metropolitan-elect.

 

70.     After his consecration, the new Metropolitan receives from the Patriarch the traditional Praxis and the Patriarch officially informs the civil authorities of the matter.

 

71.     The Patriarch appoints two (2) Metropolitans to accompany the new Metropolitan to his Archdiocese.

 

72.     On the first Sunday following his arrival in his Archdiocese, the new Metropolitan presides at the Divine Liturgy, delivers an address, blesses the people and pledges to safeguard the canons and laws of the Church and his obedience to the Holy Synod of Antioch.

 

73.     The new Metropolitan commences fraternal communications with the Antiochian Metropolitans.

 

74.     The Metropolitan resides in his Archdiocese. If it becomes necessary for him to absent himself from his Archdiocese for a period of more than two (2) weeks, he must inform the Patriarch. In the event that he desires to travel abroad, he must seek the Patriarch’s approval and ask a neighboring Metropolitan to administer the affairs of the Archdiocese in his absence.

 

Chapter Six

The Bishop

 

75..    The Patriarch is the sole reference for all Bishops, and they are at his disposal.

 

76..    All candidates for the office of Bishop must meet the eligibility requirement outlined in Article 6 of these By-Laws.

 

77.     The Holy Synod elects the Bishop from among three (3) candidates whose names are submitted by the Patriarch. The election is conducted according to Articles 60, 68, 69, and 70 of these By-Laws.

 

78.     The Bishop may be appointed to the directorship of the Patriarchal Offices, to the abbacy of a Patriarchal Monastery, to a Vicariate, or to any of the Church’s other institutions; however, the position of Patriarchal Vicar is an elected (not appointed) position.

 

79.     The Patriarchal Vicar participates in the nomination and election of the Patriarch, the Metropolitan, and the Bishop.

 

80.     The Bishop shepherds the Vicariate under the direction of the Patriarch.

 

81.     The Bishop is subject to those By-Laws concerning the resignation, deposition, and permanent disability of a Metropolitan.

 

Chapter Seven

The Priest and the Deacon

 

82.     The Priest is the servant of the mysteries, the father of his parish, and a co-worker with the Metropolitan in meeting the needs of his flock and teaching his people.

 

83.     In this chapter the word “Priest” refers to all ranks of the Clergy.

 

84.     The Priest is subject to the Patriarch, the Metropolitan, or the Bishop in whose jurisdiction he serves.

 

85.     A candidate for the priesthood must meet the following requirements:

A        Be at least twenty-five (25) years of age and has a good reputation.

B        Possesses a brevet degree.

C        Possesses a certificate from an ecclesiastical/theological school.

 

86.     The responsibilities of the Priest include:

A        The celebration of traditional services, the Divine Liturgy on Sundays and feast days, and all other divine services in his parish church.

B        Teaching the parish by word and power, leading her to the springs of salvation.

C        Caring for the orphan, the poor, the widowed and the elderly; visiting the sick, the prisoner and the grieved.

D        Caring for children and youth, organizing their gatherings, providing for their spiritual upbringing, and supervising their retreats.

 

87.     The Priest must not celebrate any services in an Archdiocese without the blessing of its Metropolitan, nor in any church without the permission of its Priest.

 

88.     The Priest submits to the Metropolitan of his Archdiocese regular reports concerning his pastoral, educational and administrative work, and presents to him and annual budget prepared by himself and his parish council.

 

89.. The Priest must respond to the requests of his Metropolitan concerning Church meetings and symposia, and carries out in his parish the disciplines of the See of Antioch and the instructions given him.

 

90. The Priest must obtain permission from his Superior for absenting himself from his parish. In the event of travel abroad, he must obtain the permission of his superior and that of the Patriarch.

 

91.     The Priest must enlist the assistance of knowledgeable and experienced persons, regardless of their sex.

 

92. In the event of permanent disability, the parish is responsible to care for the Priest.

 

93 The parish ceases compensation to the, Priest upon his death, and his residence must be vacted (sic) if it is not his personal property. Upon the death of a Priest all of the religious articles, vestments and books must be returned to the parish.

