The Statute of the Orthodox Church in America

Article XVI

National Groups

When the good of the Church requires that particular national groups receive an assurance of identity, the Holy Synod may establish Dioceses and/or deaneries and set standards for their participation in the life of The Orthodox Church in America by mutual agreement with the group and until such time as the Diocesan structure of the Church can be organized on an exclusively territorial basis. If a given group is organized as a Diocese, the bishop of this Diocese is a member of the Holy Synod and receives an episcopal title defined territorially. The Statute shall constitute the fundamental law for the existence of all such groups within The Orthodox Church in America.