We, the Bishops of the HOLY SYNOD of THE HOLY EASTERN ORTHODOX CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH IN NORTH AMERICA have adopted the following canons to amend our Code of Canons as noted.
The Following updated canons have been adopted by the Holy Synod. These canons are:
1) Following the Apostolic Canons and following the directive of St Paul in his letter to Timothy, "That is why the presiding elder must have an impeccable character. Husband of one wife, he must be temperate, discreet and courteous, hospitable and a good teacher.” we allow our bishops to be married. This is also supported by numerous writings of Orthodox clergy on this subject. It has been reported by OCA & Antiochian clergy that our early synod stated this canon was not recognized by the American Church in the New World. It has also been stated that not all Orthodox Churches adopted the canon on married bishops, thus it cannot be a violation of the canons for those who did not adopt this canon.
2) We have adopted the Revised Julian Calendar which sets Pascha according to the traditional calculation which states, "The date of Pascha shall be set as the first Sunday after the first full moon following the Vernal Equinox and shall not precede or coincide with Passover." The fixed dates shall be rendered according to the current revisions which place them at the same time as our current Gregorian Calendar. Other SCOBA jurisdictions have adopted this calendar prior to us.
Regarding C1 of the Apostolic Canons
3) A minimum of three bishops is required for the consecration of all bishops in our jurisdiction. For the consecration to be valid, an edict from the Holy Synod shall declare a vote being taken and the election of the candidate be in due course. The Presiding Hierarch (Patriarch/Metropolitan) along with all the members of the Synod shall affix their name to said edict. However, should some major impediment prevent a third bishop from attending the consecration, that consecration shall not be valid unless the edict of the Holy Synod specifically indicates the Synod of Bishops has approved only two bishops be allowed to administer the consecration and that said edict is signed by all the bishops of the synod.
(This is supported by later canons)
Canons in support of this include c1 of the 2 Canons of the Regional Holy
Synod assembled the Second Time in Constantinople (R. pg 602), c4 of the 20c (R.
An important note;
According to Stanley Harakas, a Greek Orthodox Priest and author, in "The Othodox Church: 455 Questions and Answers", Pg 215 #285 states; "We know from historical documents that the canon was not always followed and that we have mention of married men who became bishops and who did not separate from their wives. It NEVER BECAME a formal rule that a married man could not become a bishop. It is also a fact that in some communist countries a bishop had to marry to hide the fact he was a bishop for his own welfare and the good of the Church. Since it appears that being a married bishop was not such a big deal in the Orthodox Church and in this day and age clergy are, or have been, allowed to re-marry and remain in the ministry that Abp. Ofiesh was just ahead of his time.