 

94.     A Priest under discipline may not leave his Position until sentence is passed and a canonical release is issued.

 

95.     The Deacon assists the Metropolitan and the Priest in the divine services and in the fulfillment of their pastoral, educational and social responsibilities.

 

96.     The Deacon is subject to all the aforementioned articles of this chapter.

 

Chapter Eight

The Monastic

 

97.     The word “Monastic” refers to one who wears the habit, has taken the vow of obedience and pledged to fulfill the vows of obedience, purity and poverty in a monastic community being obedient to the superior of the monastery.

 

98. A person who desires to enter the monastic life must receive the blessing of his Metropolitan..

 

99.     The Monastic is not permitted to own anything. If he does, at the time that these By-Laws are enacted he must transfer possession of his property to his monastery or whomever he wishes.

 

100.   It is forbidden for either Monastics, or clergy who reside at monasteries, to keep for themselves what may be given to them by visitors. All such gifts must be given to the monastery’s treasury.

 

101.   The Monastic has no claim in a monastery. Whether he is a member of that monastic community or is assigned to it by his Metropolitan, he receives no wages for any work he does inside or outside of the monastery. In the event that he does receive a wage, he must give it to the monastery’s treasury.

 

102.   The monastic community elects its own superior, but the election is not final until it is confirmed by the Metropolitan. If the Metropolitan does not confirm the election, a new election is held. Under certain circumstances the Metropolitan has the right to personally appoint the superior.

 

103.   The monastic community is subject to the Metropolitan. Those who dwell therein must cling to a life of prayer, fasting, hard work, and behave in accordance with ascetical principles. They constantly reside at the monastery, going out only when it is necessary and then only with the blessing of the Superior.

 

104.   Every monastery follows a Rule which has been approved by the Metropolitan of the Archdiocese.

 

105..  Quietness pervades the monastery, where boisterous behavior is prohibited. During popular seasons of pilgrimage, visitors must be spiritually directed so that their behavior is decent and proper.

 

106.   All monasteries without resident communities are under the direct supervision of the shepherd (Metropolitan) of the Archdiocese.

 

107.   Any Patriarchal Monastery outside the geographical boundaries of the Archdiocese of Damascus is considered an Antiochian Metochion; the Clergy who reside therein are under the jurisdiction of the local Metropolitan.

 

108.   If the revenue of a monastery is in excess of the amount determined to be necessary for the survival of the monastics residing therein, the excess amount must be turned over to the treasury of the Archdiocese. The amount of revenue which a monastery may keep for its own needs is limited by a budget which is agreed upon by the superior of the monastery and the shepherd (Metropolitan) of the Archdiocese.

 

Chapter Nine

The Property and Estates of the Clergy

 

109.   The provisions of this chapter apply to the Patriarch, the Metropolitan, the Bishop, the Archimandrite, the Priest, the Deacon, and the Monastics (monks and nuns), without regard for their title or position.

 

110.   The word “Property” includes all elements of wealth, both movable and immovable.

 

111.   All property which a Clergyman acquired prior to his ordination through inheritance, gift, bequest, or by other means, remains his personal possession and upon his death it is transferred to the possession of his legal heir(s).

 

112.   All property which a Clergyman acquired after his ordination due to his being in the Church is transferred to the possession of the Church upon his death.

 

113.   If a Clergyman fails to declare to his superior at the time of his ordination the property which he possesses through inheritance, gift, bequest or by other means, it is transferred to the possession of the Church upon his death, unless circumstances can be proven otherwise.

 

114.   Upon the death of a Clergyman, all religious articles, crosses, engolpia, miters, and every other article used in the divine services, including books and documents, are transferred to the possession of the Church.

 

 

 

C.The Constitution of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

 

As approved by the Synodal meeting of the Holy Synod of Antioch, convened at the Patriarchate in Damascus

October / 12- 15/ 2004

 

ARTICLE I

 

Section 1. The Name

 

The name of this self-ruled religious corporation shall be “Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.”

 

Section 2. Authority

 

A.       Legal

 

This organization derives its legal authority to function as a religious corporation by virtue of a charter issued pursuant to the provisions of Article 2, Section 15, of the “Religious Corporation Laws” of the State of New York.

