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SYOSSET, NY [OCA Communications] -- On Tuesday, April 2, 2002, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, shared with members of the Holy Synod of Bishops his desire to retire from the office of Metropolitan of All America and Canada in July 2002.


The announcement came on the second day of the spring session of the Holy Synod of Bishops, held at the OCA Chancery.


"You are intimately aware that these past two years have been particularly difficult for me as I have faced increasing health problems," Metropolitan Theodosius told the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops in reference to his declining health. "I have found that my physical condition is once again deteriorating to such an extent that, given my limited physical abilities, I find myself unable to respond to the demands of my office in the manner which the Church needs and deserves of its Primate."


Metropolitan Theodosius added that increasing demands placed upon him "have only served to be the cause of even greater inner anxiety and personal concerns."


"Please be assured that this request has not been made quickly but only after consultation with medical professionals, much prayer for guidance and with an awareness of your love for me and your concern for the welfare of the Church," Metropolitan Theodosius concluded. "It is my hope that you will accept my petition and that my retirement will come into effect after the convening of the first session of the 13th All-American Council."


According to the Very Rev. John Matusiak, OCA Communications Director, "Metropolitan Theodosius continues to suffer the residual effects of strokes he had suffered in late 2000 and early 2001. Despite a four-month medical leave of absence from May 1 until September 1, 2001, which he took at the recommendation of his physicians, he found the ever-increasing burdens of his office too demanding."


The members of the Holy Synod of Bishops granted Metropolitan Theodosius' request by issuing a Synodal Resolution on April 2, 2002, the text of which reads as follows:



"Having heard the request of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius that, in light of his failing health, he be granted retirement from the office of Metropolitan of All America and Canada and be granted the status of Retired Hierarch of the Orthodox Church in America; and that this retirement occur during the 13th All-American Council to be held in Orlando, Florida, the members of the Holy Synod unanimously resolved:


"a.] To grant His Beatitude's request to retire from the office of Metropolitan of All America and Canada of the Orthodox Church in America;


"b.] To grant him the status of Retired Hierarch, effective following the first session of the 13th All-American Council to be held in Orlando, Florida July 21, 2002; and


"c.] To express to His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, their fraternal love and gratitude for his primatial service and archpastoral labors."



In conjunction with the decision to grant Metropolitan Theodosius' request, Protopresbyter Robert Kondratick, OCA Chancellor, announced that the procedure by which a new Metropolitan is elected is being prepared and will be reviewed and finalized at a special session of the Holy Synod of Bishops which will be held at St. Tikhon’s Monastery on May 24, 2002. 


New Archbishop elected for ROAAC


Archimandrite Nicolae Condrea Elected Archbishop


Detroit, Michigan -- The Rt. Rev. Archm. Nicolae Condrea has been elected by the Congress of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America and Canada as the next Archbishop in its session convened on Saturday, 9 March 2002 at the Holy Trinity Romanian Orthodox Church in Troy, Michigan. The over 100 clergy and lay delegates representing the parishes and monasteries of the Archdiocese selected Archimandrite Nicolae from the two finalists forwarded to the Congress by the Archdiocesan Council following a lengthy search process.


The Special Electoral Congress was presided over by the Locum Tenens of the Archdiocese, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolia for Western Europe. Metropolitan Joseph has been serving as Locum Tenens since the falling-asleep in the Lord of Archbishop Victorin (Ursache) in July 2001. His Eminence Metropolitan Teofan of Oltenia initially served as Locum Tenens from March through June 2001.


According to the Decree of Autonomy which the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church accorded the Archdiocese in 1973, the Archbishop is elected by delegates present at a Congress called especially for that purpose. The election must then be confirmed by the Holy Synod. Following the election of the new Archbishop, Metropolitan Joseph, along with Fr. Nicolae and a delegation from the Archdiocese immediately traveled to Bucharest to attend the meeting of the Holy Synod scheduled for 12-14 March 2002.


At its session held on Tuesday, 12 March, the Holy Synod elevated Fr. Nicolae Condrea to the rank of Archimandrite, and on the following day, voted unanimously to confirm his election by the Congress to the office of Archbishop of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America and Canada. The Archbishop-elect was invited to sit with the members of the Holy Synod for the remainder of its meeting.


The Archbishop-elect was born in 1967 in Constanta, Romania to the late Nicolae and Victoria Condrea. He moved to Bucharest in his early teens where he completed his secondary education. In 1988 he began his theological studies at the Faculty of Theology in Sibiu. By 1993 he had begun his doctoral work also in Sibiu, after which he continued his studies at the Marc Bloch University of Strasbourg. He received his Doctorate in Theology in November 2001. The title of his dissertation is: "Some Psychological Problems in Evagrios of Pontus."


From November 1999 until the Fall of 2001 Archimandrite Nicolae served as the delegate of the Romanian Orthodox Church to the Dialogue Committee for European Integration within the Conference of European Churches (Brussels). Earlier, in November 1996, with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Serafim of Germany and Central Europe, he founded the parish of the Nativity of our Lord in Stuttgart, Germany. He was ordained to the deaconate in March 1997 and to the priesthood the next month. He entered the monastic life at the Monastery of Radu Voda in Bucharest in December 2001 while serving as Patriarchal Secretary.


The ordination and installation of Archbishop-elect Nicolae is scheduled for mid-July in Montreal, Quebec, in conjunction with the regularly scheduled Archdiocesan Congress. His Beatitude Patriarch Teoctist will be leading a delegation from the Romanian Orthodox Church to participate in this historic event. A full itinerary will be available in late Spring.