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Council of Hierarchs Meets in Phoenix, Arizona
Pittsburgh - The Council of Hierarchs of the Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholic Metropolitan Church, sui juris, met in Phoenix, Arizona from March 30 to April 1, 1998 to discuss pastoral matters and concerns for the Metropolia in accordance with the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

At this meeting the hierarchs approved the translations of the Divine Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil the Great which were submitted by the Inter-eparchial Commission for Sacred Liturgy and Music.  These texts will now be sent to the Congregation for Eastern Churches in Rome for final approval.

In an effort to coordinate activities of great pastoral concern to the Church the bishops established the following Metropolitan Commissions:  Evangelization and Missionary Activity, Bishop Basil M. Schott of Parma, episcopal advisor; Catechetical Commission, Metropolitan Judson M. Procyk of Pittsburgh, episcopal advisor; Commission for Ecumenism, Bishop Basil M. Schott, episcopal advisor.  The Council will also put into place a Metropolitan Commission of Censors to ensure the accuracy of any theological or liturgical texts published for use within the Metropolia.  Bishop Andrew Pataki of Passaic will serve as the episcopal advisor.  At previous meetings the Council established Inter-eparchial Commissions for Sacred Liturgy and Music, Canonical Affairs and the Metropolitan Seminary.  These commissions continue to operate with regard to their respective tasks.

One of the responsibilities of the Commission for Canonical Affairs was to prepare particular law for the Metropolia in accordance with the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.  The commission has worked over the past two years to develop and refine this compilation of law, utilizing suggestions from the Congregation for the Eastern Churches.  These laws will be binding throughout the Metropolia.  At  this most recent meeting the Council of Hierarchs reviewed the Statutes of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia, sui juris, of the United States.  They responded to the most recent concerns of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, signed the document and sent it to the Congregation for acknowledgment.  Once the Congregation acknowledges the receipt of these laws they will be promulgated by Metropolitan Judson for the entire Metropolia.

The recently completed handbook of the Metropolitan Seminary of Sts. Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh was reviewed and approved by the bishops at this meeting.  In addition, the hierarchs have approved the creation of a Seminary Advisory Board and discussed a Diaconate Program for the Metropolia.

The Council of Hierarchs meets at least twice a year, in accordance with the prescriptions of canon law of the Metropolia, to discuss matters of common pastoral concern as well as juridic and liturgical matters.  This Council consists of all bishops of the Metropolia of Pittsburgh and is convoked and presided over by Metropolitan Judson.  (BCW, 4/12/98)

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