 

B.       Ecclesiastical

 

This Archdiocese derives its ecclesiastical authority to function according to this constitution as a self-ruling Archdiocese from the Holy Synod of the Apostolic Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East (“Holy Synod”), and shall constitute one unified ecclesiastical Antiochian entity.

Its Primate is a member of said Holy Synod and is the duly elected Metropolitan Archbishop (“Primate”, “Metropolitan” or “Archbishop”), serving under a canonical Praxis issued by His Beatitude, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East (“Patriarch”).

 

Section 3. Headquarters

 

The headquarters of this Archdiocese shall be located in the Greater Metropolitan New York City area, including northern New Jersey.

 

Section 4. Qualifications for Metropolitan Archbishop and Diocesan Bishop

 

Candidates for the office of Metropolitan Archbishop of this Archdiocese and/or candidates for the office of Diocesan Bishop must be celibates and meet the following qualifications:

 

A.       Metropolitan Archbishop

 

(1) He must be one of the canonical clergy who is qualified in all respects, including the possession of an earned degree in Orthodox theology and be a man of piety and good character.

 

(2) He must be fluent in the English language and have a good working knowledge of the Arabic language.

 

(3) He must be at least thirty-three (33) years of age.

 

(4) He must be physically and mentally sound.

 

(5) He must have practiced the priesthood in the Antiochian See for five years, according to the canons of the Patriarchate, and served, at some time, as a clergyman in the Archdiocese.

 

B.       Diocesan Bishop

 

 (1) He must be one of the canonical clergy who is qualified in all respects, including the possession of an earned degree in Orthodox theology and be a man of  piety and good character.

 

 (2) He must be fluent in the English language and have a knowledge of the Arabic language.

 

 (3)He must be at least thirty-three (33) years of age.

 

 (4) He must be physically and mentally sound.

 

 (5) He must have practiced the priesthood in the Antiochian see for five years, according to the canons of the Patriarchate, and served, at some time, as a clergyman in the Archdiocese..

 

Section 5. Nomination and Election Procedures Upon Vacancy of Metropolitan See

 

A. Immediately upon the vacancy of the Metropolitan See, either by death, disability or retirement, the Archdiocesan Synod and the Archdiocese Board of Trustees shall inform officially in writing the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East and appropriate civil and ecclesiastical authorities. Upon any such happening, the Senior Bishop present, together with the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees and/or the Treasurer and/or the Chancellor shall seal important rooms at the Archdiocese headquarters, and make a record of same, signed by all present. (Thereafter, all properties or investments registered in the name of the Metropolitan Archbishop shall become the property of the Archdiocese.) The Senior Diocesan Bishop and the Archdiocesan  Synod will, with the members of the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees, assume responsibility for the administration of the Metropolitan See.

 

B. Immediately upon the arrival of the Patriarchal Vicar, the duty of Senior Diocesan Bishop shall cease. The Patriarchal Vicar shall assume the duties described in Sections A, C, D, of this Article.   

 

C. Within a period of sixty (60) days after the vacancy of the Metropolitan See, the Senior Diocesan Bishop and the Archdiocesan Synod together with the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, shall call a Special Convention, which must be held on or before the expiration of thirty (30) days of the date of call, for the nomination of the candidates for the position of Metropolitan Archbishop who will be elected thereafter by secret ballot.

 

D. (1) The Senior Diocesan Bishop, and the Local Holy Synod in agreement with the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, shall prepare a list of qualified names for episcopacy kept in the records of the Patriarchate and the Holy Synod, comprising the names of nominees who meet the requirements described in Section 4, of this Article.

 

(2) The delegates attending such Convention shall select, by secret ballot, three candidates from such list. Each delegate shall be entitled to one vote.  The three clergymen with the highest number of votes of the general assembly shall thereupon be designated as candidates.

 

(3) Immediately, thereafter, the names of the candidates for the office of Metropolitan Archbishop, shall be submitted to the Archdiocesan Synod which will certify the nomination and submit the names of the candidates to the Holy Synod, who will, within forty days of submittal, elect one of the nominees to be the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archdiocese.

