October 31, 2014

Assembly of Bishops Committee Chairs to Meet this Month

After two years so it’s probably time for a meeting. Josephus Flavius, curator of Byzantine, Texas put it well:

We’ll see which model the assembly chooses to use on providing an update after this meeting. Will it be a perfunctory listing of people who showed up with a reference to the joy they have at being together or will it be a “meaty” report with details and future plans.

Met. Philip was even more pessimistic when the Assembly was cobbled together:

We are faced now with a very serious procedural nightmare. We are, supposedly, here to discuss a new organization to replace SCOBA. The question is: Was SCOBA dissolved and if so, by whom? And when?? SCOBA has a constitution which is fifty years old. If this constitution has to be amended, let us then amend it according to correct procedures. No one can dissolve SCOBA except SCOBA itself. SCOBA has organized Bishops’ Assemblies before Chambesy told us to do so. The first Assembly was held at the Antiochian Village in Ligonier, Pennsylvania in 1994, under the chairmanship of our brother, Archbishop Iakovos, of blessed memory. The second Bishops’ Assembly was convened in Washington, D.C. and the third Bishops’ Assembly was convened in Chicago, Illinois, both under the auspices of SCOBA and the Chairmanship of His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios.

TWO – The second point which I would like to note is concerning the term “Diaspora” which was used several times in the literature which we received from Geneva. I remember, there are many of you who were at the Antiochian Village in 1994 and should remember that the term “Diaspora” was unanimously rejected by our assembly. We are not in Babylon; we are in North America, the new world. We are dealing here with second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth generations of American Orthodox and they refuse to be called “Diaspora.”

I had hopes for the organization when it was first announced but after going through a critical two years in our country the only word of direction or analysis was a poorly worded, one time, defense of the Roman Catholic Church against the egregious overreach of the Obama administration’s HHS mandates. Other than that, silence.

I wouldn’t expect too much.

HT: Byzantine, TX

(AOB) – Since much of the work of the Assembly of Bishops falls within the purview of its thirteen committees, the success of these committees is essential for the success of the Assembly as a whole. Therefore, the Secretariat’s Coordinator for Committees, Bishop Maxim, is organizing a face-to-face meeting of the Assembly’s thirteen committee chairmen, scheduled to meet on May 30. The chairmen will gather for the day at the Metropolia Center of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, where they will be hosted by Archbishop Antony, who currently serves as the Assembly’s Treasurer and the chairman of the Committee for Financial Affairs.

This historic meeting will include a dozen bishops as well as most of the committee liaisons from the Secretariat. In the instances where a committee has yet to meet, it is hoped that this will help its chairman organize an initial meeting and so begin to address the goals outlined in the committee’s Terms of Reference. In those instances where committees have already begun meeting, this gathering will allow the chairmen to share the concerns and difficulties with which they have met and to find common ways of addressing them.

Comments

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    Andrew says:

    The only real purpose of the Episcopal Assembly is to block the growth of any American Orthodox witness or movement towards unity. All these committees and commissions are really istruments to promote mediocrity. Isn’t amazing how today in the information age the EA can accomplish nothing in two years. However, centuries ago before electricity bishops could come together and change the world in far less time.

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      Fr. Johannes Jacobse says:

      And consider too the talent we have especially among the laity that would gladly help the Bishops who frankly, are often better qualified to do the heavy lifting. Bishops are busy, but so is everyone else. A division of labor would go a long way. Take the press release about the HHS mandates for example. We have lots of talent that could have ghost-written that, even given it more play than it got. Why not use those resources?

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        Andrew says:

        Father, the bottom line here is the EA is running out of time. There was a narrow window for the EA to start up and function in a healthy manner and that window of opportunity has closed. Many of the predictions made here about the future of the EA look more and more true. I doubt people will take the EA seriously much longer. Its pretty much just a trade show for overpaid bishops and overpaid staffers.

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