On April 17, 2008, His Beatitude Metropolitan Herman issued a letter to the clergy of the Diocese of Alaska.
The text of Metropolitan Herman’s is as follows.
“The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, meeting at the OCA Chancery in Oyster Bay Cove, NY, on April 17, 2008, has issued the following statement.
‘His Grace, NIKOLAI, Bishop of Sitka, Anchorage, and Alaska, after having heard the report of His Eminence, Archbishop NATHANIEL, and His Grace, Bishop TIKHON; and after the deliberations of the Holy Synod of Bishops, has agreed to take a voluntary leave-of-absence, to be reviewed at the May 2008 Session of the Holy Synod of Bishops.’
“I have, in my capacity as Administrator of the Diocese of Alaska, appointed His Grace, the Right Reverend BENJAMIN, Bishop of San Francisco and the West, to assist me in the administration of the Diocese of Alaska, effective April 17, 2008. I encourage your prayers for His Grace, Bishop BENJAMIN as he assumes the responsibilities that have now been entrusted to him. In accordance with canonical order and accepted liturgical practice, Bishop BENJAMIN is to be commemorated during the Divine Services only when he is present. On such occasions, his name is to be commemorated as ‘The Right Reverend BENJAMIN, Bishop of San Francisco and the West.’ His name will be commemorated following the usual commemoration of His Grace, Bishop NIKOLAI of Sitka, Anchorage, and Alaska. In circumstances on which other hierarchs are present, his name is to be elevated according to rank. In light of the fact that he is assisting me in administering the Diocese of Alaska, I also bless his name to be elevated at all Divine Services in the Diocesan Cathedrals of St. Michael the Archangel, Sitka, AK and St. Innocent Cathedral, Anchorage, AK.”