 

Section 6. Nomination and Election of Diocesan Bishops

 

A Diocesan Bishop shall be nominated and elected in the following manner:

A. The Metropolitan Archbishop, in agreement with the Archdiocesan Synod and the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, shall prepare a list containing the names of the worthy clergymen from this Archdiocese who are qualified for nomination as described in Section 4B of this Article. A copy of the list of qualified names for episcopacy kept in the records of the Patriarchate and the Holy Synod, comprising the names of nominees who meet the requirements described in Section 4 of this Article shall also be included.

 

B. A General Convention, or a Special Convention called for that purpose by the Metropolitan Archbishop, shall, from a list provided for in accordance with Section 6A above, nominate, by secret ballot, three (3) candidates for the office of  Diocesan bishop.  Each delegate shall be entitled to one vote times the number of offices to be filled and each of such votes must be for a different candidate.  The entire list of candidates shall be submitted to the Archdiocesan Synod with the candidate’s respective number of votes received. When Diocesan Assemblies shall be constituted the nominations shall then be made, by the said assemblies.

 

C. The body electing bishops consists of the Metropolitan, Archbishop, the Bishops of the Archdiocese, and the Auxiliary bishop.

 

D. Where one Diocesan bishop is to be elected, the Archdiocesan Synod and the electing body shall elect, by a majority vote, from the three candidates receiving the highest number of votes of the Convention.  With respect to the election of additional Diocesan bishops at the same time, the Archdiocesan Synod, and the electing body, may elect, by a majority vote, from the entire list of nominees. Such election(s) shall occur within 40 days thereafter.. The Metropolitan Archbishop of this Archdiocese shall set the time and place for the electoral assembly and shall preside over it.

 

Section 7. Consecration of Metropolitan and/or Diocesan Bishop

 

The consecration of the Metropolitan Archbishop shall take place at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Damascus by the laying of hands of the Patriarch, and the members of the Holy Synod. The enthronement (installation) of the Metropolitan Archbishop shall take place in the Cathedral of the Archdiocese.

 

A. The consecration of the Diocesan Bishop shall take place at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Damascus by the laying of hands of the Patriarch, and the members of the Holy Synod. The enthronement (installation) of the Diocesan Bishop shall take place in the Cathedral of his diocese.

 

ARTICLE II - MEMBERSHIP AND JURISDICTION

 

Section 1.      

 

This Archdiocese consists of all dioceses,  churches, missions, parishes,  monasteries, departments, agencies,  orders, societies and committees in North America (“units”) heretofore or hereafter established by the Archdiocese of North America.

 

Section 2.

 

Being one of the Archdioceses of the Antiochian See, this Archdiocese shall remain a unified Antiochian body, and may not be divided except for implementing Orthodox unity in North America by a resolution of the Holy Synod of Antioch and the respective Orthodox Churches.

 

Section 3.

 

Upon the dissolution or separation from the Archdiocese of any unit, the assets and property shall revert to the Archdiocese.  No real property of any unit may be sold or mortgaged without the express written approval of the Metropolitan Archbishop and no assets in excess of $100,000 (one hundred thousand dollars) of any unit may be sold or mortgaged without the express written approval of the Metropolitan Archbishop.

 

Section 4.    

 

Any provision of any unit constitution that is in any way inconsistent with, or in conflict with any provision of this Constitution shall cause said provision of the unit constitution to be deemed void and of no effect.

 

ARTICLE III - PURPOSES

 

Section 1.

 

To minister to the Orthodox Antiochian people in North America, work towards maintaining spiritual unity, coordinate religious work or activity, and promote collaboration and closer relations with the governing and advisory bodies of other Orthodox Christian Jurisdictions in the territory hereinbefore mentioned, with the intent of propagating, practicing and forever perpetuating religious worship, services, ministrations, sacraments, and teachings in full accord and unity with the doctrine, rules, ritual, canon law, faith, practice, discipline, traditions and usages of the Orthodox Christian  Church.

 

Section 2.    

