[The Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction (HOCAJ), as an autocephalic jurisdiction, underwent reorganization from 1997 through 1998, to reflect its expanding role in Central and South America, now being THE OTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH OF THE AMERICAS (OCCA). These are the Canons of the OCCA, and, generally, are also the canons of The Basilian Fathers, The Society of Saint Basil, and of The Society of Clerks Secular of Saint Basil.]


The Canons of the Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction, shall, as far as possible, be in harmony with the intention of The Holy Canons of the early Fathers of the Church as cataloged in "The Pedalion" (The Rudder), said Canons to serve as 'canonical guidelines' for the American Jurisdiction's Canons. If, however, a 'Pedalion Canon' is either inoperable and/or ineffective because of its antiquity, or is obviously in conflict with allowable provisions of the Sacred Scripture, the Holy Synod of The Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction reserves the right to establish and promulgate whatever regulatory definitions (Canons) it shall deem right and proper for its own Apostolate.


The Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction, recognises the Canons as are recorded in 'The Pedalion' (The Rudder) to be Holy in nature inasmuch as they were instituted and promulgated by the Holy Fathers of the early Christian centuries. However, Holy though they may be, The Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction does not recognise the ancient Holy Canons as having any infallible nature corresponding to the absolute infallible nature of the Holy Doctrines as devined by the seven Ecumenical Councils.


The Canons of the Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction shall be so devised as to always reflect the Apostolic INTENT of Jesus Christ, the Holy Apostles and the Church Fathers of both East and West and, no Canon shall ever be proposed by the American Jurisdiction that is contrary to Holy Scripture.


The Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction shall at all times recognize the fact that the Canons of the Universal Orthodox Church of Christ are the Church's system of regulating its administrational, judicial and traditional affairs and, as such, the Canons are proposed and adopted to regulate such matters as are, from time to time, considered essential for the good order of the Church, its heirarchy, its clergy and its Communicants.

Article V

The Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction recognizes that many of the Canons that appear in 'The Pedalion' (The Rudder) were devised and promulgated to meet specific circumstances for a specific place and time period, and, insofar as the need for many of those Canons has long ago ceased to exist and are today no longer viable to the welfare and spiritual edification of contemporary Holy Orthodoxy, such Canons are regarded by the Holy Synod, American Jurisdiction as being inoperable, ineffective, hence null and void.


The Canons of the Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction shall, at all times, endeavor to reflect Christian Charity and compassion for all members of Christ's Holy Church, upholding the essential truths of the Orthodox Christian Faith without compromise, and demanding a strict compliance of obedience to those Sacred Truths and with the Holy Traditions that have long been considered as essential by both East and West to the spiritual benefit of all Orthodox Communicants and edifying to the Church's posture of Sacred Divine Worship, respecting the ancient liturgical forms of worship of both East and West.


The Holy Synod of the Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction shall be the sole and supreme Canonical Authority within said Jurisdiction and it alone shall have the power to establish and promulgate such Canons as it may, from time to time, deem essential for the welfare and good order of its own Jurisdiction and, it alone shall be the final authority of appeal in all matters involving canonical adjudication.


No Constitutional Article or Canon of an Archdiocese, Diocese, Missionary Province, Religious Order, Parish and/or Mission canonically incardinated as a constituent entity of the Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction shall conflict with the provisions of these Articles of the Canonical Preamble.


These Articles of the Canonical Preamble of the Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction, shall, upon adoption by The Holy Synod, become part of the total Code of Canon Law for the American Jurisdiction and shall be permanently binding upon all present and future Heirarchial Members of the Holy Synod, American Jurisdiction, its constituent Archdioceses, Dioceses, Missionary Provinces, Religious Orders, Parishes and/or missions and upon all members of the Clergy and Laity subject thereto.

Adopted this ____________ Day of _____________ in the Year of Our Lord 1979, by the Heirarchial Members of the Holy Synod, Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction in conclave assembled in the City of Houston, State of Texas.



Bishop-President of the Synod


For the Archdiocese of Orleans- Baton Rouge


For the Archdiocese of Nashville


For the Diocese of Houston


For the Diocese of Kentucky


For the Society of Clerks Secular of Saint Basil


________________, 19_________

_______________________________ Metropolitan-Primate

Canonical Document
American Orthodox
Canon Law


(Note: The following Holy Canons of the Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction, represent the initial effor of the Bishops of the American Synod to provide for the American Jurisdiction a system of regulatory norms necessary for the administration of the ecclesiastical and disciplinary affairs of the Jurisdiction. They are not to be considered the final Code, but until the final Code has been enacted and adopted the following Canons are to be strictly observed as having the force of ecclesiastical law, hence binding upon all bishops, priests, deacon and laity subject to the authority of The Holy Synod, American Jurisdiction.)

In the Name of the +Father, and of the +Son, and of the +Holy Spirit. Amen! Amen! Amen!

Can. 1: All bishops, priests, deacons and members of the Laity who are subject to the ecclesiastical authority of the Holy Synod, Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction, shall recognise the Holy Orthodox Faith as being the original Faith as taught by Jesus Christ, His Apostles, the early Church Fathers and the Fathers of the seven Ecumenical Councils.

Can. 2: All Communicants of the Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction, which includes all bishops, priests, deacons, and members of the laity, shall accept without reservation the fulness of the original Christian Creed of the Fathers as formulated by the seven Ecumenical Councils, and shall in no way attempt to restruct, revise or alter said Creed. It is mandatory that the Creed be recited and reaffirmed at each celebration of the Divine Liturgy within this Jurisdiction, recognising that the Creed contains the essential truths of the Holy Christian and Orthodox Faith of Christ.

As Formulated By The Seven Ecumenical Synods

I. I believe in one God, Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

II. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all worlds, Light of Light, very God, of very God begotten, not made, of one essence with the Father, and through whom all things are made.

III. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and became incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became a man.

IV. And was crucified for us under Pontius Pilat, and suffered, and was buried.

V. And rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures.

VI. And ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father.

VII. And shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, and whose kingdom shall have no end.

VIII. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father, and together with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, and who spake through the prophets.

IX. In one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.

X. I acknowledge one baptism, for the remission of sins.

XI. I look for the Resurretion of the dead.

XII. And life in the world to come. Amen.

Can. 3: The Holy Synod, Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction declares and affirms that the Sacred Doctrines of the One, Holy, Catholic, Orthodox and Apostolic Church are those which have been decreed by the seven Ecumenical Councils, and that the same being guided and protected by The Holy Spirit, are to be taught within our Churches without addition or subtraction. Strange doctrines contrary to or conflicting with the Doctrinal Decree of the seven Ecumenical Councils are strictly prohibited within the confines of the American Jurisdiction of the Holy Orthodox Church. Violations of this Canon shall be subject to severe disciplinary action by the Holy Synod and could result in excommunication and, in the case of clerical violators, deposition from Sacred Orders.

Can. 4: The Holy Synod, Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction and all members of the Faithful subject to it shall recognise the Apostolic Dignity of the person of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople as having the position of "First in Honor among his Brother Patriarchs," and the name of each current Patriarch of Constantinople shall be commemorated during each Divine Liturgy throughout the American Jurisdiction. Be it further known; the position of His All-Holiness, The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople as holding the first position of honor among all Patriarchs, does not ascribe to His universal and absolute Jurisdiction over total world-wide Orthodoxy.

Can. 5: The only Head of the One, Holy, Catholic, Orthodox and Apostolic Church is Jesus Christ, its Blessed and Holy Founder.

Can. 6: In addition to His All-Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, this Jurisdiction recognises the Apostolic Character of the Patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem, said Patriarchs remaining steadfast within the pale of Holy Orthodoxy, and whose jurisdiction is limited to the confines of their respective Patriarchates.

Can. 7: The Holy Synod, Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction shall not recognize any pseudo "Patriarch" and/or "Patriarchate" set up in the United States of America which has not been duly and canonically approved and recognized by the Holy Patriarchs and Patriarchial Synods of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem.

Can. 8: The Holy Synod, Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction affirms and recognizes the seven Ecumenical Councils as the only current source of authority in the Doctrinal positions of Faith and Morals, future true Ecumenical Councils shall be similarly accorded the same affirmation and recognition.

Can. 9: The Holy Synod, Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction shall recognise the existence of such legitimate nationalistic Orthodox Jurisdictions as are now or shall be in the future established within the confines of the United States, and shall in no way interfere with their internal affairs, always recognising the right of each legitimate Jurisdiction to govern, legislate and conduct their own affairs in keeping with their own ecclesiastical consiences, canonical norms and traditions.

Can. 10: The Holy Synod, Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction being a fully organized autonomous body of Orthodox Christians, originally established through legitimate Russian Orthodox Sources, reserves the right to govern, legislate and conduct its own ecclesiastical affairs separate and apart from any other Orthodox entity, be it domestic or foreign, and does not recognise the right of any other Orthodox Jurisdiction to interfere in its affairs, except that of a true Ecumenical Council and then only if the American Jurisdiction has been given the privilege and opportunity to participate in such a Council.

Can. 11: The decisions of any so-called world-wide Synod of Orthodox Churches shall not be binding upon the Holy Synod, Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction unless such a Synod be truly representative of all Orthodox Jurisdictions throughout the world and be declared Ecumenical in nature by all its participants.

Can. 12: The Holy Synod, Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction shall not recognise the World Council of Churches or the National Council of Churches in the United States as having any authority whatsoever over the Orthodox Church n general and the Holy Synod, Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction in particular; its deliberations and decrees affecting only those religious bodies that see fit to become officially affiliated with it. The Holy Synod, Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction shall not seek membership within either the World Council of Churches or the National Council of Churches in the United States.

Can. 13: Although the Holy Synod, Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction may not agree with the doctrinal positions, polity or traditions of the many different denominational structures that make up the total religious posture of the United States, the American Jurisdiction does respect the Constitutional guarantees of the United States Government that grant absolute religious freedom to all of its citizens, hence the United States Costitutional guarantee allowing any and all religious groups a free exercise of their religion shall be respected by this Jurisdiction.

Can. 14: The principle of "Separation of Church and State" shall be recognised and upheld by the Holy Synod, Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction.


Can. 15: The supreme authority in matters of Faith and Morals shall be the seven Ecumenical Councils and any future true Ecumenical Council. The Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction, together with its Holy Synod and all constituent eccleastical Archdioceses, dioceses, religious orders and internal social organizations, recognizes the Holy Doctrinal authority of the following Ecumenical Councils: I EC, Nicaea, 325AD; II E/C, Constantinople, 381 AD; III E/C, Calcedon, 451AD; V E/C, Constantinople, 533 AD; VI E/C, 692 AD and VII, Nicaea, 787 AD.

Can. 16: The supreme ecclesiastical authority of the Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction shall be vested in The Holy Synod composed of all archbishops, bishops and superiors of religious Orders incardinated to said Synod and moderated by a Bishop-President and presided by the Metropolitan-Primate. The Bishop-President shall chair the agenda of each Synodal Conclave as the extra-ordinary Apostolic Delegate of the Metropolitan-Primate. All Active archbishops, bishops, coadjutor archbishops, coadjutor bishops, suffragan bishops, superiors of religious Orders, including the Synodal Bishop-President and the Metropolitan-Primate shall have equal voice and vote in all Synodal proceedings. Synodal prouncements and decisions shall become valid and binding upon the entire jurisdiction when such pronouncements and decisions have received a three/fourths vote of the eligible participants and have been reduced to written form and signed by the Metropolitan-Primate.

Can. 17: The Holy Synod, HOCAJ, shall meet at least triennially and can meet on an annual basis if there be need or at such other times as may be determined by the Metropolitan-Primate. The Bishop-President of the Synod may call an emergency meeting of the Synod with the concurance of the Metropolitan-Primate and the written consent of fifty percent of its eligible participants.

Can. 18: The Plenary Council of the HOCAJ shall be the Holy Synod as described in Cannon 16.

Can. 19: An Inter-Diocesean Synod shall be recognized by The Holy Synod and shall be composed of all members of the jurisdictional hierarch and clergy and shall be presided by the Metropolitan-Primate. The Inter-Diocesean Synod shall consider and debate any matter of import common to the total Jurisdiction and shall entertain for discussion any matter considered by a participating member to be of significant importance to the Jurisdiction as a whole. All participating members shall be accorded equal voice and vote with the exception of the Metropolitan-Primate who shall have voice privileges only.

The Inter-Diocesean Synod may, but not necessarily, meet at the same place and at an approximate time in conjunction with any regular meeting of the Holy Synod, providing that said meting is not held during the specified hours that the Holy Synod convenes. The Inter-Diocesean Synod shall meet no less than triennially, but can meet more frequently as the need requires.

All decisions made by a legitimate assembly of the Inter-Diocesean Synod shall be forwarded to the Holy Synod for approval and final adoption. The Metropolitan-Primate is duty-bound to present the decisions and findings of the Inter-Diocesean Synod to the Holy Synod without any additions to or deletions from the original texts of any and all resolutions, recommendations, suggestions and/or motions voted upon by the Inter-Diocesean Synod for presentation to The Holy Synod. The Cleric-Secretary of the Inter-Diocesean Synod shall be responsible to prepare all meterial for the Metropolitan-Primate designed to be presented to the Holy Synod by the Primate on behalf of the Inter-Diocesean Synod. The Inter-Diocesean Synod shall elect its own Secretary at each such meeting and he shall serve as its Secretary until the next regularly scheduled meeting.

