The Holy Synod of Milan originated as a diocese for Western Europe of an Old Calendarist Greek Orthodox Church (see also Florinites). The full name of this jurisdiction is the Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of Milan, Western Europe.
The diocese was granted a tomos of autonomy in 1984 from Archbishop Auxentios in order to pursue missionary work among the non-Orthodox people of the West. The title of the Synod at this time was the Metropolia of Western Europe. After the transference of its first Chief Hierarch, Metropolitan Gabriel of Portugal, to the autocephalous Church of Poland, Bishop Evloghios of Milan was chosen as second Chief Hierarch and elevated to the rank of metropolitan. As you can see from the photographs, the position of Metropolitan Evloghios, despite being traditionally Orthodox. He was never and is not now, intransigent towards other Orthodox Churches and never denied the presence of grace in the sacraments of the Church considered official. He with the Holy Synod of Milan, never conformed to the strict rules of the oldcalendarist moviment. With the establishment of full communion between the Ukranian Orthodox Church in the U.S.A. and the Church of Milan in 1989, the ecclesiology of the Archbishop Evloghios became manifestly Moderate. He was in full communion with Metropolitan Mstyslav (after First Patriarch of All Ukraine), manifestally ecumenist and in full communion with Holy See Constantinople. Then Metropolitan Evloghios was in full communion with the moviment of Metropolitan Ioan Bornachuk of Lviv and after with Patriarch Volodymir of Kiev (second Patriarch of the Holy See of St. Andrew). For two years was in full communion with His Holiness Patriarch Filaret of Kiev (ecumenist too). Today Metropolitan Evloghios remains at the helm of the Holy Synod of bishops of the Church of Milan, which comprises four dioceses, in Europe, as well as missionary deaneries in England, Spain, France, South Africa and Canada.
His Beatitude Vassilij of Warsaw and All Poland with Archbishop Evloghios of Milan
In 1989, Archbishop Evloghios was in full communion with Metropolitan Mstyslav Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA. Metropolitan Mstyslav at that time was in full communion with Patriarch Demetrios and Bartolomew of Constantinople.
In 1992, Metropolitan Ioan of Lviv, assured Metropolitan evloghios of full communion between the two churches.
In October 1993, Metropolitan Evloghios, as Primate of the Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of Milan and Western Europe, was invited in His dignity of First Hierarch in full communion with the Ukranian Orthodox Church in the U.S.A. to partecipate at the sobor in Kiev for the election of the second Patriarch after Mstyslav.
On November 18, 1993, is confirmed by the Patriarch Volodimir the full right of Metropolitan Evloghios to be part of the Holy Synod of the Ukranian Orthodox Church - Kievan Patriarchate. On March 20, 1994 Metropolitan Evloghios, receives from the hands of Patriarch Volodimir the Tomos of Autonomy.
On December 25, 1995 Patriarch Filaret intimate with a letter sent to the Canadian episcopate, Metropolitan Evloghios not accept American bishops under his omoforion (british island).
On December 27, 1996 the Holy Synod of Milan responds to Patriarch Filaret (Denysenko) that it intended to accept the American episcopate with Chirotesia (John Lobue and Hilarion of Austin), despite the threats and formalizes the final break (protocol 36/1996 of December 27, 1996). Then the full communion with His Holiness Patriarch Filaret (Denysenko), ceased on December 27, 1996, before he was excomunicated from the Patriarch of Moscow Alexij II.
Since 1997 (after the breakdown of relationships with the patriarchate of Kiev), the Milan Synod included a number of Western Rite communities, mainly in the United States, who worship according to pre-schismatic (historically Orthodox) liturgical traditions with the support of the Metropolitan and of the Holy Synod of Bishops. The principal rite of the Synod of Milan is the Byzantine Rite of the Orthodox Church, celebrated most commonly in the Slavic style but in some parishes in the Greek style.
On February 14/27, 2011, the Synod announced that it had granted full autonomy to its American Dioceses, elevating Archbishop JOHN of New York to the rank of Metropolitan and erecting the Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of North and South America and the British Isles (Synod of Milan).
Communion between the Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of North and South America and the British Isles - Synod of Milan and the Mother Church ceased effectively April 4, 2011.
As with all of the Old Calendarist jurisdictions, the Milan Synod is not currently in communion with the mainstream Orthodox churches. It is currently in dialogues with the Moscow Patriarchate, having ceased communion in April 2011 with its sister old calendarists and anti-ecumenist synods in America, Greece, and Bulgaria ) now in full communion with a self called True Orthodox Church in Russia.
During 2011 the Orthodox Church in Italy joined the Milan Synod, two years after the death of its founder, Metropolitan Antonio (de Rosso) of Ravenna. The Milan Synod uses the Julian calendar exclusively, and "firmly resists the heresies of false ecumenism and trans-religious syncretism, in fact is moderately traditionalist.
− The composition of the Synod in 2008, before the events of 2011, was as follows:
- Metropolitan EVLOGHIOS of Milan, First Hierarch
- Archbishop LUCA of Torcello (now retired)
- Archbishop ONUPHRIUS of Bergamo (Titular; the Archbishop is the Representative to Eastern Europe for the Synod)
- Archbishop ABBONDIO of Como (Still with Milano Synod)
- Bishop PABLO of Italica, bishop for Spain and Portugal
- Bishop IDELFONSO of Valencia, vicar for Spain (Retired - the Synod of Milan have his recent letter - 10 august 2013 - anyway someone tells he left his jurisdiction and went under omophor of bishop John Lobue)
- Bishop BORIS of Germany (Still in the Synod of Milan)
- Archbishop HILARION of Austin (retired)
- Archbishop JOHN of New York and New Jersey
- Bishop PAVLOS of Maspeth
− The composition of the Synod in 1996, before the breakdown of relationship between Milan and Kiev (with Patriarch Filaret (Denisenko)) This Hierarchy is officially published in the bulletins of the Patriarchate of Kiev (see website of the Synod of Milan where they are currently available)
Православна Церква Милана, Аквілєї i Західної Європи и Канади
- OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF ORTHODOX ARCHBISHOPRIC OF MILAN AND LONGOBARDY - METROPOLIA OF AQUILEIA, WEATERN EUROPE AND CANADA (Italian - Russian - English)
- Official Website of the Autonomous Orthodox Church of Milan (Holy Synod of Milan)(Italian - Russian - English)
- News from the Milan Synod Archbishopric maintained by Bp Abbondio of Como (Italian and Romanian)