 

In fulfilling the purpose set forth in Section 1, of this Article, to exercise governing and advisory authority over all the component divisions of this Archdiocese hereinbefore mentioned.

 

ARTICLE IV - GOVERNMENT

 

Section 1.    

 

The Holy Scripture, Sacred Tradition, Holy Canons, the Constitution of the Church of Antioch, the Constitution and rules of the Archdiocese, as approved by the Holy Synod of Antioch, shall be the governing code for this Archdiocese.

 

Section 2.    

 

The Archdiocesan Synod, comprised of the Metropolitan Archbishop and the Diocesan Bishops shall be the governing ecclesiastical authority of the Archdiocese. The Metropolitan Archbishop shall preside over the Archdiocesan Synod.  The Archdiocesan Synod shall determine the number of dioceses, their boundaries, and the respective diocese(s) and/or area of responsibility of each bishop.  The Archdiocesan Synod shall also determine all matters of hierarchical discipline of bishops of the Archdiocese.

 

Section 3.

 

The decisions of the local Synod are appealable to Holy Synod of Antioch which will be the final judge in the matter.

 

Section 4.    

 

All administrative authority is vested in the Metropolitan Archbishop and the Archdiocese Board of Trustees as hereinafter provided.

 

Section 5.

 

All legislative authority is vested in the general convention of the Archdiocese as approved by the Metropolitan Archbishop and by the Archdiocesan Synod.

 

Section 6.

 

The decisions of the Holy Synod of Antioch shall be binding on the Archdiocese on matters of doctrine, liturgy, sacraments, relations with autocephalous Orthodox Churches and ecumenical policy with regard to other Christian and non-Christian bodies.

 

ARTICLE V - MEETINGS

 

Section 1. The General Convention shall be held biennially within the last twelve days in July at a location set by the General Convention at its meeting four years preceding its determination. In the event of an emergency or circumstances which in the discretion of the Metropolitan Archbishop and the Board of Trustees justify the postponement or a change in the time, place or bidding for a future convention, such postponement and/or change in the time, place or bid therefore shall be valid.

 

Section 2. Special Convention

 

A. The Metropolitan Archbishop may call a Special Convention at any time he deems it necessary and advisable.

 

B. Upon a petition by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of parishes of the Archdiocese in good standing to the Metropolitan Archbishop and the Board of Trustees for a special convention, the Metropolitan Archbishop and the Board of Trustees shall call a special convention.

 

C. The time and place of such convention shall be fixed by those responsible for calling such convention.

 

Section 3. Notices for Convention

A. Notices for regular conventions shall be sent to all parishes and missions of the Archdiocese and to all those who are entitled to be represented at the convention no less than sixty (60) days prior to the date of the convention.

 

B. All notices for special convention shall state the purpose for which the convention is being called and shall be sent by mail that will positively certify receipt by signature no less than thirty (30) days in advance of the date of such convention to all parishes and missions of the Archdiocese and to all those who are entitled to be represented at a convention.

 

Section 4. Delegates

 

A. All Diocesan Bishops pastors, full-time assistant pastors, retired pastors, and all full-time clergy directly employed by the Archdiocese shall be delegates to any convention and shall each  be entitled to one (1) vote in person or by written proxy.

 

B.       Each one hundred (100) persons or any fraction of one hundred (100) which exceeds fifty (50) persons in every parish or mission, in good standing in the Archdiocese, shall be represented by one lay delegate at a convention. Each delegate may vote on behalf of one hundred (100) persons in his parish or community or on behalf of any fraction of one hundred (100) exceeding fifty (50) in number. A parish or community may send as many delegates or written proxies as it wishes without affecting its right to have cast in its behalf the votes to which it is entitled. These delegates shall be elected in accordance with the provisions of the local parish constitution and by-laws and be faithful Orthodox in good standing under the rules of their parish or community and the Archdiocese.

 

C. (1) All regular members of the Board of Trustees of the Archdiocese shall be delegates at large and shall be entitled to one vote.

 

(2) Each Diocesan Fellowship of St. John the Divine shall be represented by as many delegates as it wishes to send and each Diocesan Fellowship of St. John the Divine shall be entitled to one (1) vote.