Can. 20: The Holy Synod, HOCAJ, shall recognize the existence of a General Council or General Convention to be composed of the following: (a) all Hierarchs of the American Jurisdiction; (b) all clergy of HOCAJ, (c) all parish and/or mission Senior and Junior Wardens; (d) diocesan and parish directors of Orthodox Christian Education; (e) diocesan and parish directors of Orthodox Youth Activities; (f) presidents or their legates of lay societies affiliated with the Jurisdiction; (g) members of the parish and/or mission Pastoral Boards; (h) at least two but now more than four lay delegates from each parish and/or mission who are not members of any of the preceeding catagories of delegates.

The General Council (General Convention) shall not meet less than triennially and shall elect its own presiding officer from among those eligible to participate, said presiding officer to serve with the title of "Moderator," and shall retain said status until he is replaced by election at the next regularly convened General Council. The Moderator may succeed himself for a second term but is inelligible for a third straight term.

The Moderator of the General Council may be of the male or female gender. The Moderator shall not be selected from the College of Hierarchs, but shall be elected from the ranks of either the clergy or the laity.

In addition to the moderator, a general secretary and parliamentarian shall be elected at each General Council (General Convention) from among the ranks of the clergy or laity, (bishops excluded).

The General Council (General Convention) shall concern itself with the temporal affairs of the Jurisdiction and shall not usurp the ecclesiastical prerogatives of the Holy Synod nor shall it interfere with the normal pursuits of the Inter-Diocesean Synod. It shall be the responsibility of the Moderator and General Secretary to render a complete record of the minutes of each session of the General Council (General Convention) to the Metropolitan-Primate and the Bishop-President of the Synod, who, in turn, will present them to the Holy Synod for ratification and implementation.

In keeping with the principle of "Separation of Church and State," a General Council (General Convention) shall not concern itself with national or state partisan politics, but may address itself to such national and/or state concerns that involve questions of morals and political ethics, and/or address itself to political matters that could infringe upon the prerogatives of religious freedom as expressed and guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America. The presentation of any candidate for political office for the purpose of obtaining the endorsement of a General Council (General Convention of HOCAJ shall be strictly prohibited.

The Holy Synod shall, from time to time, issue guidelines for the conduct of the buisess of the General Council (General Convention).

Can. 21: Suspended and/or deposed members of the clergy and excommunicated members of the laity are ineligible to be delegates or to participate in the affairs of the General Council.

Can. 22: All participants/delegates to the General Council (General Convention) must be at least eighteen years of age and be Chrismated members of the HOCAJ in good standing. This provision does not exclude such people who may be invited by the Primate, Bishop-President of the Synod, or other jurisdictional authority to be guests at the General Council (General Convention) for the purpose of serving as a speaker or as an official observer from another religious body. Such guests shall be accorded every courtesy but shall not be permitted delegate privileges of voice or vote.

Can. 23: To insure that all participating delegates to the General Council (General Convention) are either clergy in good standing or Chrismated members of the laity, each diocesan bishop will certify the canonical status of the clergy to the chairman of the Credentials Committee of each General Council, similarly, each pastor will certify the lay delegates' status as Chrismated members of his parish and/or mission. No delegate is to be seated who has not been so certified.

Can. 24: Unless in a particular situation the Holy Synod or the General Council (General Convention) declares a session to be "closed only to certified delegates," members of the religious and/or secular press shall be accorded every courtesy and access to the proceedings of a General Council (General Convention.)

Can. 25: (Of the Seal) The canonical and civily legal Great Seal of HOCAJ shall be in the custody of the Metropolitan-Primate who shall authorize its use to the Bishop-President of the Synod, the Synod Notary (ies) and Synod Cnancellor (Secretary) for use on all official Synodal canonical documents. All official canonical documents of the Synod must bear the imprint of the Great Seal in addition to the signature of the Metropolitan-Primate. (The personal ecclesiastical seal or crest of the Metropolitan-Primate is not to be confused as being the Jurisdiction's Great Seal, nor shall it be used as such.)


Can. 26: The highest ecclesiastical dignity within the HOCAJ shall be in the person of His Eminence, the Most Reverend Metropolitan-Primate who at the time of his election by the Holy Synod shall have attained the age of fifty-five and not be past his sixty-ninth year. The Metropolitan-Primate shall automatically retire from that office upon reaching the age of seventy. His successor shall be elected at the regularly scheduled meeting of The Holy Synod held prior to and not less than six months to the seventieth birthday of the incumbent Primate. The new Primate shall assume the full responsibility of his office on the seventieth birthday of his immediate predecessor, or as otherwise provided for in the event of the death of a Primate.

Can. 27: Three years prior to the automatic retirement date of an incumbent Primate, the Holy Synod shall cause the Inter-Diocesean Synod and the General Council (General Convention) to appoint a Primatial Board of Recommenders whose responsibility it shall be to review the qualifications of Bishops of HOCAJ and select three nominees for the Office of Metropolitan-Primate and submit said nominee for consideration to the Bishops of the Holy Synod who alone shall have the power to elect a new Primate. The Bishops of the Holy Synod may add their own choice of nominees to those of the Primatial Bord of Recommenders. A three fourths, plus one, majority vote of all Bishops of HOCAJ eligible to vote shall be required for a valid election of a new Primate. Bishops who are ill and/or unable to attend the Synodal Conclave of Primatial Election shall be entitled to cast an absentee vote for the candidate of their choice. No Bishop may absent himself from a Synodal Primatial Election except for reasons of illness and/or other sound and urgent reason. A Bishop automatically forfeits his Primatial Vote if, in the opinion of his brother-bishops, his absence from a Synodal Primatical Election is not justified.

Can. 28: All voting in connection with the selection of a new Metropolitan-Primate shall be by secret ballot. This Canon shall be observed by both the Primatial Board of Recommenders and The Holy Synod. All ballots shall be destroyed by fire if additional voting is required. The final ballots shall be secured by the Bishop-President of the Holy Synod and securely sealed and filed in the archives of the Synod for posterity. No signature shall appear on any ballot; ballots showing a signature will be null and void.

Can. 29: The Primatial Board of Recommenders shall consist of five members of the Inter-Diocesan Synod, excluding bishops, and six members of the General Council (General Convention.) Clergy nominated and appointed to the Primatial Board of Recommenders from among the constituent members of the Inter-Diocesan Synod shall not be considered eligible to represent the number of Recommenders reopresenting the General Council (General Convention.) Of the six Recommenders representing the General Council (General Convention) one shall be slected from anomg its clergy members and five from the Laity, making a ratio of six members of the clergy and five members of the laity for the entire compsition of the Primatial Board of Recommenders. The Primatial Board of Recommenders shall meet in closed secret sessions and shall elect their own chairman from among any of its eleven members and shall also elect a recording secretary whose only duty will be to record the official tallies of votes and make an official record of the three Primatial nominees selected.

Can. 30: Three months prior to the three year period immediately preceeding the automatic retirement of the Metropolitan-Primate, the Primate shall cause each archdiocesan and diocesan Ordinary to call into session the various archdiocesan and diocesan Synods and other pertinent Boards and/or Commissions of their respective jurisdictions for the purpose of nominating candidates for the Office of Metropolitan-Primate. The Ordinaries shall then submit such nominations to the Bishop-President of the Holy Synod, submitting same in wax-sealed envelopes which are not to be opened until the Primatial Board of Recommenders has convened. The Bishop-President of the Holy Synod shall personally deliver the sealed nominations directly to the elected chairman of the Primatial Board of Recommenders who alone shall destroy the seal and make the nominations known to the members of his Board of Recommenders. The Primatial Board of Recommenders shall consider such nominations along with those proposed by the Board itself, it (the Board) is not bound to accept the archdiocesan and/or diocesan nominees but are duty bound to give said nominees every prayerful consideration.

Can. 31: A newly elected Metropolitan-Primate may elect to retain his status of Arch-diocesan or Diocesan Ordinary should he, at the time of his election, hold such a post. He may, if he so elects, resign as Ordinary of his Archdiocese or Diocese in which event the regular procedures are to commence to select his successor. In the event that the Metropolitan-Primate is selected from among the coadjutor or suffragan bishops, his office of coadjutor or suffragan bishop shall be automatically terminated and the procedures to elect his successor shall be immediately commenced by the proper authorities.

Can. 32: It shall be the duty of the Holy Synod to fix the annual stipend of the Metropolitan-Primate. However, in the event that the Metropolitan-Primate is elected from the ranks of the active Ordinaries and elects to retain his Episcopal See and execute the duties appertaining thereto and does receive an annual stipend from his Episcopal See, the Holy Synod shall then not grant the usual annual stipend mentioned herein, but shall determine a reasonable stipend to cover such extra expenses involved with the normal duties of the Metropolitan-Primate.

Can. 33: In the event of the death of an incumbent Metropolitan-Primate, the Bishop-President of The Holy Synod shall immediately assume the responsibilities involved as Metropolitan-Primate pro tem, and shall remain in office as the Bishop-President of the Holy Synod during the interim period involved. In such a case and in the event that the Bishop-President is an active Ordinary, coadjutor or suffragan, he shall continue exercising the duties appertaining thereto during the interim of his service as Primate Pro Tem.

Immediately upon assuming the duties of the Primate pro tem, the Bishop-President of the Holy Synod shall notify all canonical constituent archdioceses and dioceses of the death of the Primate and proceed to the residence of the later Primate to assist the family of the deceased Primate and the local clergy with the necessary canonical funeral arrangements. He shall explain to the late Primate's family the traditional customs involved but shall also take into consideration personal wishes of the family concerning certain details that are not in conflict with essential Orthodox norms. The family shall reserve the right to name and select pallbearers without interference from the Primate pro-tem as well as the right of selection as to the place of burial.

All deceased Bishops, including the Primate, should be properly embalmed according to civil law and vested in full Episcopal vestments including the miter. The Episcopal ring, prectoral cross and/or Panagia may, if the family desires, be removed before the final closing of the casket and given immediately to the next of kin. The miter may or may not be buried with the prelate. The bishop's personal Antimins is ALWAYS buried with the prelate.

No Bishop may be buried with simple ceremonies from a funeral home chapel. He must be brought to his cathedral, if one is available, or to the nearest Church of the jurisdiction and there to repose in state at least two days prior to the funeral service. This same rule applies to all priests and deacons.

If the Bishop (or priest and/or deacon) has served in the armed forces of the United States, the proper military honors may be included at the graveside services by appropriate military or veteran organization officials. The American Flag may be draped over the casket according to military tradition, but inasmuch as a bishop's, priest's, and deacon's casket should be a fully opened one due to the wearing of full vestments, the Flag is decently displayed on a small table near the casket, properly folded in accordance with the U.S. Flag Code, it is unfolded and draped over the casket at the time of final closing.

No private veteran, Masonic or fraternal service shall be permitted within the church proper but may be performed at the grave following the Church's religious committal service.

The bishops and clergy should gather at the church of repose for (a) Divine Liturgy on the days of repose; (b) for Vespers for the Dead on the evenings of repose. The Primate pro tem shall preside at all such services unless prevented by unusual circumstances, if so prevented he shall delegate the responsibility to a brother-bishop.

Properly attired honor guards of veteran, Masonic and/or fraternal organizations may be permitted during the period of repose and during the funeral service at the church, said guards of honor be so placed by the Master of Ceremonies as to not interfere with the normal liturgical functions.

Funeral palls and palls of flowers are not placed upon the caskets of the clergy.

The casket containing the remains of a bishop, priest or deacon shall be placed in the center aisle of the church next nearest to the Altar, with the head facing the congregation and flanked by two standing candles. The Blessing Cross is placed in the hands of the deceased cleric and removed when the casket is closed.

If the funeral is held in the Cathedral of the bishop, the Bishop's throne is properly draped in mourning and is not used by any prelate, not even the Primate pro tem, during the funeral services. A separate chair shall be provided for the officiating Prelate.

The deceased Prelate's Coat of Arms shall be removed immediately from the Bishop's throne following the funeral services and presented to the prelate's next of kin. If a prelate, priest or deacon was a member of a Masonic Order or other organization that traditionally has the deceased wear some emblem of the order, i.e., a Masonic Apron, it may not be displayed over or upon the vestments, but may be folded and placed under the main garment, or worn under the main garment, or folded and placed at the feet of the deceased. No emblem other than the Cross may be displayed on or above the casket, fraternal emblems may be displayed on floral memorials. Military medals and/or decorations shall not be pinned to the vestments of the deceased, except the Congressional Medal of Honor should the deceased be entitled to the same. Badges of fraternal office shall not be worn by the deceased.

If a bishop, priest or deacon dies as a result of violent happening or as the result of any circumstance that prevents an open casket, either as a sanitary precaution or the art of cosmetics prevents a reasonable restoration of the remains, the casket shall remain closed during the entire period of official repose.

If a prelate or cleric is to be buried at a place where no church of this Jurisdiction is available, the Primate pro tem shall seek the courtesy of another Orthodox Church or, if unavailable, a Church of the Roman Catholic or Episcopal Communions for the funeral service, only as a last resort may a funeral chapel be used, and if used the chapel must be so arranged as to reasonably resemble a liturgical church setting suitable for the proper conduct of the services involved. In such and event, the same customs that would prevail in a normal church setting are to be followed.

