The candidates – Bishop Ilarion (Rudyk), formerly assistant to the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Portugal, and Bishop Andrij, formerly Bishop of London, England, UOC in Diaspora – were officially presented to the Sobor delegates from all over Canada, during the evening session of the Sobor on Friday evening, 22 August. A biography of each candidate was presented as they were introduced and then each candidate spoke in both Ukrainian and English giving the parish representatives and clergy an insight into their personalities and abilities. Both candidates were born in Ukraine and have solid theological educations and have served Ukrainian Orthodox Christians in Europe for the past few years.
Bishop Ilarion was consecrated for service in Portugal to the thousands of new Ukrainian immigrants directly under the Ecumenical Patriarchate by Archbishop Vsevolod and other hierarchs of the Ecumenical Throne. Bishop Andrij was consecrated in St. Volodymyr Cathedral, Chicago in December 2006 by Metropolitan Constantine, Archbishop Antony, Archbishop Vsevolod, Metropolitan Nicholas (Carpatho-Rusyn Archdiocese in America and three other Orthodox hierarchs prior to his election as Bishop of the Western Europe Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Diaspora. Both candidates were released from their previous appointments to stand for election in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada.
Following Divine Liturgy, served by all the hierarchs listed above on Saturday, 23 August, the formal nomination and election of the candidates as bishops of the Church took place. Following a Moleben calling down the Holy Spirit upon the election process, Archbishop Yurij thoroughly explained the ancient election process and the solemn and historical responsibility that the clergy and lay delegates to the Sobor carried upon their souls during this election. Bishop Ilarion was elected as Bishop of Edmonton, Alberta and the Western Eparchy of the UOC of Canada and Bishop Andrij was elected as Bishop of Saskatoon and Auxiliary Bishop to Metropolitan John of the Central Eparchy of the Church. The announcements of the election results were formally made and the entire church broke out into “Axios! Axios! Axios!” and Mnohaya Lita!
The balance of the second day of the Sobor was devoted to the complete consideration and discussion of the proposed By-Law revisions. The Revision Commission presented each segment of the proposal, which were discussed and amended according to the combined will of the delegates gathered into the Sobor body. A sincere and open discussion, along with a spirit of compromise and willingness to listen, resulted in the overwhelming approval of the revised By-Laws. It was evident throughout this discussion and the entire Sobor that the participants were willing to allow the Holy Spirit to be their guide.