The 17th All-American Council

Election of the Metropolitan of All America and Canada

The 17th All-American Council
Parma, Ohio · November 13, 2012


Unfortunately, administrative problems and misunderstandings did not abate following the 16th All-American Council but, instead, escalated to such an extent that Metropolitan Jonah, acknowledging his inability to continue as Primate, submitted his resignation on July 6, 2012, which was accepted by the Holy Synod the following day.  Two days later on July 9, the Holy Synod appointed its senior hierarch, Archbishop Nathaniel (Popp) of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate, as Locum Tenens of the Orthodox Church in America and Bishop Michael (Dahulich) of New York and New Jersey as Administrator of the Orthodox Church in America.  At its special session on August 13, the Holy Synod decided that an extraordinary All-American Council should be convened as soon as possible to elect a new Primate for the Church.  Following completion of preliminary arrangements, it was announced on August 22 that an extraordinary All-American Council would take place at Holy Trinity Church in Parma, Ohio on November 13, 2012.

The 17th Council was the shortest of all the All-American Sobors and Councils; its formal proceedings were concluded in just four hours.  It was only the second All-American Sobor or Council convened solely to elect the Church’s Primate.  The previous such electoral council with a single agenda item was the 12th Sobor in 1965.

As delegates gathered from far and wide on the eve of the Council, Great Vespers was served in preparation for the celebration of the Divine Liturgy the following morning, during which Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko delivered a stirring homily, which set the tone for the Council.

After the formal opening of the Council, Archbishop Nathaniel delivered his address as Locum Tenens and read the Holy Synod’s decision declaring the office of Metropolitan of All America and Canada vacant.  The first ballot then took place.  A 2/3 majority - 394 votes - was needed for the nomination of a single candidate on the first ballot.  The two candidates receiving the most votes in the first round were Bishop Michael with 205 and Archbishop Tikhon (Mollard) of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania with 118.  As no candidate received 2/3 of the votes, the second round of voting, in which each delegate voted for two candidates, was held immediately.  Bishop Michael received 355 votes on the second ballot while Archbishop Tikhon received 317.  These results were announced, and the members of the Holy Synod immediately withdrew into the sanctuary, where they chose Archbishop Tikhon to be the new OCA Primate.  Following the investiture of the Metropolitan in the signs of his office and his acceptance remarks, the 17th All-American Council was adjourned.  The election of Metropolitan Tikhon at the 17th All-American Council inaugurated a new period of stability and peace in the life of the Orthodox Church in America.

Written by Alexis Liberovsky
OCA Archivist, Director of the Department of History and Archives.

Associated news

Delegate information

Registration packet

Contains registration forms and hotel information.

Delegate Handbook

Contains detailed instructions and other information for the upcoming Council.

Words of St. John Chrysostom

A reflection on the eve of the election of a Metropolitan


17th AAC Minutes

Contains the minutes of the 17th All-American Council

Audio/Video Files

Ancient Faith Radio AAC Podcast

17th All-American Council Montage