SYOSSET, N.Y. (AP) -- Citing health problems, Metropolitan Theodosius, primate of the Orthodox Church in America, has announced plans to retire in July after leading the church for 25 years.
Theodosius, 69, had suffered strokes and taken a four-month medical leave from May to September of last year. This month, he said he continued to find his work too taxing.
''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,'' Theodosius said.
The Holy Synod of Bishops on April 2 approved Theodosius' request to retire and thanked him for his service to the church. His retirement will be formally accepted at the church's All-American Council, scheduled for July 21 in Orlando, Fla.
At that meeting, about 600 clergy and lay people serving as delegates to the July council will elect Theodosius' successor, who will likely be selected from among the church's bishops. The bishops' synod must then approve their choice.
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