OCA building spiritual academy in Mexico, establishes fund for Alaskan clergy

Baltimore, July 21, 2022

Archbishop Alejo and clergy of the Diocese of Mexico. Photo: ocamexico.org Archbishop Alejo and clergy of the Diocese of Mexico. Photo: ocamexico.org     

Yesterday’s fourth plenary session of the 20th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America, currently underway in Baltimore, was dedicated to pressing concerns within the Church.

Among the serious concerns is the education of clergy in the Diocese of Mexico.

According to the OCA report, the need for seminary training in Spanish will be met by the construction of the St. Basil Academy in Mexico City.

Funds will be raised through a charitable foundation established by His Eminence Archbishop Alejo. His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon personally committed $10,000 annually for three years towards the goal of $80,000.

The OCA site currently lists 20 parishes and missions served by 23 priests and deacons in the Mexico Diocese.

Another pressing issue discussed at the Council was the need for financial support of the clergy of the Diocese of Alaska, many of whom get by on rather meager means. In response, Met. Tikhon established a charitable fund and personally committed $10,000 annually for 10 years.

The OCA site lists more than 90 parishes served by less than 50 priests and deacons in the Alaska Diocese.

His Eminence Archbishop Michael of New York and New Jersey presented the Holy Synod’s new statement on sexuality and gender identity issues, which emphasizes that the OCA maintains Biblical and Patristic teachings on these issues. Any clergy or laity who publish or teach opinions against the teaching of the Church will be disciplined, the Archbishop said. He received a standing ovation from the assembly.

A resolution to designate the Sunday closest to the feast of St. Herman of Alaska on December 13 as a day to take up a special offering for the Alaskan clergy passed unopposed.

A second resolution “condemning the aggression against Ukraine,” thereby affirming the Holy Synod’s statement on the matter from March, and affirming solidarity with His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry and the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church passed almost unanimously.

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