Can. 34: Prelates and/or clergy of other Communions attending funeral services of a pelate or cleric of this Jurisdiction shall be received with the proper honors due their clerical status and shall be seated properly in choir, or in a place of honor sufficiently removed so as to not interfere with the normal liturgical funeral service. Prelates and clergy not in communion with Holy Orthodoxy shall not participate in any portion of the funeral service; however, a prelate of the Roman Communion may be given the privilege of participating in the final absolutions and, if desired, be permitted to deliver a personal brief eulogy.

Can. 35: Immediately following the burial of a Primate, the Primate pro tem shall meet with the bishops and clergy attending the funeral services for the purpose of setting into motion the procedures involved with the election of a new Primate.

Can. 36: The Holy Synod shall determine the procedures involved for the election of a new Primate to replace the deceased Primate, said election to be held not less than 90 days nor more than 120 days from the day of the deceased Primate's burial. Obviously, a full compliance with the normal canonical procedures for the election of a Primate cannot be observed, however, as far as possible the concept and directions outlined in Canons 26 through 31 should be observed. The Holy Synod alone shall have the right to determine alternate procedures as may be necessary to accomplish a legitimate election of a new Primate in the event of the demise of a Metropolitan-Primate.

Can. 37: The Primate pro tem shall cause the archdiocesan and diocesan Ordinaries to convene their respective Synods and/or other constitutional commissions and boards for the purpose of submitting recommendations to the Holy Synod concerning a replacement for a deceased Primate. All such recommendations shall be forwarded directly to the Primate pro tem who shall convey the recommendations to the Primatial election session of the Synod.

Can. 38: The newly elected Primate shall be installed by the Bishop-President (Primate pro tem) within thirty days of his election by The Holy Synod.


Can. 38: The Metropolitan-Primate of HOCAJ is not a supreme prelate for such is not known to exist within Holy Orthodoxy. He is, however, the chief executive canonical officer of the Jurisdiction with certain rights and privileges as expressed within the Canons of this Jurisdiction.

Can. 39: In the canonical order, the Metropolitan-Primate shall take precedence over the archbishops and bishops of the HOCAJ during his tenure of office.

Can. 40: The Metropolitan-Primate shall be the Apostolic teacher and guardian of the Holy Doctrines of the Holy Orthodox Faith during his tenure of office and shall exact from all bishops, clergy and faithful strict adherence to the Doctrinal decisions of the seven Ecumenical Councils and such other legitimate Ecumenical Councils that may, from time to time, convene, and to the Canons of HOCAJ.

Can. 41: The Metropolitan-Primate shall be considered the presiding Prelate at all official meetings of the Holy Synod, Inter-Diocesean Synod and General Council (General Convention) not necessarily chairing such meetings personally. The Mertopolitan-Primate shall respect the Canons of HOCAJ governing the same.

Can. 42: The Metropolitan-Primate shall, as far as possible, make an annual visit to each Archdiocese and Diocese of HOCAJ, said visit to be made at the convenience of the Ordinaries and at a time and place decided by each individual Ordinary. If Synodal funds are unavailable for such annual visits, the individual Archdioceses and Dioceses shall provide reasonable traveling and housing accomodtions for such visits. The Metropolitan-Primate shall not demand excessive traveling expenses or luxurious accomodations from any Archdiocese or Diocese, but shall accept whatever reasonable hospitality is extended to him.

Can. 43: Any Arhcdiocese or Diocese desiring a special visit to their jurisdictions by the Mertopolitan-Primate should give the Primate at least a sixty day advance notice which will enable the Primate to make al the necessary arrangements.

Can. 44: If the Metropolitan-Primate is married, all officials invitations should include his wife providing that the Archdiocese or Diocese extending the invitiation is financialy capable of including her.

Can. 45: In all matters involving Canon Law, spiritual functions and pastoral concerns of HOCAJ, the bishops , priests, deacons and laity of HOCAJ shall not be subject to any other ecclesiastical authority than the Metropolitan-Primate and The Holy Synod of HOCAJ.

Can. 46: A Bishop desiring to retire or otherwise vacate his Archdiocesan or Diocesan Episcopal authority must submit in writing a confidential petition to the Metropolitan-Primate only, outlining his reasons for said request; such petitions must be kept in confidence and revealed only to the Bishops of The Holy Synod at the discretion of the Metropolitan-Primate.

Can. 47: No Archbishop or Bishop of HOCAJ shall vacate his episcopal responsibilities without the approval of the Metropolitan-Primate and with the concurrence The Holy Synod whose corporate decision shall be final.

Can. 48: During the interim between meetings of The Holy Synod the Metropolitan-Primate shall be responsible for ordinary jurisdictional decisions, said decisions subject to either appeal through canonical provisions and/or ratification, if necessary, by the next session of the Holy Synod following the rendering of a particular decision. In some cases it would seem prudent for the Metropolitan-Primate to consult his Brother-Bishops of the Synod before making a crucial decision.

Can. 49: No Metropolitan-Primate has or shall claim any individual rights to ownership to the properties of HOCAJ except as otherwise may be permitted by contract with The Holy Synod.

Can. 50: The Metropolitan-Primate may not enter into any contractual agreements, or otherwise engage in any business enterprise, which by its nature may jepardise the assets of HOCAJ, or may subject HOCAJ to any claim, lawsuit, or liability arising from such activity.

Can. 51: The Metropolitan-Primate shall have the right of Jurisdiction in all geographical areas not consigned to a legitimate Archdiocese or Diocese of HOCAJ. He shall not exercise any form of jurisdiction whatsoever outside the confines of HOCAJ.

Can. 52: The Metropolitan-Primate shall cause to be erected such Archdioceses and Dioceses necessary to compliment the Apostolate of HOCAJ, but shall always ask and receive the advice of his Brother-Bishops of the Synod before making any final decision regarding such new entities.

Can. 53: No Archbishop or Bishop, be he Ordinary, Coadjutor or Suffragen, shall absent himself from his Diocese without permission of the Metropolitan-Primate.

Can. 54: The Metropolitan-Primate shall not usurp the canonical preogatives of an Archdiocesan or Diocesan Ordinary of HOCAJ respecting the traditional Canons of Orthodoxy relating to such matters in general and the Canons of HOCAJ in particular.

Can. 55: All Inter-Faith or ecumenical activities and guidelines as may, from time to time, be initiatied or voted upon by the Holy Synod shall be supervised by the Metropolitan-Primate. No official inter-Faith dialogues shall be initiated by any bishop or cleric of HOCAJ without the knowledge of and permission of the Metropolitan-Primate.

Can. 56: Internal disputes within any Archdiocese or Diocese of HOCAJ for which a reasonable solution is either difficult to achieve or impossible to attain, shall be refered to the Metropolitan-Primate who shall have the authority to intervene in behalf of the Holy Synod. In such matters the decision of the Metropolitan-Primate shall be final with either party retaining the right of appeal to The Holy Synod.

Can. 57: The geographical boundaries of the several Archdioceses and Dioceses of HOCAJ shall be that as determined by The Holy Synod; the Metropolitan-Primate shall be required to see to it that all such boundaries are respected by all bishops of HOCAJ. No bishop shall have the authority to extend his personal jurisdiction beyond the limits set by The Holy Synod for his own diocese.

Can. 58: The Metropolitan-Primate shall, if physically convenient, be the chief consecrator of each new bishop of HOCAJ as are to be elected and confirmed by The Holy Synod. The new bishop shall have the right to name his own co-consecrators who must be bishops legitimately incardinated to HOCAJ.

Can. 59: No bishop who is not incardinated to HOCAJ, however valid his Apostolic Orders may be, may not participate as a consecrator or co-consecrator of HOCAJ Bishops without the expressed permission of Metropolitan-Primate and the consent of a three-fourths majority of the Bishops of the Synod of HOCAJ. Permission for such an occurance must be limited to only those occasions where a sufficient number of HOCAJ Bishops are not available for a valid consecration, and when such permission is necessary it must be extended to bishops whose validity of Orders are totally accepted by Holy Orthodoxy. Bishops of the Anglican Communion are totally excluded. Bishops of the various independent Old Catholic bodies whose Orders do not stem from Oriental Orthodox sources may never be considered as participants in HOCAJ Episcopal Consecrations. Bishops of the various independent Orthodox bodies whose orgin of Orders are unknown and/or whose Orders do not derive directly from the Russian Orthodox Archbishop Aftimios (Ofiesh) Succession of Holy Orders, or from some other legitimate Eastern Orthodox source of Orders shall not be permitted to participate in the consecration of HOCAJ bishops.

Can. 60: The Metropolitan-Primate shall have the responsibility to protect the valid lineage of Holy Orders of HOCAJ and shall reserve the lineage of HOCAJ's Sacred Orders to that of the Afimios Succession excepting in those rare occasions as allowable by Canon 59, and then only when no alternative is possible.

Can. 61 All bishops, including the Metropolitan-Primate, who violate the provisions of Canon 59 are subject to automatic suspension of all episcopal rights and privileges and severe penalties by the Holy Synod.

Can. 62: The Metropolitan-Primate shall have the right to accept bishops and priests from other Apostolic legitimate jurisdictions and assign them to appropriate dioceses and/or parishes for active duty providing that such bishops and priests have been released honorably from their previous jurisdictions and that their Orders are absolutely recognized as being valid in all respects. And, providing further that in the event such bishops and priests come from a legitimate jurisdiction not currently under Orthodox suffrage, such are to be received through a Profession of Faith and the signing of a document attesting their loyalty and acceptance of incardination to HOCAJ.

Bishops and priests received from sources either not recognized as valid by Orthodoxy in general and HOCAJ in particular, or whose validity is in any way questionalbe, are to be received as laymen and if otherwise qualified are to be re-ordained completely beginning with the diaconate.

In order to safeguard HOCAJ from any kind of scandal resulting from an irresponsible acceptance of such bishops and priests, no bishop of any HOCAJ Archdiocese or Diocese may accept such individuals into their jurisdiction without fort notifying the Metropolitan-Primate of their intent to receive such a person, and if no objection is registered by the Metropolitan-Primate the bishop is free to conclude the negotiations involved. If an objection is registered by the Metropolitan-Primate, the bishop involved may appeal the case to his Brother-Bishops of the Synod whose decision shall be final.

Can. 63: The Metropolitan-Primate shall not confirm any bishop as a archdiocesean or diocesan Ordinary who has not been cannonically elected by the Holy Synod in keeping with the Canons of HOCAJ. Should the Metropolitan-Primate violate this Canon he shall be immediately and automatically suspended from all duties, rights and privileges as Metropolitan-Primate and subject to the disciplinary action of The Holy Synod.

Can. 64: The Metropolitan-Primate shall not have the authority to enforce a suffragan bishop upon any Ordinary, but shall confirm such coadjutors and suffragans as may be properly and canonically instituted in accordance with the provisions of the Canons of HOCAJ.

Can. 65: In respect to Canon 62, paragraph 1, the Metropolitan-Primate shall not make any assignment of a received bishop or priest to any archdiocese or diocese within HOCAJ without the approving consent of the Ordinary of the archdiocese or diocese concerned. In the event that the Ordinary does not desire the new individual, the Metropolitan-Primate shall assign them to an Apostolate within the geographical area of his own jurisdictional control.

Can. 66: In the event of the death of an archdiocesan or diocesan Ordinary incardinated to HOCAJ, and there is no coadjutor available for automatic succession, the Metropolitan-Primate shall appoint an Apostolic Administrator to handle the affairs of the archdiocese or diocese until a successor has been duly elected and confirmed. If the entity has a Suffragan he should be the person appointed as Administrator. If no Suffragan is available the Metropolitan-Primate may follow one of the following procedures: (1) Assign temporary jurisdiction of the vacant See to another diocese pending the election of a successor; (2) Appoint a bishop or qualified priest as the Apostolic Administrator pending election of a successor, or (3) Assume jurisdiction of the See himself until a successor is electe and duly installed.

Can. 67: The Metropolitan-Primate shall be required to make an annual report to The Holy Synod concerning the "State of the Jurisdiction," and a resume of the important activities occuring during the preceeding year. The report is to be presented in written form and duplicated and distributed to each bishop, the Moderator of the Inter-Diocesan Synod, the Moderator of the General Council (General Convention), the Parishes and/or missions of each subordinate Archdiocese and Diocese.

A copy of the report should also be forwarded to His All Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople for his archives.

(Note: The preceeding Canons relating to the Metropolitan-Primate are not complete, other Canons throughout this work will indicate additional responsibilities of the Metropolitan-Primate in other areas of jurisdictional concern.


Can. 68: No bishop is ever to be degraded to the rank of Presbyter except by his own request and even then he is to retain the rank of bishop, but, by his own choice, may be refered to as "Father" instead of "Bishop." At the demise of such a cleric, he shall be accorded the full honors worthy of the Episcopacy.

Can. 69: No bishop of HOCAJ, including the Metropolitan-Primate and the Bishop-President of the Synod, shall in any way interfere with nor usurp any of the prerogatives rightfully belonging to any of the nationalistic (Ethnic) Orthodox Jurisdictions as are to be found existing in the United States, nor shall they attempt to exercise authority over any religious body, foreign or domestic, that is not canoniclly subject to their personal jurisdiction. Violations against this Canon will be subject to the disciplinary action of The Holy Synod.

Can. 70: No person shall be elected to the Episcopate of HOCAJ who has not been regularly and canonically ordained a priest within the confines of the jurisdiciton of HOCAJ.