 

(3) Each Diocesan SOYO shall be represented by as many delegates as it wishes to send and each Diocesan SOYO shall be entitled to one (1) vote and the NAC president shall be a delegate and shall be entitled to one (1) vote.

 

(4)Each Diocesan AOCWNA (Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America) shall be represented by as many delegates as it wishes to send and each Diocesan AOCWNA shall be entitled to one (1) vote.

 

(5) Each Diocesan Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch shall be represented by as many delegates as it wishes to send and each Diocesan Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch shall be entitled to one (1) vote.

 

D.       A delegate’s proxy shall be recognized if it bears the signature of the pastor and/or chairman of the Parish Council. The proxy of a priest shall be recognized with the approval of the Metropolitan Archbishop or the presiding officer of the Convention or his duly appointed representative. A proxy by telegram will be accepted in an emergency if it is approved by the Metropolitan Archbishop or the presiding officer of the convention or his duly appointed representative.

 

Section 5. Convention Officers

 

A. The Metropolitan Archbishop or his duly appointed representative shall preside over all conventions.

 

B.       The Metropolitan Archbishop or his duly appointed representative shall appoint the following officers of the convention: A lay vice-chairman, a secretary or secretaries, sergeants at arms and one or more parliamentarians.

 

C.       The secretaries shall be responsible for recording the minutes of the convention.

 

D.       In the event of prolonged absence, disability or death of the Metropolitan Archbishop, his duly appointed representative or upon the failure to so appoint, the Senior Diocesan Bishop shall preside at a convention.

 

Section 6. Quorum

 

A majority of the established Churches, missions and organizations which are under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese represented by delegates (either in person or by written proxies), together with a majority of active clergy of the Archdiocese, (either) in person or by written proxies) shall constitute a Quorum for the transaction of business at all conventions.

 

ARTICLE VI - ADMINSTRATION

 

Section 1. Officers

 

A.       Metropolitan Archbishop.

 

The Metropolitan Archbishop is the chief shepherd of, and shall guide the entire unified, self-ruled Archdiocese.  He shall bear the title “Metropolitan of All North America and Archbishop of New York.” The Metropolitan Archbishop shall be a member of the Holy Synod of Antioch, and the presiding officer of the Archdiocesan Synod, the Board of Trustees, Regular and Special General Assemblies, the Department of Finance, and the administration of the Archdiocese.  Upon request of the Metropolitan and nomination by the General Assembly, one Auxiliary Bishop who will assist the Metropolitan with the administration of the Archdiocese shall be elected by the Archdiocesan Synod.  A candidate for Auxiliary Bishop shall satisfy the same requirements as, and be nominated and elected by the same procedure as that of a candidate for Diocesan Bishop.  An Auxiliary Bishop will perform his duties under the jurisdiction and direction of the Metropolitan Archbishop. He is a member of the Archdiocesan Synod, and the Board of Trustees. He is entitled to one vote in the general assembly in person or by written proxy. ).” The auxiliary bishop, after consultation with the Metropolitan, shall attend gatherings or synaxis of the Antiochian Bishops that may be called by the Patriarch of Antioch.

 

B.       Diocesan  Bishop.

 

The Diocesan Bishop exercises his rights and responsibilities in accordance with the Canons of the Holy Orthodox Church, this Constitution, the decisions of the Local Synod of the Archdiocese and in accordance with the duties and responsibilities specified by the Local Synod in “The Manual of Hierarchical Duties and Responsibilities.”  The Diocesan Bishop shall bear the title of “Bishop of (city and area).”  The Diocesan Bishop, after consultation with the Metropolitan, shall attend gatherings or synaxis of the Antiochian Bishops that may be called by the Patriarch of Antioch.

 

C.       Vicar General.

 

The Vicar General, who shall be selected from among the married clergy, shall perform his duties under the jurisdiction and direction of the Metropolitan Archbishop and shall be appointed by him.

 

D.       Protosyngelos (Dean of the Clergy).

 

The Protosyngelos shall perform his duties under the jurisdiction and direction of the Metropolitan Archbishop and shall be appointed by him.

