Diocese of Alaska to Elect Candidate for Episcopacy

Clergy and lay delegates from throughout the vast Diocese of Alaska of the Orthodox Church in America will gather at Saint Innocent Cathedral here Tuesday and Wednesday, October 30-31, 2001, to elect a candidate for the vacant bishopric of Alaska.

His Eminence, Archbishop Gregory, retired Archbishop of Sitka and Alaska, will chair the Assembly at the request of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America and Locum Tenens of the Diocese of Alaska.

“The Diocese of Alaska has been without a ruling hierarch since Archbishop Gregory’s retirement several years ago,” says Protopresbyter Robert Kondratick, OCA Chancellor, who will be in attendance at the Assembly. “The election of a candidate for the see will open a new chapter in the life of the Diocese, the OCA’s oldest.”

His Grace, Bishop Nikolai of Baltimore, Auxiliary to Metropolitan Theodosius, began overseeing the life of the Diocese in June 2001 after the transfer of His Grace, Bishop Innocent to the auxiliary see of Hagerstown, MD. At its fall session in October 2001, the Holy Synod retired Bishop Innocent, who had been suspended from episcopal duties two months earlier for failing to accept his new assignment.

Delegates to the Diocesan Assembly will elect a candidate for the vacant episcopal see, whose name will then be given to the Holy Synod of Bishops for canonical election.