The Synod of the African Orthodox Church concluded yesterday with the election of Archbishop Vincent Waterman as Patriarch and Archbishop Peter Paul Brennan OCR OA as his Deputy Co-adjutor Patriarch (without right of succession). In addition, the Synod elected two Primates. The Primates are Archbishop Sylvester Young for Ecclesiology (church affairs) and Archbishop Cecil Mercurius for Outreach. The Synod also elected officers: President is Sylvester Young, Vice-President is William Manseau, Secretary is Phyllis Marsh, Treasurer is James Thompson and Assistant Treasurer is Theodore Mascoll. Michael McCarville will serve as Communications Coordinator assisting the Secretary. Synodal dues were assessed according to rank and placement. The Communion adopted a new name: African Orthodox Unity Network (Worldwide).
The new Patriarch was installed with the regnal name Vincent I at the Bethsaida Spirituality Center in Queens Village, New York. He will be enthroned at Sydney, Nova Scotia, on October 10, 2015. We send all at the AOC our blessings and good wishes as they begin this new chapter.
The group known as the African Orthodox Church in America under Archbishop James Salisbury has elected not to be a part of these new arrangements.
Archbishop Brennan has said, “The door is always open to unity, fellowship and spiritual growth. Rome was not built in a day and it will likely take a continued serious effort of prayer and good will and humility to overcome some of the estrangement and ego that seems to hinder unity. But we continue to work diligently towards the theme of unity which Jesus gave as his last testament: That they all may be one…”
As a result of Archbishop Brennan’s efforts, Holy Cross African Orthodox Church has regained its NYC tax exempt status for the building and has had any taxes due waived. The legal case concerning ownership of the church continues.