 

E.       Executive Secretary.

 

The Executive Secretary shall keep the Archdiocese records, issue regular statistical reports, and perform the duties of the Secretary of the Archdiocesan Corporation.  The Executive Secretary shall be appointed by the Metropolitan Archbishop.

 

F.       Chancellor or Chancellors.

 

The Archdiocesan Chancellor or Chancellors shall be qualified attorneys-at-law, and shall act as legal advisor(s) to the Archdiocese. They shall be appointed by the Metropolitan Archbishop with the advice of the Board of Trustees.

 

G.       Financial Advisor-Comptroller.

 

The Financial Advisor-Comptroller shall act as advisor in the management of the finances of the Archdiocese and shall perform the duties usually performed by a comptroller. He shall be appointed by the Metropolitan Archbishop with the advice of the Board of Trustees.

 

H.       Treasurer.

 

The Archdiocesan Treasurer shall be a layman and a member of the Board of Trustees. He shall be properly bonded in a suitable sum, and shall fulfill the ordinary duties of the office of Treasurer. He shall be elected by the Board of Trustees of the Archdiocese.

 

I.         Assistant Treasurer.

 

The Archdiocesan Assistant Treasurer shall be a layman and a member of the Board of Trustees. He shall be properly bonded in a suitable sum and shall fulfill the ordinary duties of the office of Assistant Treasurer. He shall be elected by the Board of Trustees.

 

Section 2. Board of Trustees

 

A.       Function. This Board shall accumulate and administer all funds and properties belonging to the Archdiocese and such properties shall include but not be limited to all funds, properties, insurance policies, trusts, foundations and any other properties, including those of the dioceses.

 

The Metropolitan Archbishop will, with the assistance of the Archdiocesan and Board Officers, and the various committees and orders later described in Section 3 of this Article, actually supervise the various activities of the Archdiocese. He shall present to the Board of Trustees an annual budget which will be sufficient to carry out the necessary functions. The Board of Trustees may, however, after consideration and consultation, revise, modify, increase or decrease any appropriation requested in the proposed budget.

 

B.       Membership.

 

The Archdiocese Board of Trustees shall consist of the Metropolitan Archbishop, the Diocesan Bishops, the auxiliary bishop,  the Vicar General, the Protosyngelos (the Dean of the Clergy), the Executive Secretary, the Chancellor or Chancellors, the Financial Advisor-Comptroller, the President of the North American Council of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, the President of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America, the Chairman of the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch and thirty (30) additional members to be selected as follows: ten (10) members shall be appointed by the Metropolitan Archbishop: five (5) members shall be appointed for a term of two years; and five (5) members shall be appointed for a term of four years. The remaining twenty (20) members of the Board shall be elected by the General Conventions: ten (10) members for a term of two years; and ten (10) members for a term of four years. Upon the expiration of the appointed or elected terms as set forth hereinabove, such Board members thereafter shall be appointed or elected for full terms of four years.

 

In the event of a vacancy in the Board of Trustees, the Metropolitan Archbishop shall appoint a person to complete the unexpired term.

 

The Metropolitan Archbishop and the Board of Trustees may appoint honorary members to the Board of Trustees who shall have all rights of membership, except they shall not have the right to vote. Unless otherwise expressly provided, all appointments, or reappointments to honorary membership shall be limited to a term of two years or until the next succeeding biennial convention, whichever shall first occur.

 

This Board shall elect from among its members a vice-chairman, who shall preside at the request of the Metropolitan Archbishop, or in his absence at the request of the Senior Diocesan Bishop, and also a Secretary from among its members who shall keep proper records of the deliberations of the Board.

 

C.       Meetings.

 

The Board of Trustees shall hold regular meetings during Spring and Fall of each year at such time and place as may be determined by the Metropolitan Archbishop with the advice of the Board of Trustees. In addition, the Board of Trustees shall meet biennially during the General Convention of the Archdiocese.

