April 17, 2014

Bishop Basil and the Episcopal Assembly

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Matthew Namee talks with His Grace Bishop Basil, the newly elected Secretary of the Episcopal Assemblies. We learn of his impressions of the historic May 26-28 gathering in New York as well as the assignment he has been given to coordinate the work of the committees that will be formed leading up eventually to a Great and Holy Council. Listen here: … [Read more...]

Bp. Michael interviewed about Episcopal Assembly

HT: Byzantine Texas OCA-DNYNJ) - The following interview regarding the recent Episcopal Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Hierarchs of North and Central America, which convened in New York City on 25-28 May, was conducted with His Grace, +Michael (Bishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey) on Wednesday, 2 June 2010. Question: Your Grace, we appreciate you taking time out of your extremely full schedule to share some of your observations, thoughts and reflections following the historic Assembly of Hierarchs that concluded just last week in New York City. Bishop Michael: To begin with, I have to say what an incredible experience it was for me, just newly consecrated, to be privileged to be a part of this first Episcopal Assembly. To be there ... to walk among giants ... the great leaders of the Orthodox Churches in this country and in Canada and in Mexico. To see fifty-six bishops gathered together in the same room for the same purpose, was just awesome. As I … [Read more...]

Unravelling the Episcopal Assembly: Interview with Fr. Mark Arey

In our continuing effort to keep you informed about the recent and on going work of our Hierarchs to bring about administrative unity, we present an extensive interview with Fr. Mark Arey. The discussion centers on the first Episcopal Assembly meeting in New York on May 26-28, 2010. You will hear first hand what took place behind the closed doors of the Assembly and how it impacts all of us for the future. Fr. Mark is the current General Secretary of SCOBA (the Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops in America) and was the initial Secretary of the Assembly in New York. He was one of very few non-Bishops in the meetings. Listen here: … [Read more...]

No Surprises as First Episcopal Assembly of Orthodox Hierarchs Concludes

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HT: St. Andrews House By Theodore Kalmoukos, The National Herald BOSTON -- The proceedings of the first Episcopal Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Hierarchs in North and Central America ended on Friday May 28, 2010 with the dissolution of SCOBA - the Synod of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of America. As reported, the two-day Assembly was held at the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel in New York on May 27-28, 2010 under the chairmanship of Archbishop Demetrios of America. By decision of the Assembly, all organizations and joint action projects operating under SCOBA, such as International Orthodox Christian Charities, will operate under the auspices of the Episcopal Assembly from hereon in. SCOBA was first established back in 1960 in order to bring the bishops of the various Orthodox jurisdictions operating in America closer together, and promote cooperation and increased synchronization of their ministries. The late Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America had played a key role in the … [Read more...]

Fr. Damick: Impressions from the Episcopal Assembly

By Fr. Andrew Damick Source: Orthodox History A View of Manhattan from Central Park It was a pretty hot day in Manhattan yesterday. Despite the discomfort, though, the Orthodox Christian hierarchy of North America seemed to be in pretty decent spirits. I’m here in Manhattan at the 2010 Orthodox Episcopal Assembly of North America in an auxiliary role. I don’t get to attend the actual meetings, though I’ve been at some of the meals and have spent time with the hierarchs and others present in the halls of the hotel. Since this is such a genuinely historic occasion, we thought it might be of interest to readers to provide an informal witness to how things have been proceeding, to what it’s like to be here. (You may also be interested to read the officially published opening addresses of Abp. Demetrios (Constantinople), Metr. Philip (Antioch), Abp. Justinian (Moscow), and Abp. Nicolae (Romania).) … [Read more...]

Fr. Damick: Further impressions from the Episcopal Assembly

By Fr. Andrew Damick Source: Orthodox History Some more impressions, not terribly well sorted: One thing that struck me about the event was its lack of staff. Normally, these kind of big church events are swarming with photographers, porters, subdeacons swirling about, etc., but this one was rather decidedly subdued. I was there to help one of the bishops, along with one other cleric, but most of the bishops had absolutely no staff with them at all. There was also very little support staff for the event in general. Most things were taken care of by the hotel staff in their usual capacities (wait staff, food service, maintenance, etc.). I didn’t see anyone else with a camera besides myself and the few taking shots with cellphones here and there. This event did not really present the appearance of much of an “event.” It was all so routine, orderly and low-key that I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who had to remind himself that history was … [Read more...]