Can. 71: Each Archdiocese and Diocese canonically incardinated to HOCAJ shall have the right to elect their own Ordinaries, Coadjutors and Suffragans subject to their final and absolute election by the Bishops of the Holy Synod. In the event that the Synod, for good and just cause, reject a particular archdiocesan or diocesan election of an Ordinary, the respective archdiocese and/or diocese shall continue the process of election until one is found to be acceptable to the Bishops of The Holy Synod. The Synod's Bishop-President shall inform the clergy and laity of the archdiocese and/or diocese converned as to the reasons why the Synod has rejected a candidate unless such a disclosure would be harmful to the good name of the candidate involved. The Candidate himself will be privately informed as to why he was not acceptable to the Synod. The decisions of The Holy Synod in such matters shall be final.

Can. 72: Any bishop accepted by and incardinated to The Holy Synod, American Jurisdiction who shall absent himself for a period of one year from all contact with the Metropolitan-Primate, the Bishop-President of the Synod and the Holy Synod shall be presumed to have voluntarily, deliberately or intentionally withdrawn from canonical obedience to HOCAJ, and shall be dropped from the canonical list of incardinated bishops of HOCAJ and shall be released from the jurisdicion losing all rights and privileges appertaining thereto. If such a bishop be a diocesan Ordinary, his See shall be declared vacant by the Holy Synod and his Diocese authorized to proceed with the procedure of electing a successor.

Can. 73: In additon to the provisions of Canon 72, any bishop who voluntarily, deliberately or intentionally absents himself from any and all contact with the Metropolitan-Primate, Bishop-President of the Synod and The Holy Synod for a period of three years without giving any kind of explanation for his actions shall not only be dismissed from the Jurisdiction but shall incur automatic excommunication and deposition from Orders.

Can. 74: In keeping with the ancient norms of Holy Orthodoxy the Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiciton shall not recognize the existence or being of any bishop or church structure that insists in acting independently without any kind of an alliance with a structure of the existing Nationalistic (Ethnic) or Indigenous American jurisdictions. No bishop of HOCAJ, not even the Metropolitan-Primate or the Bishop-President of the Synod, shall assume unto himself the right of self-rule separate and apart from The Holy Synod, HOCAJ. Violators of this Canon shall be subject to severe censure and disciplinary action by The Holy Synod; and, if after such censure and discipline he persists in maintaining a self-rule posture, he shall be automatically excommunicated and deposed from Sacred Orders.

Can. 75: A bishop from another jurisdiction seeking incardination to HOCAJ must, in addition to complying with the provisions of Canon 62, must produce certified copies of his ordination to the diocanate and priesthood, and consecration to the Episcopacy. Additionally, he must render a complete resume of his background relating to education, professional or work experience, military record, organizational affiliations and previous church affiliations and experience.

The Metropolitan-Primate shall receive such documentation from the petitioning bishop and request the Bishop-President of the Synod to appoint an investigating committee to be composed of Bishops of the Synod who shall report back to the Synod for their final determination. The Holy Synod may require a written and/or oral (or both) examination of the petitioning bishop concerning his knowledge of Holy Orthodoxy, Sacred Scripture and other aspects of religious life important to the spiritual life of Holy Orthodoxy. The decision of the Holy Synod in such matters shall be final.

Can. 76: In relation to Canon 75, if the bishops of the Synod find the petitioning bishop not sufficiently qualified to be accepted as a bishop, even though his Orders may be adjudged as valid, the Synod may, if the individual is otherwise qualified, accept him in the status of priest. In such case, and in view of the validity of his Episcopal Orders, such an individual shall be accorded the recognition of Archhpriest if married, or Archimandrite if unmarried. If the individual accepts the judgement of the Synod and is inordinated as a priest of HOCAJ, he shall be prohibiited from exercising any of the episcopal prerogatives. He shall, however, always remain a bishop-in-fact, but restricted as to its powers and at his demise shall be buried as such.

Can. 77; In the event that the Holy Synod receives a petition from an individual believing himself to be a valid bishop within another jurisdiction, and said validity is adjudged not to be valid by the Synod, the provisions of Canon 62, paragraph 2 shall apply.

Can. 78: Missionary bishops, those bishops who are not elected to a regular diocesan structure, who shall supervise the affairs of HOCAJ in areas not yet elevated to the canonical status of a diocese, may be elected by the Holy Synod upon the recommendation of the Metropolitan-Primate. Missionary bishops shall be suffragan bishops to the Metropolitan-Primate and directly under his jurisdiction.

Can. 79: Archdiocesan and diocesan bishops located within the geoographical area of a Metropolitan See are, in addition to their own rights as an Ordinary, suffragans to the Metropolitan-Archbishop and his Archdiocese; hence, they have voice in the affairs of the over-all affairs of the Metropolitan See.

Can. 80: No one shall be ordained and consecrated a bishop of HOCAJ until he shall have reached his thirty-fifth year. The automatic retirement age for all bishops shall be seventy years of age, however a bishop may retire for reasons of health or other good reason prior to that time.

Can. 81; No priest may be consecrated a Bishop of HOCAJ by fewer than two bishops in accordance with ancient Canon Law, however, it is prefered that three bishops participate, a chief consecrator and two co-consecrators.

Can. 82; A bishop must confine the exercise of the Episcopal office to his own diocese or missionary area as defined by the Holy Synod, unless he shall have been requested to perform Episcoopal acts in another Diocese or Missionary area at the request of legitimate authority. He may, upon the authority of the Metropolitan-Primate, oversee the affairs of another diocese in the event of the demise of it Ordinary.

Can. 83; A bishop is strictly prohibited from exercising any Episcopal acts or jurisdiction in another diocese other than his own without the express invitation and permission of the bishop of the diocese in which the intended act is to be executed.

(Commentary: As per example - a priest to be ordained for a specific diocese wishes his friend, a bishop of another diocese to ordain him, must first receive the permission of the diocesan bishop to whom he is to be incardinated before an invitation can be issued to the ‘foreign' bishop. The same applies to a couple wishing a ‘foreign' bishop to witness their marriage, etc.)

Can. 84: In case of illness of an Ordinary, a coadjutor if there be one, automatically assumes jurisdiction for the time being; or, a suffragan may, with the approval of the Metropolitan-Primate, assume jurisdictional control until the Ordinary is able to resume his responsibilities. If there be no coadjutor or suffragan, the Metroopolitan-Primate may appoint an Apostolic Administrator pro tem until the Ordinary has recoved sufficiently to resume his duties.

Can. 85: An Apostolic Administrator who is not a bishop may during the tenure of his appointmment exercise ordinary jurisdiction of a diocese, but cannot perform any episcopal act reserved only to bishops, such as ordination, elevation of clerics to higher degrees of dignity, etc.

Can. 86: A archdiocesan or diocesan Ordinary has the right to establish his Cathedral Church in any area he desires within the geographical area of his jurisdiction. The Cathedral property becomes the property of the Archdiocese or Diocese and the principal Church of the archdiocesan or diocesan jurisdication. The Ordinary is the Chief Pastor of not only his Cathedral but of every parish and mission throughout his juridiction.

Due to the heavy limitations on the bishop's time, he may elect to appoint a priest as the parochial pastor of his Cathedral, said pastor to have charge of the parochial care of the parishioners of the Cathedral parish and supervise the normal parish Aposstolate programs. The temporal affairs of the Cathedral remain the responsibility of the Ordinary, however, the Ordinary may delegate some of these resonsibilities to a Dean who shall function separate and apart from the parochial pastor; or, if the Ordinary so elects, he may delegate certain temporal responsibiliities to the parochial pastor and the Cathedral Pastoral Board. The parochial pastor of a Cathedral shall bear the title of "Cathedral Rector."

A Cathedral Dean is a personal representative of the bishop and as such has no parochial authority at the Cathedral or throughout the jurisdiction unless otherwise delegated for such durties by the bishop.

The Cathedral shall be the location for all major functions of the Ordinary's jurisdiction including ordinations, investitures of minor prelates, and other official ecclesiastical or liturgical celebrations. The Ordinary may, however, schedule any of these functions at another church within his jurisdiction for good reason.

The Cathedral Rector shall be responsible for the religious training of the Cathedral parishioners, youth and adullt programs, the choir, training of acolytes and the scheduling of the same; for the training and scheduling of ushers, and for the scheduling of Sunday and weekday Divine Worship, the scheduling of weddings, funerals and baptisms/chrismations and for such other duties usually incident to the role of pastor.

When present at Divine Liturgy at his Cathedral the Ordinary shall always Pontificate from his Cathedra and if he so elects may join the celebrant for the Canon of the Liturgy.

The Cathedral Rector (Parochial pastor) is obliged to prepare adequate and intelligent sermons for delivery at each Divine Liturgy and in delivering his sermon in the presence of the Ordinary, he first addresses the Ordinary as follows: "May it please Your Excellancy , "if the Ordinary is a diocesan bishop; if an Archbishop, he says: "May it please Your Grace, " and if a Metropolitan, he says: "May it please Your Eminence."

The Dean may be invited to preach a sermon at the discretion of the Cathedral Rector.

The Ordinary, as Chief pastor of his Cathedral, should endeavor to give at least one sermon per month and schedule the same with the Cathedral Rector.

The Cathedral Rector shall have the authority to schedule guest sermons at any Divine Liturgy, providing that the one invited is a canonical bishop or priest of HOCAJ. The permission of the Ordinary is required if the person invited iis not a canonical cleric of HOCAJ.

The Cathedral Pastoral Board is under the direct administrative direction of the Cathedral Rector and it is he who shall chair each meeting of the Board. Appointments to the Cathedral's Pastoral Board shall be the responsibility of the Ordinary upon the recommendation of the Cathedral Rector. In the case of the Cathedral pastoral Board, it shall also constitue the "Cathedral Chapter, " and when in those rare cases the Pastoral Board sits as the Cathedral Chapter, the Ordinary presides. The Cathedral Dean has no responsibilities towards the Pastoral Board, nor does he have any authority in its arffairs, but he may, from time to time and at the invitation of the Rector, be invited to sit in on its proceedings and act as an advisor to the Board. The Dean has no vote within the Cathedral Pastoral Board.

The Cathedral Dean in additon to being a personal representative of the Ordinay is also the Dean of Clergy for the Ordinary's jurisdiction. He does not have to reside within the Cathedral Parish boundaries, and, indeed, may even be the pastor of another church within the Ordinary's Jurisdiction.

Neither the Dean nor the Cathedral Rector shall utilize the Ordinary's Cathedra, but the Rector shal occupy the chair to the immediate right of the Cathedra with the Dean occupying the chair to the Catthedra's left.

A visiting bishop may occupy the Ordinary's Cathedra with the permission of the Ordinary. But, a visiting bishop may not utilize a crozier in the presence of the Ordinary, and when sitting not in the presence of the Ordinary he may use the Crozier, but with the crook facing to the rear indicating that the visiting bishop does not have jurisdiction.

If there is a Deacon or Sub-deaconn assigned to the Cathedral one of them shall be assigned by the Cathedral Rector to attend to the Ordinary's needs during Divine Liturgy; in the casse that the individual appointed is a Deacon, he shall also perform his normal duties throughout the Liturgy. A layman known for his piety and knowledge of liturgical affairs, may be appointed by the Cathedral Rector as "Masster o f Ceremonies," in such case he will attend to the needs of the Ordinary in place of the Deacon or Sub-Deacon.

The Ordinary shall always be the Chief Celebrant of every Liturgy celebrated at the Cathedral in his presence even if he merely pontificates from his Cathedra. At special diocesean functions at the Cathedral the Ordinary shall always be the active chief celebrant, especially on ‘high holy days,' and at all ordinations.

The Ordinary's chancellor or vice chancellor, or Vicar General shall have no authority within the parochial concerns of the Cathedral and they shall not usurp in any way the prerogatives of the Cathedral Rector. They may, form time to time, and at the invitation of the Cathedral Rector, be the chief celebrant of the Diving Liturgy and occupy the pulpit. At official Cathedral liturgical functons of a diocesan nature, the Ordinary shall assign the officers of the Liturgy as he deems appropriate.

The Cathedral Chapter (Pastoral Board) shall have no authority in scheduling Divine Services, nor shall it usurp any of the Ordinary's or Cathedral Rector's prerogaatives concerning the same.

The Cathedral Rector, if a Mitred Archpriest or Archimandrite, may use the simple white miter when celebrating the Divine Liturgy, but not in the presence of the Ordinary. Under no circumstance is he to utilize the crozier either within or outside the presence of the Ordinary. The Cathedral Rector shall be entitled to wear the cassock and regalia of a Domestic Prelate but shall not utilize a jeweled pectoral cross, or wear a pectoral cross in the same manner as the Ordinary, neither shall he wear the schuoetto.

Can. 87: Bishops of HOCAJ shall wear the same choir and house dress as those worn by the Prelates of the Carpatho-Russian Diocese and the Western Patriarchate (Rome) in accordance with their Eppiscopal rank. Choir dress of Anglican bishops is not authorized. Eastern Rite prelates of HOCAJ shall wear the choir dress appropriate to their rank.

For obvious reasons there shall be uniformity of Episcopal attire throughout the entire HOCAJ Jurisdiction for anything less will cause confusion among both clergy and laity. The introduction of a strange and/or foreign Episcopal attire is not authorized, nor is the introduction of strange and foreign attire for priests and deacons to be tolerated. With the exception of cope, miter and the traditional Eucharistic vestments common to booth Western Rite Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism, NOCAJ Bishops shall not wear items of clerical attire that are clearly identifiable as Anglican garb inasmuch as the Western Rite of HOCAJ desires to identify itself separate and apart from Anglican norms. Conservatism in Episcopal attire shall be the norm for the ennntire HOOCAJ. It ought not to be forgotten that the HOCAJ desires a posture of stability and a wide variance of Episcopal attire among the members of the HOCAJ Episcopate, among those who would know better and should set an example, is not indicative of the desired stability this jurisdiction needs to maintain.

