Italy: Bergamo Synod Granted Autonomy, Replaces Milan Synod in United Communion

Metr Onufrie with Bp Seraphim of Sicily and Fr Egidio Cali

(NFTU; Original Source) The Autonomous Old Calendar Metropolia of Italy was granted autonomy by Metropolitan John of New York, Primate of the Americas and British Isles (of the United True Orthodox Communion) on August 14/27 (NS), the American Metropolia website reported yesterday with a digital copy of the Tomos.

The Tomos released indicates that Metropolitan Onufrie of Bergamo leads the Autonomous Church in Italy, thereby restoring the damage caused to the Church’s governing structure by the defection and “self-deposition” of Metropolitan Evloghios of Milan and his vicar, Archbishop Abundius of Lecco late in 2011 and early this year.

The first True Orthodox Communion was between the Milan Synod and the True Orthodox Church of the Patristic Calendar in 2009. When formal union occurred between the True Orthodox Church of the Patristic Calendar and the True Orthodox Church in Russia under Metropolitan Raphael in 2011, it was revealed that Metropolitan Evloghios intended to join the Moscow Patriarchate. The American Metropolia, formerly comprised of two Archdioceses of Milan, entered the communion in their place after Milan’s apostasy last year.

Earlier this year, Metropolitan John and Metropolitan Onufrie restored their bonds of communion, and the former notified the Greek and Russian Churches of the intent to restore what was lost through the defection of the Milan Bishops.

Metropolitan Onufrie was Archbishop of Sondrio and Bergamo previously as a member of the Milan Metropolia and refused to go along with the plans of Metropolitan Evloghios, which appeared to be driven by a desire to be taken in by the Moscow Patriarchate.

American Metropolia Bishops and clergy (L. to R. Rdr Antony, Bp Seraphim of Manhattan, Bp Fanourios of Lincoln, Metropolitan John of New York, Bp Christodoulos of Miami, Bp Joseph of Edmonton, Dcn Finbarr)

Metropolitan Onufrie, after discussion with the leadership of True Orthodox Church of the Patristic Calendar under Metropolitan Anghelos of Avlonos and the True Orthodox of Russia under Metropolitan Raphael of Moscow, was accepted into their communion this week and will go to Greece on November 8/21 for the formal signing of a Tomos of Intercommunion.

The Autonomous Old Calendar Metropolia of Italy has three Bishops including the Metropolitan, 10 missionary priests and priestmonks,  deacons and 1 subdeacon in the regions of Bergamo and Sicily, as well as organized missionary centers in both regions.

The elevation now brings the number of Primates in the Autonomous True Orthodox Communion to four, and restores independent administration to Western Europe. The United True Orthodox Communion has 44 Bishops throughout Russia, Greece, Italy, the Americas, Georgia, and France.