Commentary: This is exactly what others and myself thought would happen. However, we believed it would transpire after the death of Met. Hilarion (Kapral). Notice decree 8:
“8) To address an epistle to the clergymen and communities of the Western Rite regarding the need for them to adopt the order of divine services of the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church, while preserving, when necessary, certain particularities of the Western Rite.”
What this in essence means, is that these communities are to immediately (or gradually, depending upon circumstances) adopt the standard Eastern Orthodox services. What ‘certain particularities of the Western Rite’ could mean, is somewhat vague. Most likely, unless new information arises, it means the permission to perhaps sing some specifically ‘Western rite’ hymn, during Communion. For all intents and purposes the Western Rite in ROCOR-MP is done; it was never, frankly, meant to probably last this long. It’s purpose was the taking in of a large group of people to replace the departures that happened in the run up to the ROCOR and MP unia. Undoubtedly, section 3 was also a determinative, or ‘gotcha’ factor in stopping the free-wheeling Bp. Jerome:
“3) To deny recognition of the ordination of a group of individuals by Bishop Jerome during a single divine service, and to regularize them following a thorough examination of the candidates.”
This is undoubtedly a reference to multiple ordinations at the same Liturgy, that is, ordaining multiple priests (or maybe deacons). Regularization would probably be a decree for cherothesia. The group of individuals are those, most likely, from a continuing Anglo-Catholic group that Bp. Jerome recently took in.
Nevertheless, the Western Rite in ROCOR, which never had much sense in its beginning, and which exploded on the scene just a few years ago, and promoted the wildest modernisms that began to even surpass that of the Antiochian Patriarchate, has finally come crumbling down.
NEW YORK: July 12, 2013
An Extraordinary Session of the Synod of Bishops is Held
On Wednesday, July 10, 2013, an extraordinary session of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was held, presided over by its First Hierarch, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York. Participating in the meeting were permanent members of the Synod of Bishops: His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany; His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America; His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada, and His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland, Administrator of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America.
Deliberating on the matter of Bishop Jerome of Manhattan, the Synod of Bishops made a decision as follows:
“During a meeting of the Synod of Bishops on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, presided over by the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, A DECISION WAS MADE: on the activities of Bishop Jerome of Manhattan, Vicar of the President for the Administration of Western Rite Parishes.
After exhaustive deliberation, IT WAS DECREED:
1) To halt the ordination of new clergymen for parishes adhering to the Western Rite.
2) To censure Bishop Jerome for his willfulness in administering the parishes adhering to the Western Rite, and in performing various ecclesial services not approved by the Synod of Bishops, and for criticizing his brethren in letters to clergy and laity.
3) To deny recognition of the ordination of a group of individuals by Bishop Jerome during a single divine service, and to regularize them following a thorough examination of the candidates.
4) To release Bishop Jerome from all duties, including those of Vicar of the President in administering Western Rite parishes, designating him as retired without the right to serve in the Synodal Cathedral “of the Sign” in New York, or to perform ordinations or award clergymen, and designating his place of residence at St Vladimir Memorial Church of the 1000th Anniversary of the Baptism of Russia in Jackson, NJ.
5) To bless Bishop Jerome to perform divine services within the confines of the Eastern American Diocese with the consent of its Ruling Bishop.
6) To release Monk Anthony (Bondi) from all of his administrative duties and from the spiritual ministry to the Vicariate of Western Rite Parishes.
7) To establish a commission to examine the means of integrating clergymen and communities of the Western Rite into the liturgical life of the Russian Orthodox Church, consisting of: Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, President; Bishop George of Mayfield, Vicar of the Eastern American Diocese; Protopriest David Straut of the Eastern American Diocese, and Protopriest Anthony Nelson of the Mid-American Diocese.
8) To address an epistle to the clergymen and communities of the Western Rite regarding the need for them to adopt the order of divine services of the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church, while preserving, when necessary, certain particularities of the Western Rite.
9) To emphasize our adherence to the rules and traditions of the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church in general and of the Russian Orthodox Church in particular.
10) To deem this decree immediately valid and to submit it to the members of the Council of Bishops in the form of a questionnaire for confirmation.”
The meeting concluded with the singing of “It is Truly Meet.”