(Commentary: There was a time when Ecclesiastical prelates, civil sovereigns and military generals could and did design their own garb, but those days have long passed into history and uniformity has become the rule rather than the exception. Tthe laity of today are not impressed with unusual and unconventional clerical garb however related it may be to ecclesiastical antiquity.)

Can. 88; Metropolitan-Archbishops, the Metropolitan Ordinary of a Metropolitan-Archdiocesan See, shall exercise regular and normal Episcopal jurisdictional authority within his own Metropolitan See and shall have limited authority over the Diocesan Sees located within his Metropolitan Province. Such authority shall be limited to acting as liaison between The Holy Synod, the Metropolitan-Primate, the Bishop-President of the Synod and the subordinate Metropolitan diocesan Sees, and it shall be his responsibility to coordinate Synod-wide concerns among said Suffragan Sees. He shall not usuuurp the prerogatives of the ordinary exercise of Episcopal authorrity of his Suffragan Sees or Bishops, nor shall he intrude in the affairs of the Suffragan Sees' Synods unless very obvious and serious departures from Faith, Moral and/or Episcopal norms are being violated. In the event of such abuses, the Metropolitan-Archbishop shall take immediate counsel with the Metropolitan-Primate in an effort to reach a workable solution; such counsel failing, the Metropolitan-Primate shall take the matter to the Holy Synod whose decisions shall be final.

Can. 89: Archbishops, the Archbishop Ordinary of an Archdiocesan See, shall exercise regular and normal Episcopal jurisdictional authority within his own Archdiocesan See and shall have access to the Metropolitan-Archbishop of his Province for guidance when necessary and shall be subject to legitimate authority of The Holy Synod and Metropolitan-Primate in accordance with the provisions of the Canons of HOCAJ. He shall not usurp the prerogatives of a bishop of another diocese, nor seek to extend his jurisdiction beyond the geographical boundaries of his own Archdiocese.

Can. 90: Bishop, the Bishop Ordinary of a Diocesan See, shall exercise regular and normal Episcopal jurisdictional authority within his own Diocesan See and shall have access to the Mertropolitan-Archbishop of his Province for guidance when necessary and shall be subject to the legitimate authority of The Holy Synod and Metropolitan-Primate in accordance with the provisions of the Canons of HOCAJ. He shall not usurp the prerogatives of a bishop of another diocese, nor seek to extend his jurisdiction beyond the geographical boundaries of his own Diocese.

Can. 91: Coadjutor Archbishops and Bishops shall exercise such Episcopal authority as are delegated to them by their Ordinaries. They shall not attempt to usurp the prerogatives of their own Ordinaries or bishops of other Sees, nor attempt to exercise any personal jurisdiction in areas prohibited by ancient ecclesiastical norms and the Canons of HOCAJ. They shall enjoy the privilege of right and immediate succession to the See in which they are incardinated upon the demise of the Ordinary, but they shall not exercise such authority until installed by the Metropolitan-Primate, During the interim between the demise of their Ordinary and the date of their official and canonical installation as Ordinary, Coadjutors shall exercise Episcopal authority over the late Ordinary's jurisdiction in the capacity of Apostolic Administrator subject to the authority of the Metropolitan-Primate, The Holy Synod and the Canons of HOCAJ.

Can. 92: Suffragan Bishops, shall exercise such Episcopal authority as are delegated to them by their Ordinaries. They shall not attempt to usurp the prerogatives of their own Ordinary or bishops or of other Sees, nor attempt to exercise any personal jurisdiction in areas prohibited by ancient ecclesiastical norms and the Canons of HOCAJ. Suffragan bishops do not have the right of succession to their Ordinary's See upon the demise of said Ordinarym, but may, if appointed by the Metropolitan-Primate, act as the Apostolic Administrator of the vacant See until a successor has been duly elected and installed. The Suffragan Bishop is always eligible for consideration to succeed his deceased Ordinary should his diocese not have a Coadjutor. Suffragan bishops are elegible for election as the Ordinary of another See, and for appointment by the Synod as bishop of a Missionary Province. They, like the Ordinary, are subject to the legitimate decisions of The Holy Synod and the Metropolitan-Primate, and the limited authority of the Metropolitan-Archbishop of their own Metropolitan Province.

Can. 93: The Canonical duties and responsibilities of all Archdiocesan and Diocesan Ordinaries shall be as follows:

(a) Protect, defend and teach the Holy Doctrinal decisions of the seven Ecumenical Councils and cause the same to be uniformly taught and upheld by the clergy and laity of their respective jurisdictions.

(b) To establish parishes and missions and to determine the boundaries thereof.

(c) To provide each parish and/or mission with the necessary pastoral guidance through the appointment of pastors and other assistant clerics as necessary.

(d) To provide adequate theological training for postulants to the priesthood and diaconate and to supervise the same.

(e) To promote sacerdotal vocations, receive petitions from Postulants and approve or disapprove such applicants in accordance with Canon Law and sound judgement.

(f) To appoint a diocesan chancellor, notary or other diocesan authorities as are needed for the successful administration of his jurisdiction.

(g) To establish and be responsible for the care of his Cathedral and provide adequate pastoral guidance for the parishioners thereof.

(h) To ordain only those men to the priesthood and diaconate who are known for their spirtual piety, adequately trained in theology and other aspects necessary for a successful sacerdotal apostolate, who are free from canonical impediments, who Chrismated Orthodox Christians and totally dedicated to the Holy Orthodox Faith of Christ.

(i) To provide adequate religious training for the children committed to the care of their respective parishes and missions, and to provide adequate religious training for all parishioners, especially for converts to the Faith.

(j) To utilize only such religious educational materials as reflect the true teachings of the Holy Orthodox Faith and not permit strange or false teachings within his jurisdiction.

(k) To utilize the abilities and talents of his Coadjutor or Suffragan bishops to the fullest possible exent and to cooperate with them in Episcopal collegiality.

(l) To utilize the abilities and talents of gifted and educated members of his clergy in areas best suited to their expertese.

(m) To give Godly admonitions to his clergy when necessary and exercise reasonable but not dictatorial disciplinary action in matters of sacerdotal disobedience and other clerical abuses, doing so always being sinful of his own spiritual condition and in absolute conformity with the Canons of HOCAJ; and always providing such clergy the right and benefit of a properly instituted Canonical hearing or trial in strict observance of the canonical provisions of HOCAJ governing such hearings and trials.

(n) To consecrate the sacred vessels belonging to individual members of the clergy and the parishes and/or missions; to consecrate the Holy Antimins for those clergy canonically incardinated to their jurisdictions; to consecrate altars and church building (church edifices may not be consecrated until all debt has been retired and the property belongs to the parish and/or diocese); to consecrate and distribute the Holy Oils on each and every Holy Thursday, distributing them to only those clergy incardinated to their jurisdiction.

(o) To initiate adequate stipends for the clergy when feasible and institute a system of parish stipends to the diocese for the upkeep and administrational requirements of the diocese and to administer such funds as prudently as possible.

(p) To hold in trust as a legal Corporation Sole all funds and properties of the diocese and to be the chief administrator of the same.

(q) To establish a diocesan Synod and such other diocesan commissions and boards as are necessary for the successful administration of the diocese.

(r) To supervise the parishes and/or missions of the diocese and insure that their Pastoral Boards conform to the norms and Canons of HOCAJ.

(s) To visit each parish and/or mission at least once during a calendar year.

(t) To cause each pastor to keep an accurate record of all administration of the Sacraments, especially baptisms, chrismations and marriages, and to record all parish deaths, submitting copies of the same to the diocesan chancery.

(u) To maintain a complete bookkeeping and record system at the Chancery of all diocesan matters and parish records.

(v) To be concerned for the spiritual welfare of his clergy and providing such clerical retreats as, from time to time, are advisable.

(w) To be dilligent in submitting whatever reports and records from the diocese to the Holy Synod as may from time to time be required.

(x) To be attentive to his responsibility of meeting with his Brother-Bishops in Holy Synod assembled and to cooperate with his Brother-Bishops in all decisions of the Synod, and promulgate such decisions throughout his own diocese.

(y) To initiate steps to provide his diocese with a coadjutor and/or suffragan bishops as the growth of the diocese merits, and to communicate such need to the Metropolitan-Primate for consideration by the Holy Synod.

(z) To establish Ecumenical Guidelines for his diocese in keeping with the established guidelines of The Holy Synod.

(aa) To budget a regular diocesan stupend for the upkeep of the Synod and the normal and reasonable expenses of the Metropolitan-Primate.

(bb) To establish a regular system of communications between his diocese and the parishes & missions through the media of some form of a regularly scheduled publication such as a newsletter, etc.

(cc) To administer the marriage provisions of HOCAJ's Canon Laws equally among his diocesan communicants, to dispense from such laws when necessary and to regulate a uniform diocesan system concerning the same.

(dd) To invite the Metropolitan-Primate to his diocese at least once a year.

(ee) To convene his diocesan Clergy Synod and Diocesan Council of clergy and laity at least once a year.

(ff) To cooperate with bishops and clergy of other Faiths outside HOCAJ in matters of mutual concern providing that no compromise of Faith and Sacraments are involved. See (z) above.

(gg) To extend the hand of fellowship to other Orthodox Jurisdictions and cooperate with them to whatever extent may be possible without usurping any of their prerogatives, nor permitting them to usurp his own.

(hh) To provide the diocese with adequate legal counsel capable of handling any legal contingency that may from time to time confront the diocese.

(ii) To establish a diocesan set of Canons seeing to it that they are not in conflict with the general Canons of HOCAJ, submitting said Canons to the Holy Synod for ratification and approval.

(jj) To incorporate his diocese in accordance with existing state laws for the purpose of establishing state legality and to enjoy such tax exemptions as may be available to churches through the state.

(kk) To apply to the Federal IRS authorities for a tax exemption number to cover his diocese and subordinate parishes and/or missions.

(ll) To adhere to such federal and state laws in reference to social security laws covering the clergy and diocesan employees.

(mm) To provide, if possible, such insurance coverage for members of the clergy that may from time to time be necessary.

(nn) To cause to be commemorate in each celebration of the Divine Liturgy throughout his diocese the names of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, the Metropolitan-Primate, Bishop-President of the Synod, his own good name and the Holy Synod.

(oo) To adhere to the Holy Canons of HOCAJ and to dispense from them when only absolutely necessary, refusing to dispense in impossible situations and DISPENSING FROM ONLY THOSE CANONS THAT ARE NOT RESERVED TO THE HOLY SYNOD FOR DISPENSATION.

(pp) To preside over all diocesan commissions, boards and the Synod either personally or through a legitimate legate.

(qq) To cause to be observed throughout his diocese "The Sunday of Orthodoxy," on the first Sunday of Lent of each year.

(rr) To cause to be observed the legitimate Holy Days of Orthodoxy as shall be from time to time prescribed by the Holy Synod.

(ss) To issue, from time to time, constructive and teaching Episcopal Pastoral Letters to each Parish and/or Mission, especially at the following times: At the beginning of Lent and Advent, Easter and Christmas.

(tt) To use reasonable restraint in issuing canonical admonitions and regulations without consulting the diocesan clergy advisors.

(uu) To remember that the bishop is a true servant of the servants of God and that compassion for his canonical subjects in keeping with reasonable adherence to the Doctrinal aspects of the Faith and the Holy Canons is a sacred trust and resopnsibility.

(vv) To be mindful of his own spiritual condition at all times and engage in the exercise of daily personal prayer always asking the Holy Spirit for guidance, wisdom and patience.

Can. 94: Each Archdiocesan and diocesan bishop has the authority to be bi-ritual in order to serve both the parishes of the Western and Eastern Rites which are incardinated to his See. In serving a particular Rite, the bishop shall wear the appropriate vestments.

Can. 95: Each Ordinary shall be responsible to see to it that whatever approved HOCAJ Liturgical Rite is granted to a parish and/or mission is strictly adhered to and that no parish and/or mission under his jurisdiction may exercise bi-ritual privileges.

Can. 96: Each Ordinary shall cause each of his pastors and clergy to have at least one annual conference with him, either at the bishop's chancery office or at the clerick's home parish and/or mission.

Can. 97: No bishop of HOCAJ is authorized to exercise his ministry outside the confines of the authority of The Holy Synod, HOCAJ, excepting on those occasions which are governed by approved Ecumenical Guidelines. This Canon applies equally to every ordained cleric incardinated to any of the constituent Sees of HOCAJ.