Additional meetings of this Board may be called at any time when the Metropolitan Archbishop deems it advisable, or upon the request of a majority of the members of the Local Synod or the  Board who shall request the Executive Secretary of the Archdiocese to notify the members in writing of the time and place of the meeting.  Any action required or permitted to be taken by the Board of Trustees may be taken without a meeting if all members of the Board consent in writing to the adoption of a resolution authorizing the action.  The resolution and the written consents thereto shall be filed with the minutes of the proceedings of the Board.  The members of the Board of Trustees may participate in a meeting of such Board by means of a conference telephone or similar communications equipment by means of which all persons participating in the meeting can hear each other at the same time.  Participation by such means shall constitute presence in person at the meeting.

 

Twelve (12) voting members of the Board of Trustees at any meeting duly called shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The Chairman shall vote only in the event of a tie.

 

Section 3.. Archdiocesan Committees and Orders

 

The Metropolitan Archbishop shall create and appoint all Committees, Commissions and Orders necessary to accomplish the purposes of the Archdiocese, after consultation with the Board of Trustees as he deems it necessary.

 

Section 4. Finance

 

A.       Authority to Assess.

 

Each parish shall contribute to the Archdiocese a sum of money annually. Pursuant to resolutions duly made, the formula and the amount to be assessed, shall be adopted by the Board of Trustees and a majority vote of the General Assembly at the Archdiocese Convention and approved by the Metropolitan Archbishop.

 

B.       General Fund.

 

The contributions of the parishes as hereinbefore mentioned, together with any other general contributions, shall be deposited in the name of the Archdiocese and shall constitute the General Fund of the Archdiocese.

 

C.       Special Funds.

 

The Board of Trustees may create other funds titled under specific or separate names for the purposes of receiving and accumulating pledges, gifts and inheritances which may be designated for the fulfillment of any specific purpose or purposes contained in the constitution.  Funds, property, pledges, gifts and inheritances received by any diocese of this Archdiocese shall be held and administered by the Archdiocese for the benefit of the diocese.

 

ARTICLE VII

 

Subject to the requirements of Article II, Section 4, the Constitution of the Archdiocese may be revised or amended in either of the following manners:

 

Section 1.    

 

A resolution duly passed by a majority vote of a General or Special Convention shall be submitted to the department of Legal Affairs for the purpose of studying and determining the legality of any change. The Department of Legal Affairs, at a date no later than the Spring Meeting of the Board of Trustees, shall report its recommendations to the Board of Trustees and the Metropolitan Archbishop. The Metropolitan Archbishop thereafter shall include in the notice of the next succeeding convention the recommendations of the Board of Trustees for or against adoption together with the description in substance of the contemplated change.

 

The contemplated amendment shall be put on the agenda of the next succeeding convention and shall be adopted after an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the total vote cast thereon subject to the approval of the Metropolitan Archbishop and the Archdiocesan Synod.

 

Section 2.    

 

A Resolution submitted to the Archdiocesan office on or before April 1st of any year by the Department of Legal Affairs, or any members of the Board of Trustees or any parish of the Archdiocese in good standing during the immediately preceding General Convention of the Archdiocese, said resolution to be certified by the sponsor and submitted to the Metropolitan Archbishop and the Department of Legal Affairs (if not initiated by the Department of Legal Affairs) for the purpose of studying and determining the legality of such proposed change. The Department of Legal Affairs, at a date no later than the Spring Meeting of the Board of Trustees, shall report its recommendations to the Board of Trustees and the Metropolitan Archbishop. The Metropolitan Archbishop thereafter shall include the notice in the next succeeding convention the recommendations of the Board of Trustees for or against adoption together with the description in substance of the contemplated change.

 

The contemplated amendment shall be put on the agenda of the next succeeding convention and shall be adopted after an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the total votes cast thereon subject to the approval of the Metropolitan Archbishop.  This amended Constitution and future amendments to it shall be effective immediately upon adoption of the Metropolitan Archbishop, the Archdiocesan Synod and approval of the Holy Synod of Antioch. Such amendments shall be consistent with the self-rule status granted to the Archdiocese by the Resolution of the Holy Synod of Antioch dated October 9, 2003.

 

Approved by the Holy Synod of Antioch, October / 14 / / 2004