Bishop Andrei of Pavlovskoe returns to the United States

(NFTU) Bishop Andrei (Maklakov) of Pavlovskoe, ordained as a vicar Bishop last week in Suzdal as reported here, has arrived in the United States and is catching up from his time in Russia, a source close to Bp Andrei has reported.

The new Bishop faces the task of organizing the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church in America in the wake of the surprise announcement this week that the commissions for union between the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and the Moscow Patriarchate have in fact reached full agreement and are ready for union.

The new Bishop will face a number of challenges in the weeks to come. He faces both questions concerning his own personal qualifications as a Bishop as well as problems that did not exist for his predecessor in the United States, former Archbishop Gregory (Abu-Assaly) of Dormition Skete. The new Bishop faces evangelistic movements from both a number of schisms in the Russian Church Abroad factions eager to gain converts and the Church Abroad itself, which continues to present itself as independent from the Moscow Patriarchate. Also confronting him is a dwindling True Orthodox populace looking at the ROAC from a very negative perspective: the past four years have tarnished the image of the ROAC and it is unclear how Bishop Andrei can change this, or whether he will bother to at all.

Bp Andrei is a vicar to the Synod and has no jurisdiction apart from the reigning Diocesan Bishop, Metropolitan Valentine of Suzdal. (New York)