Can. 98: In keeping with the example given the Church by Christ Himself by His selecting married men to be His Apostles, and inasmuch as the Bishops are the legitimate successors to the Apostles, and further, in accordance with the admonition of Apostolic Canon #5, "Let not a bishop, priest or deacon put away his wife under the pretense of religion, but if he puts her away, let him be excommunicated; and if he persists, let him be deposed," and further in accordance with the admonition of St. Paul that "A Bishop shall be the husband of but one wife;" and, further believing that the Church loses the benefit of the capabilities of many priests by not admitting a married man to the Episcopacy, and further believing that it is an act of discrimination of the worst kind by reserving the Episcopacy to only priests in the celibate state of being indicating that only the unmarried priest is worthy of elevation to the Episcopacy, and further indicating that the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony is not compatible with the Holy Sacrament of Holy Orders, the Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction does not subscribe to or accepts the Canons made subsequent to the establishment of the Apostolic Canons whereby the Episcopacy is reserved to only the celibate clergy; and hereby this Canon approved by the Holy Synod of HOCAJ accepts the example set by Christ Himself and authorizes married priests to be ordained and consecrated to the Episcopate of the Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction. By so approving of a married Episcopate the Holy Synod of HOCAJ views the actual actions and example of Christ to be totally authoritive and superior to any subsequent law of man, the ‘power of the keys' notwithstanding. Any man who denies that the law of God, the example of the law set by Christ Himself is inferior to any law of man let him be anathema. And, Let him be anathema also who subscribes to any theory which places the law of man over and above that which Sacred Scripture canonically allows.

(Commentary: By this Canon the HOCAJ has not established a canonical precedent unknown to Christendom in general and to Orthodoxy in particular; nor has it established a condition within the Apostolic Church of Christ that has not existed previously in both ancient and more recent modern times. Indeed, it continues a tradition within the Indigenous American Orthodox Apostolate that began fifty years ago by both Archbishops Aftimios and Ignatius when they became the first Orthodox bishops in this country to be married men, both of whom were at the time of consecration to the Episcopacy in the celebate state of being, but who subsequent to their consecration and when the American Jurisdiction was established reverted back to the ancient custom of th early Church and restored the married Episcopate to the Church. Neither of these two bishops established a precedent either, for , indeed, in certain parts of the world where Eastern Orthodoxy is the majority religious persuasion, married men have been consecrated to the Episcopate and even in more recent times in Russia, Macedonia and elsewhere. In fact, today, a complete reestablishment of the married Episcopate is being advocated by many Eastern Orthodox bishops and clergy, among them the Greek Archbishop of New York under Constantinople, among others .... may our example be a guide for others to follow.)

Can. 99: Heiarchs of HOCAJ shall be designated as follows: Metropolitan-Primates, active or retired, shall be addressed as "His Eminence, the Most Reverend ----- -------; Metropolitan Archbishops as His Eminence, The Most Reverend ------ --------; Archbishops as His Grace, the Most Reverend ------ --------; Bishop-President of the Synod as His Excellency, the Most Reverend ------ -------; Coadjutor Archbishop as His Grace, the Most Reverend ------ -------; Diocesan Bishops, Coadjuter Bishops and Suffragan Bishops as His Excellency, the Most Reverend ------ -------.

All degrees of priesthood carry the salutation of "Your Reverence," with the title designations being as follows; Mitered Archpriest and Mitered Archimandrite - The Right Reverend; Archpriest and Archimandrite - The Very Reverend. In keeping with ancient western custom and the custom of Orthodox Carpatho-Russians, among others, Right Reverend and Very Reverend Archpriests and Archimandrites may be addressed as Monsignor.

(Commentary: Among some of the Eastern Jurisdictions diocesan bishops are termed ‘The Right Reverend,' however, insasmuch as the vast majority of peoples within western Christendom are accustomed to recognizing the term ‘The Most Reverend' as the proper custom idtifying all ranks of the Episcopacy it would appear that HOCAJ being within the pale of western Christendom, its Orthodox and Eastern relationship notwithstanding, it would be most appropriate for HOCAJ to conform to the traditional western norms of Episcopal identification. In some countries Rome has dropped the ‘Right Reverend and Very Reverend; identification of the Monsignori, however the tendency still remains to equate bishops with the designation of ‘Right Reverend' with that of the lower ranks of the monsignori.

It would appear, too that HOCAJ would desire to uphold its Episcopacy to a level of dignity that would not appear to be inferior to that of the predominant majority party of western Christendom and at least equal to that upheld by certain elements of Orthodoxy, notably the Carpatho-Russian Jurisdiction. It is realized that a bishop is still a bishop regardless of the terminology used ot describe or identify him as such, yet a conformance with the accepted world-wide western norms in the matter will eliminate the possibility of mistaken or misunderstood identity of the status of our bishops. And, more importantly, HOCAJ recognises all bishops to be equal as members of the one College of Bishops, each possessing the same dignity and Succession of Orders, hence each should carry the same principal mark of identification, the term ‘Most Reverend' being the most appropriate.

Lastly, due to the unfortunate confusion that reigns supreme among those elements that make up the total Anglican Communion, that Communion refering to their bishops as 'Right Reverend,' it would appear wise for HOCAJ to not use the Anglican style of reference used in identifying their bishops, lest our own bishops be understood by less knowledgeable churchmen as belonging to any segment of the Anglican Communion.)

Prelates of HOCAJ shall not append to their descriptive titles any form of exhalted termology over and above that prescribed by this Canon.

Can. 100: The ancient custom of the laity genuflecting to a prelate and kissing his episcopal ring, a custom derived from the Middle Ages, is to be discouraged.


Can. 101: The sole authority for the erection of Archdiocese, Dioceses and Missionary Provinces shall rest in The Holy Synod.

Can. 102: The boundary lines of an archdiocese, diocese and missionary province shall be that as determined by The Holy Synod.

Can. 103: Excepting for those archdioceses and dioceses currently in existence within HOCAJ, said entities established for the purpose of creating the initial ecclesiastical structure of HOCAJ, no diocese shall be created until the geographical area it shall govern has acheived the establishment of a minimum of four parishes, not including missions. The existence of four or more missions within a single geographical area shall not of itself constitute the necessity of erecting a diocesan entity, but may, with the approval of the Metropolitan-Primate and The Holy Synod, be established as a Missionary Province eligible for the establishment of a missionary bishop to oversee its affairs.

No further archdioceses shall be established until the proposed geographical area involved has achieved the establishment of at least eight parishes, not including missions.

(Commentary: It is precisely because HOCAJ is the youngest national jurisdiction of the Holy Orthodox Faith, it being the indigenous jurisdiction of the United States and just over fifty years of age, that special care must be exercised to see to it that the Jurisdiction not over-extend itself and create more diocesan structures and bishops than are actually and reasonably required for the successful prosecution of its apostolate. Care must be taken to safeguard HOCAJ from the unwarranted practice of certain religious bodies create more bishops than needed and create bishops simply to satisfy ambitious men seeking episcopal status. "Where the bishop is, there is the Church"...but, a bishop must have a church structure over which he is the bishop, otherwise his office is in vain. A single mission chapel with a handful of people does not justify the existence of a bishop! There must never be within HOCAJ the existence of 'honorary bishops,' all must come into being as the result of a real and actual ecclesiastical need which invovlves the pinciple of apostolic jurisdication over several churches canonically errected and incardinated to a jurisdictional bishop. Anything less will destroy the integrity of HOCAJ and lessen its ability to serve the Faithful committed to its care.)

(Note: The provisions of the Canons relating to the required number of parishes for the erecton of an archdiocese or diocese are not only sound and in keeping with ancient Apostolic practice, but serve as incentive goals fo those involved with desiring their geopgraphical areas to be so designated as an archdiocesan or diocesan entity.)

Can. 104: The organizational structure of Archdioceses and dioceses shall be that described and outlined in the Pastoral Guide and/or that which, from time to time, will be determined by The Holy Synod. To create nation-wide jurisdictional conformity, all Ordinaries shall construct their ecclesiastical structures in conformance with this Canon. Every Ordinary shall have the right to augment the basic structure as outlined in the Pastoral Guide, or as may, from time to time, be established by The Holy Synod, with such boards, commissions, committees as he may determine will enhance the efficiency of his administration, but the basic structure shall always remain uniform with other dioceses throughout the entire HOCAJ.

Can. 105: (METROPOLITAN SEES) The Holy Synod shall divide the contnental United States into 7 geographical Conferences, namely: The New England Conference; The Mid-Eastern Conference; The Southern Conference; The Central States Conference, the Southwestern Conference, The Western Conference and The Mid-Western Conference with the view that each Conference will eventually have its own Metropolitan-Archdiocesan See. No Conference shall have a Metropolitan-Archdiocesan See until it has sufficiently reached organizational maturity to warrant such a See., The Holy Synod deciding when such a maturity has been accomplished.

The boundaries of each Conference shall be that determined by The Holy Synod and until each Conference has reached. the desired organizational maturity, The Holy Synaod shall appoint a Provincial for each Conference who shall be the representative of the Synod charged with the responsibility of nuturing the growth of the the Apostolate in his Conference are. The Provincial may be a priest incardinated to HOCAJ, or a missionary bishop. If the Provincial is a priest he shall not exercise episcopal jurisdiction within the Conference, but if he be a missionary bishop he shall exercise such episcopal authority as delegated to him by the Synod. Conference Provincials shall work under the immediate supervision of the Metropolitan-Primate in concert with the Holy Synod.

The authorty of the Metropolitan-Archbishops of said Conferences; Metropolitan Archdioceses shall be that as expressed in Canon 88.


Can. 106: In keeping with the ancient practices of the Apostolic Tradition as have been observed and respected by the ancient Patriarchates and autonomous jurisdictions of the Orthodox Church everywhere, worthy priests have, from time to time, been elevated to vatious dignities of rank within the Apostolic priesthood. The authority governing such sacerdotal recognitions have been limited to the Patriarchs of the several legitimate Patriarchates and the Primates of the autonomous bodies. Respecting the age-old traditions involved, The Holy Synod of HOCAJ shall recognize the right of its Primate to elevate worthy priests to positions of sacerdotal homor and dignity in keeping with the practices of the Patriarchates and the several autonomous bodies providing no priest by elevated to any sacerdotal rank of dignity without the recommendaton and approval of the Ordinary to whom the priest is incardinated.

It shall be the responsibility of the Ordinary to submit to the Metropolitan-Primate the names of any priests of the Ordinary's own jurisdiction who, in the opinion of the Ordinary, merits recognition and advancement within the sacerdotal order, naming in specific terms the degree of dignity to whch the Ordinary desires the priest to be raised. Upon receipt of the official recommendaton from the priest's Ordinary, the Metropolitan-Primate shall confer with the Ordinary at the earliest possible moment to determine whatever details concerning the elevation which the Ordinary may desire or recommend. The Metropolitan-Primate shall be responsible to respond to the Ordinary's request withni thierty (30) days following the request and, should he respond negatively the Ordinary shall have the right of a refiew of the merits of the situarion with The Holy Synod. Should the Holy Synod concur with the opinion of the recommending Ordinary, the Metropolitan-Primate shall acquiesce to the Ordinary's recommendaton and proceed with the appointment to the sacerdotal degree requested by the Ordinary.

Upon the elevaton of a priest to a higher dignity within the sacerdotal rank, the priest's own Ordinary shall notify the priest of the appointment and set a time for his official investiture. The priest's own Ordinary shall be the prelate officiating at such an investiture unless he shall otherwise delegate it to another prelate. Common courtesty shall dictate that a priest,so honored by his own Ordinary' s recommending him for sacerdotal advancement,shall not request another prelate to preside at the investiture.

Can. 107: In keeping with the ancient traditons outlined in Canon 106, HOCAJ whall recognize the following dignities within the Sacerdotal Order:

For both the Western and Eastern Rites:

Classificaton No. 1 for married clergy: (1) Mitred Archpriest; (2) Archpriest

Classification No. 2 for celibate clergy: (1) Mitred Archimandrite; (2) Archimandrite

The Mitred Archpriest and Archimandrite shall both carry the dignity of Right Reverend and may utilize the title of Monsignor.

The Archimandrite and Archpriest shall both carry the dignity of Very Reverend and may utilize the title of Monsignor.

The Mitred Archpriest and Mitred Archimandrite may utilize the simple white miter when celebrating the Divine Liturgy and when functioning in other liturgical ceremonies, but may not wear the Miter in the presence of his Ordinary or other bishop, excepting on such occasions when specifically given permission to do so by his Ordinary or another bishop in whose presence the Mitred Archpriest or Mitred Archimandrite is to function.

The choir dress for these sacertodal dignities shall be that provided for in Canon 86, paragraph 19 and shall wear the soutain with purple piping and buttons after the manner of bishops together with the appropriate purple cincture, the bieretta of black with the purple pom pom. The purple cassock or soutain is not authorized for wear by such sacerdotal dignataries for such is reserved only for bishops, nor is the purple skull cap authorized for such sacerdotal dignitaries. Purple clergy shirts or rabats are similarly not authorized for minor sacerdotal prelates.


Can. 108: No person shall be accepted as a postulant for the diaconate or priesthood of the Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction, nor ordained as such who is not of the masculine gender and is not a Chrismated Orthodox Christian. No bishop of whatever rank or status, nor the Holy Synod shal have any power to dispense from this Canon.

Can. 109: All postulants for Holy Orders must be of the masculine gender by natural birth.

Can. 110: No man shall be ordained to any Order of the Sacred Ministry of deacon, priest or bishop who is known to be engaged in a personal lifestyle that is contrary to the moral standards of heterosexualism and that are contrary to the moral teachings of Holy Scripture. Bishops who knowingly violate this Canon shall automatically be excommunicated and deposed from the Sacred ministry together with the person he so ordains. The Holy Synod shall not have the power or authority to reverse this Canon.

Can. 111: No man who is otherwise qualified shall not be restricted from the reception of Holy Orders on account of his race or national origins.

Can. 112: The canonical age for a deacon shall be twenty-two (22) years of age and twenty-four (24) years of age for the priesthood. A candidate for the priesthood must have attained his 24th birthday prior to ordination as such.

