Orthodox synod in Syria approves self-government for North Americans

Posted: Friday, October 29, 2004

ENGLEWOOD, N.J. (AP) The 480,000-member Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America announced that a synod in Antioch, Syria, has granted it self-government.

A new constitution provides that bishops will be nominated and elected by North Americans, then consecrated at the home cathedral in Damascus, Syria.

The constitution comes up for formal ratification at the North American convention next July.

Some Americans in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese would like to win similar self-government from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Istanbul, Turkey. The Russian Orthodox Church granted independence to the Orthodox Church in America, Orthodoxy's other main North American branch, in 1970, though the Ecumenical Patriarchate does not recognize this.

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