OCA Plans 'Low Key' Election for Next Metropolitan

(Photo Credit: Orthodox Church in America)Holy Trinity Church, in Parma, Ohio, is seen in a file photo.

The Orthodox Church in America will elect its next Metropolitan in a "low key and penitential" gathering on November 13 in Ohio, five months after the resignation of Metropolitan Jonah, who departed at the unanimous request of fellow bishops of the church's Holy Synod.

Update: OCA Elects Archbishop Tikhon as Next Metropolitan

The OCA said the gathering will take place at Holy Trinity Church in Parma, OH.

Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary, said the gathering is being called the "17th All-American Council" of the church.

"The Holy Synod of Bishops met in Detroit on August 13, 2012 and decided that they needed to hold the special Council as soon as possible so the work of the Church could move forward," said Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary. "It will be called the 17th All-American Council because it meets the statutory requirements as a special Council and due to the precedence of the 12th All American Sobor in 1965." [Prior to 1970, such Councils were referred to as "Sobors."

In early July, the Synod asked Metropolitan Jonah either quit or enter a treatment program, citing concerns about the Church's liability as a result of how he handled a report of an alleged rape by a priest under his charge. Bishops said he did not handle the report following church standards.

The November 13 gathering will open with a celebration of Divine Liturgy, followed by brunch. An electoral plenary session will follow, after which the newly elected Primate will be installed prior to the closing session, the OCA said.

Archpriest Tosi said bishops picked the Holy Trinity site in an effort to keep costs low and because it is "large enough to accommodate a large number of delegates and is centrally located, within reasonable driving distance for many parishes. Hotel space in the area is also quite reasonable."

The OCA said it will make logistical details available by September 15 in order to comply with church rules. Space for observers at the gathering will be limited.

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