Can. 113: A candidate for Sub-deacon, which is not part of the Holy Orders of bishop, priest or deacon, nor is it to be considered as a preliminary step towards achieving major Orders, must be of the masculine gender, a Chrismated Orthodox christian, free of the impediments stipulated in Canon 110 and shall have reached his twentieth (20th) birthday prior to such ordination.

Can. 114: Each Ordinary shall be responsible for the recruitment of vocations for his own diocese and shall be further responsible for the theological training of all such candidates and shall receive no person as a postulant nor ordain any person contrary to the provisions of the Canons of HOCAJ; thsi Canon shall be irrevocable.

Can. 115: It is strictly forbidden to force any one in any way, or for any reason, to embrace the sacerdotal state, or to keep a properly qualified from that state.

Can. 116: A man who has received the Order of Deacon and refuses to receive the higher Order of Priest cannot be forced to it by the bishop, nor can the bishop on account of such refusal forbid the Deacon the exercise of the office of Deacon.

Can. 117: A priest who has been recommended by his bishop to a higher sacerdotal dignity has the right to decline the honor and he shall not be penalized for so doing.

Can. 118: The Sacrament of Holy Orders, by the Divine institution of Jesus Christ, distinguishes within the Church the clergy from the laity, for the government of the Church and its people and the valid ministry of administering the Holy Seven Sacraments and the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.

Can. 119: Canonically married men may be ordained to the diaconate or priesthood.

Can. 120: The celibate clergy shall be those who were unmarried at the time or ordination to the diaconate, remaining celebate through ordination to the priesthood and afterwards remaining in that state. Celibate clergy are not free to marry unless for good and sound reason they receive a dispensaton from their Ordinary; a cleric's own Ordinary shall be the sole authority in such matters,

In the event that the Ordinary denies a cleric's petition for dispensation to marry, the cleric has the right to make a second and third petition. If the Ordinary continues to refuse permission, the cleric may appeal his case to the Metropolitan-Primate who shall take the matter under advisement with The Holy Synod and the resulting decision shall be final.

Can. 121: The Holy Synod shall cause a Code of Clerical Conduct to be established and set the penal remedies involved. The Code shall be reviewed every four years by competent canonists within HOCAH and shall recommend to the Synod whatever changes may be required. The Code, although it shall be published in separate form, shall constitute itself as part of the total Code of Canon Law of HOCAJ and as such shall be binding upon all clerics of HOCAJ without exemption.

Can. 122: The Holy Synod shall cause a General Code of Orthodox Christian Conduct to be established and set the penal remedies involved. The Code shall be reviewed every five years by competent canonists within HOCAJ and shall recommend to the Synod whatever changes by be required. The General Code, although it shall be published in separate from apart from the Code of Clerical Conduct and the General Code of Canons, shall constitute itself as part of the total Code of Canon Law of HOCAJ and as such shall be binding upon all members of the clergy, regardless or rank, and the laity without exception.

(Note: As far as practical those Canons relating to clergy and laity conduct and the penalties involved shall be those as are to be found in "The Rudder," said Canons, where applicable, to be utilized until HOCAH has been able to institute the provisions of Canons 121 and 122 above.)

Can. 123: Under no circumstance shall a strange priest, one unknown to a resident bishop, priest or deacon and especiallly one known not to be incardinated to any canonical entity of HOCAJ, be given the privilege of celebrating the Divine Liturgy or any other sacred act, until his status has been cleared by the Ordinayr of the place involved. Pastors are duty bound to comply strictly with this Canon.

Can. 124: When visiting the parishes, the Bishop shall see that everything is in good order. He shall examine the parish's canonical records and financial journals. He shall see that the church edifice, or misssion chapel contains all things necessary for Divine Worship, that the Altar Table and Sanctuary are clearn, that vestments are not too old and in good repair, that the Antimins is in good condition and signed by the proper canonical Episcoal authority, and that the Reserved Sacrament if being reserved in conformance with liturgical law. If the Bishop finds fault with these things he is to give brotherly admonition to the pastor.

Can. 125: The Bishop is duty-bound to see to it that all clergy under his jurisdiction abide by the Canons of HOCAJ, the legal and canonical decisions of The Holy Synod and those directions as may, from time to time, appear in the Pastoral Guide, and all other rules of the Ordinary's own canonical entity. In cases of violation, the Bishop shall take whatever steps he deems advisable to correct the situation, utilizing, in the first instance, the provisions of the Canons of HOCAJ, and, secondly, the corrective provisions normally applicable to his own diocesan structure.

Can. 126: None of the seven Sacraments shall be administered within any canonical structure of HOCAJ contrary to the provisiions and directions of the Orthodox Service Books as are genuinely translated by Isabel Florence Hapgood and approved by The Holy Synod of HOCAJ.

Can. 127: The Parish pulpit is never to be used to publicly embarass or admonish personalities of a parish, nor is the pulpit ever to be used to embarass, ridicule or admonish the diocesan Ordinary, other bishops, of the Jurisdiction including the Bishop-President of the Synod and the Metropolitan-Primate. Priests or parishes having complaints or differences of opinion with their Ordinary or other member of the Heirarchy of HOCAJ shall prosecute such complaints or differences in accordance with the established provisions of the Canons of HOCAJ.

Can. 128: No layman shall be appointed to any position of trust within a parish or diocesan structure who has not partaken of the Sacraments of Absolution (Penance) and Holy Communion at least once during the year preceeding an appointment of trust. The normal time when everyone is required to receive these Sacraments at least once is during the Easter Season, from Ash Wednesday to the Ascension.

Can. 129: (Use of other buildings outside our own) Inasmuch as HOCAJ is still a small jurisdiction, it is extremely difficult for every parish and/or mission to own their own buildings for worship and parish functions. New parishes and/or missions, and local parishes already established are allowed to use other facilities such as (1) another Orthodox Church, (2) a Roman Catholic Church, (3) a Episcopal Church, (4) a Protestant Church, (5) a secular building such as a community meeting center. A pastor may set up a chapel in the rectory for regular Divine Worship until such time as more adequate facilities may become available. When accepting the hospitality of other church edifices for Divine Worship, weddings, funerals, etc., the priest and Pastoral Board should offer the host pastor and/or church a reasonable stipend for the use of the same; the host pastor or his board should set the amount of the expected stipend. Whne a host pastor and/or church graciously refuses to accept an offered stipend, the pastor and Pastoral Board should make some gift to the host parish such as a bos of camdles or some other article useful to the host church.

Can. 130: No liturgy may be celebrated within any Parish and/or Mission of HOCAJ which has not been authorized by The Holy Synod. Liturgical formats of an experimental nature shall not be used in HOCAJ parishes unless said format has been approved for erperimentation by the Metropolitan-Primate and The Holy SYnod.

Can. 131: The normal Western Rite Liturgy to be used within HOCAJ is the 1870 Western Rite Liturgy of Moscow, a modified Western Patriarchial (Roman) Liturgy. The 1979 modified Anglican Liturgy, commonly now known as 'The Salisbury Rite for Orthodox,' may be used in those parishes and/or missions coming into HOCAJ from the Anglican Tradition providing that the usage conforms to the formats that have been structured by Bishop +Walter of the Diocese of Houston or that of Bishop +James of the Diocese of Kentucky. The traditional Eastern Rites normally found in the nationalistic (Ethnic) jurisdictions in this country shall be the norm for Eastern Rite parishes and/or missions of HOCAJ. With certain minor deletions, references to the Pope of Romes, merits of saints (if any appears), the Eastern Rite Liturgy as compiled by the Melkite Archbishop Joseph Raya may be utilized within HOCAJ Eastern Rite parishes and/or missions.

Can. 132: Clergy of HOCAJ are authorized to affiliate themselves with local autonomous ministerial associations, providing (1) that such associations are not branches of the World Council of Churches or the National (American) Council of Churches, and, (2) such participation on the part of HOCAJ clergy will not involve 'communicatio in sacris.'

Can. 133: Clergy of HOCAJ may accept ecumenical invitations from clergy of other faiths to give a homily or address the invitin clergy's Communicants providing that the prohibition of 'communicatio in sacris' is strictly observed, and that the HOCAJ clergy does not wear his Eucharistic vestments on such occasions. On such occasions HOCAJ clergy shall wear the cassock, surplice (cotta) and academic hood if desired, but he shall not wear the stole. If the cleric is of the Eastern Rite he shall wear the Rassa but not the Epitrachelion (stole).

Ecumenical joint services of whatever nature involving clergy of HOCAJ and the Roman Catholic Church shall be that as determined by the Ecumenical Guidelines of the Holy Synod of HOCAJ.

Can. 134: Because of the shortage of priests some of HOCAJ parishes and/or missions are deprived from hearing the Word of God. Whenever a priest is unavailable for Divine Liturgy, a deacon, sub-deacon or lay reader may conduct a Sunday Worship Service knownas "The Office of the Typiks," or a modified version of the Western (Morning Prayer) Non-Liturgical Worship Service, providing that, if Morning Prayer is used, it conforms strictly to Orthodox worship norms, the proper Creed, etc. The Office of Typiks is the recommended preference since in most Orthodox Service Books it appears almost as a liturgy without the Anaphora. When such a service is conducted by a Deacon, he may Communicate the Faithful from the Reserved Sacrament during the service. A Sub-Deacon or Lay Reader may not, under any circumstance, administer the Reserved Eucharish.

For the Office of the Typiks and/or Morning Prayer the Deacon shall wear his normal Eastern or Western Rite vestments while the Lay Reader and/or Sub-Deacon shall wear cassock and surplice (cotta0 for the Western Rite, or, a Rassa for teh Eastern Rite.

Can. 135: Communities without priests and small communities without church edifices or a mission priest, must request the Ordinary to appoint a Lay Reader for the community.

Can. 136: All Lay Readers must be appointed by the local Ordinary at the request and recommendaton of the local pastor or mission community if no priest is in residence.

No member of the Laity shall conduct any worship service for a community without the permission of the local Ordinary.

Can. 137: Evening Divine Liturgies are authorized within all constituent HOCAJ Archdioceses and Dioceses providing that such liturgies do not commence before the hour of three-thirty in the afternon nor later that the hour of nine o'clock in the evening.

Under no circumstance is an evening liturgy celebrated on a Saturday to take the place of the regular Sunday morning (or evening) Civine Liturgy. As far as practical the normal hours for the Divine liturgy on Sundays shall be between seven and eleven/forty-five in the morning. The Divine Liturgy for Christmas and Eastern must commence on Christman Eve or Easter Eve at midnight, there are no other liturgies on those days.

Can. 138: Unleavened bread shall not be used for the Eucharist within HOCAJ. Levened bread, in the form of the traditional western wafers, shall be used, said communion breads being available for HOCAJ use by the Nod Company, Nashville, Tennessee.

The normal unleavened bread of the Eastern Rite shall be used in all Eastern Rite parishes and missions throughout HOCAJ.

Can. 138: Except in parishes and/or missons that are almost exclusively composed of a particular ethnic tradition, the Divine Liturgy and other services shall be celebrated and/or conducted in the English language.

Can. 139: The Holy Synod, Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction recognizeds the existence of Society of Clerks Secular of Saint Basil, commonly known as "The Basilian Fathers," ajnd decares said Order as the only existing canonical Order of Orthodox hristian men authorized within HOCAJ. A companion Order for women, The Order of St. Macrina shall similarily be recognized for OrthodoX Christian women of HOCAJ.

Can. 140: Orthodox Christians of HOCAJ shall not partake of the communion elements of the Protestant Episcopal Church or of any segment of the Anglican world-wide communion.

Can. 141: Membership of Orthodox Christians of HOCAJ within the ecuemncal Order of St. Luke is authorized providing that the provisions of Canons 132 and 133 in reference to 'communicatio in sacria' are strictly observed.

Can. 142: The Ordinary of each diocesan entity shall determine the assignment of all clergy incardinated to his diocese.

Can. 143: The Pastor is the official representative of his Ordinary in his assigned Parish.

Can. 144: In all matters involveing Canon law, spiritual function, priestly (sacerdotal) rights, privileges and duties, the Priest is under the direct supervision of the Bishop of the diocese to which the priest is incardinated, and through his own Ordinays is additionally subject to the Metropolitan-Primate and the Holy Synod.

Can. 145: No Priest or Deacon has or shall claim any individual rights to the properties of his parish except as otherwise may be permitted by contract with his Bishop and/or Pastoral Board.

Can. 146: No Priest or Deacon may enter into any contractual agreements, or othervise engage in any business enterprize, which by its nature may jeopardize the assets of his parish, or may subject such parish to any claim, lawsuit or other liability from such activity.

Can. 147: Upon assuming the duties of a parish assignment, the Pastor with the Pastoral Board, shall immediately cause an inventory to be made of all parish property, for warding a copy of said inventory to the diocesan chancellor for his records. Similarily, when vacating a parish the pastor and Pastoral Board shall submit a full inventory of all parish property to the diocesan chancellor.

Can. 148: Lest any member of the parish laity assume that any sacred vessel, vestment or other article used by the pastor in the performance of his pastoral duties and being the property of the pastor, belong to the parish and not the pastor, the pastor, upon assuming a parochial cure, shall prepare a complete inventory of all his personal property which he intends to use in the performance of his pastoral duties and present said inventory otthe Parish Pastoral Board and submit a copy of said inventory to the Diocesan Chancellor for his diocesan personnel records.

