Metropolitan Archbishop +Peter, has announced his retirement from the ministry as Primate of the Orthodox Catholic Church of America (OCCA). His intention was communicated to the Secretary of the Synod, Bishop +Anthony, and to the Synod of Bishops. Bishop Anthony has initiated and will oversee the election of a locum tenans, a Latin phrase meaning “place holder.” Archbishop Peter’s retirement becomes effective upon an election of the locum tenans, and this person will administer OCCA until such time a successor is elected. According to our canons, the clergy elect the bishops and the bishops elect the metropolitan archbishop. The new primate receives jurisdiction immediately, while the installation occurs at a time convenient to all.
Thankfully the Metropolitan Archbishop is not retiring due to health concerns. I think Vladyka +Peter’s decision to submit his retirement is best conveyed by his own words:
“Someone I treasure recently observed that I have seemed wistful over the last few years. His impression is that I have been reviewing my life, and starting to lay out what he calls the final chapter. I don’t assign a particular gloominess to that, but he is probably right. I experience days filled with touch of peace and gratitude that God showers on me. There are also days when I am caught up in the awesome Mystery and my emotions are indescribable…
My motto has been ‘Many Voices, One Song,’ and I have stressed over and again hope, reconciliation, and community. I have preferred action to inaction; reflection rather than knee-jerks. I leave this job satisfied rather than sad, and I hope you will continue to pray for me.
Another person cracked wise, saying that it is difficult to choose between savoring and saving the world each day. I am ready to focus on savoring. So, sisters and brothers, companions in ministry, believers in the Good News, keep up the work of proclaiming Christ risen and people alive in faith. Let us all pray for one another and speak respectfully with each other in the ministry of reconciliation and envisioning the future focused in the risen Christ.”
The date of a general election of a new Metropolitan Archbishop has yet to be determined. Please keep the Synod of Bishops and the Orthodox-Catholic Church of America in your prayers as we go through this period of adjustment.