Holy Synod of Milan

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The Holy Synod of Milan originated as a diocese for Western Europe of an Old Calendarist Greek Orthodox church. The full name of the jurisdiction is the Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of Milan, Aquileia, Western Europe and Canada.


The diocese was granted a tomos of autonomy in 1984 from Archbishop Auxentios in order to pursue missionary work among the non-Eastern-Orthodox people of the West. The title of the synod at this time was the Metropolia of Western Europe. After the transfer of its first chief hierarch, Metropolitan Gabriel of Portugal, to the autocephalous Church of Poland, Bishop Evloghios of Milan was chosen as second chief hierarch and elevated to the rank of metropolitan.

Metropolitan Evloghios remained at the helm of the holy synod of bishops of the Church of Milan until his death on January 20, 2019, which comprises four dioceses in Europe, as well as missionary deaneries in England, Spain, France, South Africa, and the United States. Western Rite communities exist within the Holy Synod of Milan, though the principal rite is the Byzantine Rite of the Eastern Orthodox Church, celebrated most commonly in the Slavic style but in some parishes in the Greek style.

In 1989, Archbishop Evloghios was in full communion with Metropolitan Mstislav, the primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church United States and later the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kiev Patriarchate. Full communion with the Kiev patriarchate ceased in 2006 before the condemnation of Patriarch Filaret of Kiev from Moscow. The title reconfirmed by Patriarch Volodymyr through a new tomos of autonomy (1994) is Archbishop of Milan and Longobardy - Metropolitan of Aquileia, Western Europe and Canada.

In 1990, Archbishop Evloghios was elevated as metropolitan of the Holy Synod of Milan.

In 1990, Metropolitan Evloghios became member of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Kiev;

In 1993, Metropolitan Evloghios obtained the Tomos of Autonomy for the Holy Synod of Milan from the hands of Patriarch Volodymyr.

In 1995, Metropolitan Evloghios participated to the election of the new Patriarch of Kiev (Filaret (Denisenko). A month after the enthronement of Patriarch Filaret, Evloghios consecrated Volodymir as bishop of St. Julius island.

In 1997, following a breakdown in their relationship with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kiev Patriarchate, the Milan Synod added two archdioceses in the United States, with an Archbishop of New York and an Archbishop of Texas.

In February 2011, the archbishops in the United States were granted a tomos of autonomy by the Holy Synod of Milan, which included the British deanery. Formal communion ceased between the American church, the Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of North and South America and the British Isles, and the Holy Synod of Milan in April 2011.

In September 2013 the tomos of autonomy granted to the archbishops in the United States was definitively suspended by the Holy Synod of Milan in Decree No. 639, along with the official suppression of the bishopric of New York and its metropolitan.[citation needed]

In October 2013, the Holy Synod of Milan began to take steps to reorganize the American church with the establishment of a new deanery under the direct supervision of Bishop Voldimir, the Bishop of Class and St. Julius Island and the chairman of external church relations, and named him Exarch for the new Western Rite Exarchate worldwide. However, by December of that year members of the Synod decided to terminate their support of the Orthodox Western Rite by closing the deanery and newly established Exarchate.

Ecclesiastical status[edit]

As with all of the Old Calendarist jurisdictions, as of 2014 the Milan Synod was not in communion with mainstream Eastern Orthodox churches. The Milan Synod uses the Julian calendar exclusively.

Current hierarchy[edit]

  • Metropolitan Evloghios of Milan, First Hierarch
  • Metropolitan Daniel of Turin (Italy)
  • Metropolitan Abbondio of Brixia
  • Metropolitan Boris (Rothemund) of Germany, Archbishop of Munich
  • Bishop Vissarion of Ivrea (Italy) - Vicar Bishop for Germany

Hierarchy 1995-96[edit]

The composition of the synod in 1996, before the breakdown of relationship between Milan and Kiev (with Patriarch Filaret Denisenko):

  • Italy
  • Metropolitan Evoglios of Milan, First Hierarch
  • Archbishop Gregorij of Turin (deceased)
  • Bishop Vassilij of Ostia
  • Bishop Vladimir of St. Julius Island (now of Civitas Classis)
  • Canada
  • Archbishop Lazar Puhalo of Ottawa
  • Bishop Varlaam Novakshonoff of Vancouver

External links[edit]