(Commentary: This is a most important Canon inasmuch as it is promulgated for the protection of the cleric against ill-advised accusations by the clergy or laity. There have been occasions where a parish has assumed that a chalice, for example, belongs to a particular parish when in fact it actually was the personal property of the pastor.)

Can. 149: Vestments, sacred vessels and other equipment purchased from parish funds for use by the pastor, curates and deacons in the performance of parish duties shall always remain the property of the parish and no pastor, deacon or curate has the right to claim them as their own or remove them from the parish property.

Can. 150: Apastor must make arrangements to visit the home of each parishioner at least once a year, and must arrange with each family to bless their homes during the days immedicately following Epiphany.

Can. 151: Because we live in an age where individual status of profession, resience and background is everywhere being challenged, every Ordinary shall issue annually a identification card to each member of his clergy; said ID care to show whatever pertinent information deemed essential by the Ordinayr. The ID card should clearly indicated that the cleric has current faculties to perform his particular sacerdotal duties.

Can. 152: Whenever a Priest or Deacon is about to visit another city in which there is an Orthodox Priest and Parish of HOCAJ, the visiting Priest must write to the resident Priest regarding his visit, and immediately upon arrival must visit and/or call the resident priest as a matter of canonical courtesy. No resident priest shall permit a visiting priest the privileges of the resident priest's altar until the visiting priest shall have presented his current jurisdictional ID card shalwing that he is in current good standing as a priest of HOCAJ.

Can. 153: The Holy Synod shall not make any financial assessment against any of its constituent Archdioceses, Dioceses, Missionary Provinces, Religious Orders, Parishes and/or Misssions except as herein provided:

(a) A ten percent (10%) Tithe of the monthly income of each Archdiocese, Diocese, Missionary Province, Religious Orders, Parishes and/or Missions is to be made payable to the Holy Synod for the national church's administrational expenses. Any additional contribution from these entities to the national church shall be strictly voluntary on their part.

(b) The Holy Synod has the authority to authorize an annual collection at each Liturgy on a given Sunday for:

(1) Missionary activities of the Jurisdiction

(2) Orthodox Christian Educational Program of the Jurisdiction

(3) Educational Fund for the training of priests and deacons.

Such annual collections shall be supervised by the Ordinaries of the Archdioceses and Dioceses and shall not constitute part of the monthly tithe.

New and/or small parishes/ missions may be exempt from the monthly ten percent tithe upon the approval of their Ordinary until such time as the local entity has gained sufficient stability to assume such responsibility.

Each Archdiocese and Diocese is authorized to levy a monthly tithe upon the canonical parishes and missions ncardinated to them. The amount of such tithes shall be determined by the Ordinaries in concert with their Archdiocesan or Diocesan Clergy and Laity Councils.

Can. 154: The Holy Synod shall not establish any system of Clergy or Laity national dues as a requirement for status or Communicant membership in the Church. Membership in the Church of God is not dependent upon a Communicant having to pay any form of financial dues at any level of the Jurisdiction's structure. Archdioceses, Dioceses, Missionary Provinces and Parishes (Missions) are forbidden to levy dues upon their Communicants as a condition for membership or for the privileges of participating in the Sacraments or other activities of a parochial nature. This Canon does not apply to Religious Orders or national, diocesan or parish societies which may, from time to time, come into being and which, or necessity, must depend upon the dues of its members for existence.

Can. 155: The Holy Synod recommends to each Archdiocese, Diocese, parish and/or mission to establish a Stewardship Program for its own financial needs and encourages, as a part of the Stewardship Program, the Scriptual admonition of personal tithing. It is the responsibility of ever Communicant to contribute a portion of their wealth and good fortune for the support of the total program of the Church. However, there are occasions when an individual is unable to assume such a responsibility due to sickness, financial reverses and other economic difficulties. Such persons and/or families shall never be denied their Christian rights within any entity or the American Jurisdiction because of any unfortunate inability to contribute to the support of their national church, diocesan or parish/mission entities.

Can. 156: No bishop or bpriest of HOCAJ shall exact from any Communicant a fee as a requirement for the rception of the Holy Sacraments. A grateful Communicant may, if he so desires, make a financial contribution to the Diocese, parish or mission upon such occasions as the reception of a Sacrament, or he may graciously bestow a personal stipend to an officiating bishop or priest and , in such an event, a bishop or priest must never dictate or even suggest that he receive a stipend, nor dictate or suggest any specific amount desired as a stipend for services rendered. Such stipends must always be left to eh descretion of the giver. Clergy guilty of demanding stipends for the administration of the Sacraments shall be subject to disciplinary action by their Ordinary. Bishops who violate thie Canon shall be liable for disciplinary action by the Holy Synod.

Can. 157: Archdioceses, dioceses and missionary provinces may establish and regulate a system or parish fees for the use of parish facilities for weddings and other social activities desired by Communicants, providing that such fees are reasonable and not made a part of the condition for the reception of any Sacrament, be it the Sacrament of Matrimony or any other. Parish and/or mission pastors may, in concert with their Pastoral Boards, establish such fees for their own local entities, such fees must be approved by the Ordinary before they become effective.

Can. 158: Two signatures are required upon all Parish and/or mission checks when making disbursements for the payment of debts and other parish financial requirements. The two signatures required shall be that of the Pastor and countersigned by either the SEnior Warden or the Parish and/or mission treasurer. The parish and/or mission treasurer shall be responsible to the Pastor and Pastoral Board for an accurate accounting of all funds belonging to said parishes and/or missions.

(NOTE:) The following shall serve as temporary Canons pending a complete Code of Canons dealing with the most delicate subject of clergy discipline, removal from their cures, suspensions from Sacerdotal privileges and/or deposition. These temporary Canons shall be in force until the Holy Synod has adoptedand approved the final Code of Discipline for the Clergy. The full Disciplinary Code shall be prepared and presented to the Synod no later that January, 1981.

Can. 159: All members of the Clergy, including bishops, who are incardinated to any consituent Archdiocese, Dioceses, Missionary Provine or Religious Order of The Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction are subject to the Code of Conduct for the Clergy as may, from time to time, be established by The Holy Synod. Bishops shall be subject to a special Code of Conduct as shall be established by The Holy Synod.

Can. 160: Clergy, other than a Bishop, accused of offenses against the Canons of HOCAJ, of heresy ormisconduct, or, who have been convicted by the Sate of proven criminal actions, shall have such accusations submitted to the Ordinary in writing and signed by the accusor and/or accusors in the presence of no less that firve (5) witnesses to said signatures. All accusors and witnesses to the document(s) of accusation must be Chrismated adult members of HOCAJ with the exception of extra-ordinary circumstances that involve wrong-doing to or with an individual not a member of HOCAJ. Clery so accused shall have the following options:

(1) Have their case heard by his own Ordinary in the presence of the Chancellor or Vice Chancellor and two Priests nominaed by the accused, and submit himself to the Godly judgement of the Ordinary.

(2) Have his case heard privately by the Ordinary, and submit himself to the Godly Judgement and/or admonitions of the Ordinary.

(3) To be tried by a legitimate Ecclesiastical Court, assembled on the authority of the Ordinary and in conformance with established Canon Law. Such a court shall be presided over by either the Chancellor or the Diocesan Notary, assisted by two priests appointed by the Ordinary and two Priests nominated by the accused. The accused may retain professional legal counsel, or he may select a priest known for his knowledge of Canon Law and court procedure to represent him. The majority decision of the Ecclesiastical Court shall be made known to the Ordinary who, in the case of a conviction, shall determine the extenc ot the discipline he deems necessary. The Ecclesiastical Court may recommend a disciplinary action to the Ordinary, but it has no power of determining what the Ordinary may or may not do in any given case.

If the disciplinary action of the Ordinary is felt to be excessive by the accused, he has the right of appeal to the Metropolitan-Primate who may, if necessary, convene another Ecclesiastical Court at the Synod level to hear the case. The decision of a Synodal Court shall be final with the disciplinary action resting within the Episcopal authority of the Primate. The composition of the Synodal Ecclesiastical Court shall be that ad determined by the Primate and the Bishop-President of the Synod providing that the accused be given the opportunity of (a) selecting his own clerical or lay counsel, and, (2) selecting two priests of his own choice to sit as part of the Synodal Ecclesiastical Court.

(4) If the accused appeals his Ordinary's disciplinary action, he may elect to appeal it only to the Metropolitan-Primate in such event the accused will sign a waiver to a Synodal Eccliastical Court trial and submit himself to the Godly Judgement of the Primate. In such a case the Primate's decision and disciplinary action shall be final.

Can. 161: An Ordinary shall have the authority to exercise the Episcopal powers and suspend a clerick from his sacerdotal rights and privileges pending the result of an indepth investigation into the accusation(s), and the conclusion of a hearing with the Ordinary or the decision(s) of a properly convened Ecclesiastical Court. No cleric shall be suspended for more than nintey (90) days without having some recourse of action as stipulated in Canon 160. If no official action is taken within the prescribed ninty (90) days, the suspension is automatically lifted and the cleric is to be restored to his duties without prejudice providing that a notorious scandal was not originally involved. When the accusation is of such a nature as to create a notorious scandal, the Ordinary may enact a suspension of sacerdotal rights and privileges for periods longer than ninty (90) days, and in such cases the Ordinary must cause the case to be adjudicated as rapidly as possible in keeping with the provisions of Canon 160.

Can. 161: Clergy proven to be in heresy, or who abandon their priesthood without first consulting with their Ordinary incur automatic suspension of all sacerdotal rights and privileges and, in some cases, may incur automatic depostion. The Ordinary shall be the authority of decision in such cases with the cleric involved retaining his right of appeal in accordance with the provisions of Canon 160. The Ordinary's suspension and/or deposition shall remain in force until a higher Episcopal authority or Ecclesiastical court has made a final decision of conviction.

Can. 162: An automatic penalty of excommunication and/or deposition from Sacred Orders shall not be handed down by an Ordinary for any offense other than heresy and abandonment of Sacred Orders without the cleric so accused having the benefit of a proper hearing and/or trial. Bishops violating this Canon shall be suject to disciplinary action by The Holy Synod.

Can. 163: The Ecclesiastical Court(s) shall try the issues involved in accordance with the traditionally established rules of evidence. Hearsay evidence shall not be permitted to be heard. The members of the Court, especially the presiding judge, and the cleric (attorney-in-fact) representing the accused must familiarize themselves with established Canon Law and civil law procedures governing the kind of offense(s) being tried. The accused must always be accorded every reasonable opportunity to clear himself and be repesented by competent counsel.

Can. 164: In matters purely ecclesiastical the accused, if found guilty of the charges placed against him, must accept the decision of the Ecclesiastical Court and is prohibited from bringing a purely ecclesiastical matter into the civil courts. Any accused cleric who attempts to involve a Civil Court with the case shall incur automatic deposition from Sacred Orders, the authority to dispense or revoke the deposition being reserved to only the Holy Synod.

Can. 165: Clerics accused of dishonesty or other crime that is the subject of a civil law procedure shall not exercise his ministry during said trial and/or period of probation or sentence if found guilty. If found guilty the Ordinary shall decide what course of Canon Law action is mandatory and proceed accordingly.

Can. 166: Bishops are subject to the same provisions of these Canons with the exception that they shall be judged by their own peers, the Bishops of the Holy Synod. A cleric not in Episcopal Orders shall not sit in judgement of a Bishop, but, a Bishop, if he so elects, mayselect a competent cleric as his personal counsel before the Synodal Ecclesiastical Court. A Bishop shall be subject to a special Code of Conduct in addition to those stipulated elements of the Code as outlined herein these temporay Canons.

(Commentary: Essentially Bishops have the right to suspend their clerics for a variety of reasons, but in so doing they must act responsibility and within the intent of existing Canon Law. As stated, heresy andabandonment of Holy Orders are the two prevailing reasons for a cleric to incur immediate suspension and, if the case is notorious, deposition, said penalties remaining in force until a proper ecclesiastical adjudication has been determined.)

Can. 167: All clergy within HOCAJ are assigned to and transfered from a parish and/or other parochial cure only by the authority of the Ordinary. The Pastoral Board of a parish and/or mission does not have the authority to engage the services of a priest to be pastor or curate, nor does it have the authority to dismiss a pastor or curate. A parish and/or mission, through it's Pastoral Board, may petition the Ordinary for the removal of a pastor for just cause; said petition must be authenticated by the signatures of each Pastoral Board member. The Ordinary shall initiate, first, a meeting of reconciliation between the pastor and the parish, that failing, the Ordinary shall take whatever futher steps he deems advisable and proper for the best interest of both the parish and the cleric involved.

Can. 168: Members of the clergy of HOCAJ who desire to enter the military service as a Chaplain must possess the requirements of the Federal Government for such service and be ecclesiastically endorsed by the Ordinariate for Orthodox Chaplaincies, the official endorsing agency of The Holy Synod, HoCAJ. Clergy entering the campus ministry (chaplaincy), hospital, prison and other institutional chaplaincies, and those desiring to serve as a chaplain for a veteran or fraternal organization must receive official endorsement from the Ordinariate for Orthodox Chaplaincies before they undertake such responsibilities.

The Ordinariate for Orthodox Chaplaincies shall not endorse any member of the clergy for a chaplaincy endeavor without the approval of the cleric's Ordinary, nor shall it endorse any clergyman for such service who is not regularly incardinated to an ecclesiastical entity of HOCAJ.