Article I


Section 1. The Name

The name of this self-ruled religious corporation shall be “Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.”

 

Section 2. Authority

A.      Legal

This organization derives its legal authority to function as a religious corporation by virtue of a charter issued pursuant to the provisions of Article 2, Section 15, of the “Religious Corporation Laws” of the State of New York.

B.      Ecclesiastical

This Archdiocese was granted its ecclesiastical authority to function as a self-ruling Archdiocese from the Holy Synod of the Apostolic Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East (“Holy Synod”). Its Primate is a member of said Holy Synod and is the duly elected Metropolitan Archbishop (“Primate”, “Metropolitan” or “Archbishop”), serving under a canonical Praxis issued by His Beatitude, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East (“Patriarch”).

 

Section 3. Headquarters

The headquarters of this Archdiocese shall be located in the Greater Metropolitan New York City area, including northern New Jersey.

 

Section 4. Qualifications for Metropolitan Archbishop and Diocesan  Bishop

Candidates for the office of Metropolitan Archbishop of this Archdiocese and/or candidates for the office of Diocesan Bishop must be celibates and meet the following qualifications:

A.      Metropolitan Archbishop

(1)  He must be one of the canonical clergy who is qualified in all respects, including the possession of an earned degree in Orthodox theology and be a man of piety and good character.

(2)  He must be fluent in the English language and have a working knowledge of the Arabic language.

(3)  He must be at least thirty-three (33) years of age.

(4)  He must be physically and mentally sound.

(5)  He must have served, at some time, as a clergyman in the Archdiocese.

B.      Diocesan Bishop 

(1)  He must be one of the canonical clergy who is qualified in all respects, including the possession of an earned degree in Orthodox theology and be a man of  piety and good character.

(2)  He must be fluent in the English language and have a knowledge of the Arabic language.

(3)  He must be at least thirty-three (33) years of age.

(4)  He must be physically and mentally sound.

(5)  He must have served, at some time, as a clergyman in the Archdiocese.

 

Section 5. Nomination and Election Procedures Upon Vacancy of Metropolitan See

A.

Immediately upon the vacancy of the Metropolitan See, either by death, disability or retirement, the Archdiocese Board of Trustees and the Senior Diocesan  Bishop, or, if none, the Vicar General, shall inform officially in writing the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East and appropriate civil and ecclesiastical authorities. Upon any such happening, the Senior Bishop present, , or if none present, the Vicar General, together with the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees and/or the Treasurer and/or the Chancellor shall seal important rooms and files at the Archdiocese

headquarters, and make a record of same, signed by all present. (Thereafter, all properties or investments registered in the name of the Metropolitan Archbishop as the head of the Metropolitan See shall become the property of the Archdiocese.) The Senior Diocesan Bishop will, with the members of the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees, assume responsibility for the administration of the Metropolitan See.

B.

Within a period of sixty (60) days after the vacancy of the Metropolitan See, the Senior Diocesan Bishop  together with the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, shall call a Special Convention, which must be held on or before the expiration of thirty (30) days of the date of call, for the nomination and election of official candidates for the position of Metropolitan by secret ballot.

C.

(1)  The Senior Diocesan Bishop, in agreement with the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, shall prepare a list containing all the names of worthy clergymen from this Archdiocese who are qualified for nomination as described in Section 4, of this Article, and a copy of this list shall be included in the call for the Convention.  (The Archdiocese may also, if necessary, include in the list names from the list of nominees kept in the records of the Patriarchate and the Holy Synod.)

(2)  The delegates attending such Convention shall select, by secret ballot, three candidates from such list. Each delegate shall be entitled to one vote.  The three clergymen with the highest number of votes of the Special Convention shall thereupon be designated as the official candidates.

(3)  Immediately, thereafter, the names of the official candidates for the office of Metropolitan Archbishop, together with the preferential recommendation of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees reflecting the percentage vote of the Special Convention for each candidate, shall be submitted to the Local  Synod of the Archdiocese (“Local Synod”) which will certify the results of the nomination and submit the official candidates to the Holy Synod, who will, within forty days of submittal,  elect one of the nominees to be the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archdiocese.

 

Section 6. Nomination and Election of  Diocesan Bishops

A Diocesan Bishop shall be nominated and elected in the following manner:

A.

The Metropolitan, in agreement with the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, shall prepare a list containing the names of the worthy clergymen from this Archdiocese who are qualified for nomination as described in Section 4B of this Article, and a copy of this list shall be included in the call for the Convention.  (The Archdiocese may also, if necessary, include in the list names from the list of nominees kept in the records of the Patriarchate and the Holy Synod.)

B.

A General Convention, or a Special Convention called for that purpose by the Metropolitan, shall, from a list provided for in accordance with Section 6A above, nominate, by secret ballot, three (3) candidates for the office of bishop.  Each delegate shall be entitled to one vote times the number of offices to be filled and each of such votes must be for a different candidate.  The entire list of candidates shall be submitted to the Local Synod with the candidate’s respective number of votes received.

C.

Where one bishop is to be elected, the Local Synod shall elect, by a majority vote, from the three candidates receiving the highest number of votes of the Convention.  With respect to the election of additional bishops at the same time, the Local Synod may elect, by a majority vote, from the entire list of nominees.  Such election(s) shall occur within 40 days thereafter.  The Patriarch may delegate up to three Metropolitan Archbishops to participate, on behalf of the Holy Synod, in such election(s) by the Local Synod.  The Metropolitan Archbishop of this Archdiocese shall set the time and place for the electoral assembly and shall preside over it.

 

Section 7. Consecration of Metropolitan and/or Diocesan Bishop

A.

The consecration and enthronement (installation) of the Metropolitan shall take place at the Cathedral of the Metropolitan’s diocese by members of the Local Synod and the patriarchal delegate.

B.

The consecration and enthronement of Diocesan Bishops shall take place at the Cathedral of the diocese of the Diocesan Bishop (unless for good reason it is necessary to do otherwise) by members of the Local Synod and the Patriarchal Delegate, with the Metropolitan of this Archdiocese presiding.