Communiqué N° 02-08 of the Council of the Archdiocese

The Council of the Archdiocese met on 23 January 2008 with His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel in the chair. Among the topics discussed were :

1.The Theological Institute of St Sergius. Archpriest Nicholas Cernokrak, Professor of New Testament Exegesis, was elected Dean on 14 December 2007 by the Academic Council of the Institute, replacing Archimandrite Job, whose term of office had come to an end. He was confirmed in his new office by His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel.

The Council of the Archdiocese is grateful to Archimandrite Job for the important work of reform which he has carried out, especially in the revision of the educational and scientific programmes of the Institute to conform with the European ‘LMD’ system. It wishes the new Dean well in the accomplishing the furtherance of the reforms, in both the academic and administrative spheres.

2. Visit of Metropolitan John of Pergamon. His Eminence Metropolitan John of Pergamon will be in Paris on 10 February 2008 to receive an honorary doctorate which has been awarded to him by the Academic Council of the Institute of St Sergius. The award ceremony will take place during the annual academic conference of the Institute (from 1500 hours). That morning Metropolitan John will concelebrate the Divine Liturgy with Archbishop Gabriel and Bishop Basil in the St Alexander-Nevsky Cathedral.

3. Parishes and clergy
- A group of Orthodox in Lyon have approached Archbishop Gabriel to ask his blessing to open a parish in that city to be dedicated to [St Alexis of Ugine and the Holy Martyr Maria [Skobtsova] of Paris->205]. Archbishop Gabriel gave his blessing for the new parish and visited Lyon on 20 January 2008 to celebrate the Divine Liturgy there. The Council of the Archdiocese has received the parish into the care of the Archdiocese. Archpriest André Fortounatto has been appointed rector. Philippe Porte has been elected Churchwarden and confirmed in this post by Archbishop Gabriel.
- Rasophore monk Alexis (Pecheff) was ordained hierodeacon by Archbishop Gabriel on Sunday 6 January 2008, the Feast of Theophany, in the Church of the Holy Trinity Parish in Paris. He has been placed at the disposal of Archbishop Gabriel for the time being.

4. Pastoral Assembly and Diocesan Conference
- A Pastoral Assembly will take place in spring 2008 on the theme : ‘Preaching the Gospel today’.
- The annual Diocesan Conference will take place in Paris in autumn 2008, in conjunction with the conference which will be organised jointly by the St Sergius Theological Institute and ACER-MJO (Orthodox Youth Movement) to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the death of Fr Alexander Schmemann.

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