Holy Synod issues Canonical Procedures for Church Courts


In conjunction with the new Statute of the Orthodox Church in America, slated to become effective on November 1, 2015, general procedural standards for use and application in Church Courts were adopted by the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops during their fall session in Detroit, MI on October 21, 2015.

Prepared with the advice of a panel of canonical and legal experts to ensure proper order and protection, the procedural standards “provide temporary guidance in the conduct of Church Courts” and “establish provisional standards of canonical procedure pending any future adoption of more permanent general rules for canonical procedure for use and application in all or several Courts of the Church, as contemplated in Section 9 of Article XV (Ecclesiastical Courts) of the Statute of the Orthodox Church in America as approved, adopted and ratified by the All-American Council through its action in Atlanta, Georgia, on July 21, 2015.”

The Holy Synod also established a Standing Committee for Canonical Procedure, to which it may appoint experts in canon law, civil law, and other relevant disciplines, to provide assistance and advice to Ecclesiastical Courts, including Diocesan, Stavropegial, and Synodal Courts.  The Standing Committee other duties are enumerated in a “Resolution of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America.”