Diocese of New England
Orthodox Church in America
Official Documents

Official documents of the Orthodox Church in America including: OCA Statutes; 'Reducing the Risk of Child Sexual Abuse' Guidelines; Policies, Standards, Procedures, on Sexual Misconduct; Clergy Compensation Guidelines; On Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and the Sanctity of Life; Guidelines for Clergy....

October 19 - 21, 1971

The Statute of the Orthodox Church in America

Second All-American Council
South Canaan, Pennsylvania

July, 1992

On Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and the Sanctity of Life

"Reducing the Risk of Child Sexual Abuse" - Guidelines

Clergy Compensation Guidelines

Guidelines for Clergy Compiled under the guidance of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America

Tenth All-American Council

Fall, 2013

Policies, Standards, and Procedures of the Orthodox Church in America on Sexual Misconduct

 Statement of the Holy Synod of the OCA on Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs Regarding Marriage

The following statement was approved by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America during a session of the Holy Synod on June 16, 2016 at Dormition of the Mother of God Monastery in Rives Junction, MI. It is approved for posting and use by all dioceses, parishes, institutions and monasteries of the Orthodox Church in America.

General Standard

The Orthodox Church in America teaches and maintains as a sincerely held religious belief that God has established marriage as a lifelong, exclusive relationship between one man and one woman, and that all intimate sexual activity outside the marriage relationship, whether heterosexual, homosexual, or otherwise, is immoral, and therefore sin (Genesis 2:24-25; Exodus 20:14, 17, 22:19; Leviticus 18:22-23, 20:13, 15-16; Matthew 19:4-6, 9; Romans 1:18-31; I Corinthians 6:9-10, 15-20; I Timothy 1:8-11; Jude 7). This principle undergirds the teaching of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America that Marriage is the most perfect realization of love between a man and a woman in which two become one and in which love unites in such a way that two lives become one life in perfect harmony. We believe that God created the human race male and female and that all conduct with the intent to adopt a gender other than one’s birth gender is immoral and therefore sin (Genesis 1:27; Deuteronomy 22:5). Marriage can only be between two people whose birth sex is male and female. The Orthodox Church’s marriage service specifically states, “Establish them in the holy union which is from Thee. For in the beginning Thou didst make them male and female, and by Thee the woman is joined unto the man as a helper and for the procreation of the human race.” Again the service states explicitly, “For by Thee is the husband joined unto the wife. Unite them in one mind; wed them into one flesh, granting to them of the fruit of the body, and the procreation of fair children.”

The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America upholds and reaffirms such statements such as the July 2, 2013 Synodal Affirmation of Marriage; the July, 1992 Synodal Affirmations on Marriage, Family Life, Sexuality, and the Sanctity of Life; and other such statements and pastoral letters including the June 28, 2015 Statement on US Supreme Court Decision by His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon.

Facilities Use

The Orthodox Church in America teaches and maintains as a sincerely held religious belief “that the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world and those who dwell therein.” (Psalm 24:1). The Church rejects the notion that there is a division between the material and spiritual world and that the two are somehow subject to separate and distinct moral and religious standards. It is for this reason that the resources of the Church – its property, its financial assets, and all that belongs to it of a material nature – may be used only for purposes and in ways consistent with the Church’s sincerely held religious beliefs and doctrines as reflected in Holy Scripture, the Tradition of the Church, the Holy Canons of the Church, and the encyclicals of our Holy Synod defining our faith, morals, and doctrines. The facilities of the Church may, in the sole discretion of the Church, be made available for use by other parties for activities consistent with the sincerely held religious beliefs of the Church and upon terms and conditions established by the Parish Council under guidelines approved by the diocesan bishop. Under no circumstances will such activities include those contrary to and incompatible with the sincerely held religious beliefs of the Church, including, but not limited to, events, services or receptions related to non-Orthodox sacraments (including weddings between persons of the same sex and related receptions), non-Orthodox worship services, and partisan political activities.


The following is an example of a statement that will be adopted by each diocese, parish, institution and monastery of the Orthodox Church in America. The Diocesan Hierarch can adjust the statement in conjunction with the considered needs and circumstances.
The (Name of the Parish/Hall/Facility) is the property of the (Name of the Parish/Institution/Monastery), a non-profit church organization located in (Location). Due to sincerely held religious beliefs, documented in the Biblical, dogmatic and canonical documents of the Orthodox Church, we do not permit the (Name of the Parish/Hall/Facility) to be used for the following purposes: events, services or receptions related to non-Orthodox sacraments (including, but not limited to, baptisms, weddings or funerals); non-Orthodox worship services; and partisan political or social rallies.”









Ancient Faith Radio

2019 Blessing of Long Island Sound - 01/06/2019

(4 images)

Blessing of New Icons - 10/14/2018

(20 images)

Father Michael Westerberg is Awarded the Mitre

(9 images)

Video Highlights from the Diocesan Youth Rally
Video for the All-American Council
Release of Fr. Steven Belonick’s book, Pilgrimage to Pascha, to benefit diocesan seminarians
On Feb. 2, 2021, Ancient Faith Publishing (AFP) released a book to honor the memory of Archpriest Steven John Belonick (+2019), former pastor of Holy Ghost Russian Orthodox Church, Bridgeport, CT, and also to benefit seminarians from the Diocese of New England. The book is titled Pilgrimage to Pascha: A Daily Devotional for Great Lent, and it is available for purchase online 
Pilgrimage to Pascha is a republication of a book that Fr. Steven originally co-authored and edited. It was first printed as a booklet for spiritual nourishment in Great Lent and later was published as A Journey through Great Lent, but it has been out of print for many years. M. Deborah Belonick has copy edited and updated the original text, including an epilogue that recounts a conversation with Fr. Steven during his last days in hospice. 
All royalties from the republication will be directed to and placed in the seminarian fund of the Diocese of New England, which has been renamed the “Father Steven Belonick Scholarship Fund.” Proceeds from the book will benefit any student at a seminary of the Orthodox Church in America who is on the ordination track with the intention of becoming a parish priest. Memory Eternal to Fr. Steven, and let us ask our Lord Jesus Christ to bless our seminarians and thereby increase the number of “laborers for His harvest” (Luke 10:2) who will serve as parish priests. Again, you may order the newly released book online, or you may call the Ancient Faith Publishing number to ask for your copy: 1–800–967–7377.

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