Moscow, July 18, 2016
The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church approved the election of Archimandrite (Steenberg) by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) as bishop of Sacramento, California—a vicariate of the Diocese of Western America.
In accordance with the Act of Canonical Communion of May 17, 2007 between ROCOR and the Moscow Patriarchate, bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia are elected by her Council of Bishops or, in cases stipulated by the Regulations of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the Synod of Bishops. The election is then approved according to canonical norms by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Bishop Irenei was elected by ROCOR on July 6, 2016, and His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, first hierarch of ROCOR, made a request to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to approve the decision of the Holy Synod.
BIOGRAPHY (from the Institute for Orthodox Studies)
Archimandrite Irenei is the Institute's Director, responsible for its development and foundation as well as its academic program. He is also the core lecturer in patristics and Church history.
Father Irenei is an established scholar of patristics and the early Church, and an Archimandrite of the Russian Orthodox Church. Formerly a fellow in patristics and early Church history at the University of Oxford and sometime Chair of Theology at Leeds Trinity University in the United Kingdom, he is an active speaker and lecturer around the world on Orthodox theology and practice, and has also been heavily involved in bringing patristic study into wider access through the internet. He is was recently visiting professor in Orthodox theology at Santa Clara University, Professorial Research Fellow of Leeds Trinity (UK), and is currently a member of the Committee for Education of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and Dean of Monastic Life for the Western American Dicoese (ROCOR).
Professor Fr. Irenei’s scholarly work centres on patristic theology, especially anthropology (doctrines of the human person) in the Orthodox patristic tradition. He is particularly interested in the life and writings of the early period of the Church's life (AD 33-451), and the way that discussions on the human person inform the Church's articulation of Christological and Trinitarian dcotrine. His work is marked out by a strong emphasis on historical development and the way it may inform modern theological discussions. He has authored numerous books and published extensively on patristic and Orthodox topics (many of his works were published before his monastic tonsure and are found under his old name: Revd. Prof. M.C. Steenberg).
He is widely known beyond academic circles through his work to bring Orthodox patristic and monastic study to a wider audience. He founded the Monachos.net web site on Orthodoxy through patristic and monastic study in 1999, which between 2000-2014 was the largest resource for such materials on the internet, containing one of the only forums on the world-wide-web dedicated to patristic and monastic discussions. In 2008 he began weekly internet radio broadcasts for Ancient Faith Radio, in a series called A Word From the Holy Fathers. These broadcasts, which focus each week on a patristic writing and its pastoral impact, are among the most listened-to podcasts on the station, and are being re-launched with a new series in 2015. Fr Irenei served as deacon of the Russian Orthodox Parish of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker in Oxford from 2007-2010, and in January 2010 moved to San Francisco. He was ordained hieromonk in March 2010 and elevated to the rank of Archimandrite in 2011. He serves in the parish of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk — one of the principal sites associated with the life of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco.