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 • In a "special announcement" posted on the Diocese of the West's website the diocese has admitted "some confusion" and will now, as per Statute, allow more delegates to attend the upcoming Special Assembly that will elect a new diocesan bishop on January 31, in Las Vegas. The announcement reads:

"January 17, 2007

Dear Very Reverend and Reverend Clergy and Members of the Diocesan Council:
There has been some confusion about who may attend and who may vote at the upcoming Special Assembly.  Having spoken to His Beatitude this morning, I can tell you the following, according to our diocesan bylaws: 

All canonically appointed clergy (priests and deacons) are eligible to attend as delegates and may vote. 

A corresponding number of lay delegates may be appointed from each parish. 

Abbots and Abbesses from the monasteries may also attend and vote. 

So, if a parish has a deacon and two priests, it may send three clergy delegates and three lay with the right to vote. 

The confusion arose from the fact the bylaws of the various dioceses vary and His Beatitude was not acquainted with ours. 

If you have already sent in your forms to Mary Caetta, you may amend them by email or USPS.  

I am available to answer other questions by phone or by email as well. 

God bless you all. 
+Bishop Benjamin Administrator"

 • Meanwhile, on the other coast, Metropolitan Herman has agreed to a rare public "Question and Answer" period at St. Mark's Church in Bethesda, Maryland, following Vespers on Saturday, February 3rd.*  At their annual parish meeting last November the parish had discussed withholding their fair-share assessments.  The majority of the parish felt that before such a decision was made they should meet with their Bishop and ask specific questions regarding the scandal. As the Metropolitan is the diocesean hierarch as well, he was invited – and has agreed to speak.  All questions will be submitted to the Metropolitan in advance

(*Correction 1/24/07: The session will be held before Vespers, at 3:30 PM.)



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