Address of Abp. Nicolae of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese

Abp. Nicolae, Romanian Archdiocese

Abp. Nicolae reaches deep into the history of Orthodoxy in America to draw out the narrative of accomplishment of Orthodox clergy and laity that, he implies, functions as a map for the future. ++++++++++++++++ ADDRESS OF HIS EMINENCE ARCHBISHOP NICOLAE OF THE ROMANIAN ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE At the Episcopal Assembly of North and Central America New York, New York May 27, 2010 Your Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Your Eminences and Your Graces, Dear Brothers and con-celebrants in the Lord, We have gathered here these days bathed in the Light and Grace of the All-Holy Spirit to discuss the future of our Holy Orthodox Church in North America. Whether this comes to be seen as an historic meeting will depend on us, and what we decide. And while we may have been convened in a new way, that fact is that the project of organizing the Church on this continent is not new. As we continue our deliberations it would be helpful to pause and reflect on all of the efforts over … [Read more...]

All The Churches Are In Communion, Says OCA’s Metropolitan Jonah

This interview was given before the start of the Episcopal Assembly but was only recently made available. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++ HT: Orthodox News The National Herald BOSTON – There’s no religious or political war or even battling bishops, but an assembly of church leaders in New York for the Autocephalous Church in America (OCA) has highlighted a little-talked about division between those who want a greater role for Pan-Orthodoxy and those who want the church under one umbrella. OCA head Metropolitan Jonah, said he welcomed his role at the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops of the United States, Canada and Central America in New York, noting: “What I want to do is to approach this with all humility.” As The National Herald has reported, the initial directive of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Archbishop Demetrios was not to invite Metropolitan Jonah, because the Ecumenical Patriarchate does not recognize the autocephaly of the OCA, which was granted  unilaterally in … [Read more...]

[SCOBA] Message of the Episcopal Assembly Of the Canonical Orthodox Hierarchs of North and Central America May 26-28, 2010

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Putting aside all the speculations about where the American Church is headed for the moment, think about the true significance of the meeting. All in all, this is a very constructive event regardless of the divisions that exist. The divisions are real, but clearly the need to transcend those divisions is more pressing and that is a cause for optimism, even hope. We are seeing the self-identity of the Church in America emerge, and a critical step in that growth is that bishops get to know each other, learn how to work together, perhaps discover similar concerns and worries, and maybe, just maybe, discover they are more unified in purpose and intention than they previously knew. How will it end? We don't know, but we do know this: That the Bishops even met can be counted a success, just as Ligonier was a success even though it ostensibly failed. American Orthodoxy can be a dynamic force for bringing Christ to the culture (yes, I really believe this) and once the nascent creativity of … [Read more...]

Group photo of EA bishops

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NEW YORK – The first Episcopal Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Hierarchs in North and Central America was convened Wednesday May 26, 2010 by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America at the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel in New York City. The 55 Orthodox Hierarchs who participated at the two day meeting were photographed after the conclusion of the meeting late Thursday afternoon. … [Read more...]

Bishop Mark responds to EA

Bishop Mark -- Antiochian Orthodox Church of America

Note the request to move Central America into the South American conference, and separate Canada as its own entity (both good moves I think). Note too that these requests will be "...forwarded to the Ecumenical Patriarch per the procedures outlined in the Chambesy Documents." The latter point needs deliberation given that the EP's insistence that the autocephaly of the OCA should not be recognized is a point not universally recognized in the larger Orthodox Church. (The claim that the OCA is not-canonical was settled in Moscow two days ago when the EP served with an OCA representative at the Patriarchal Liturgy.) Put another way, we cannot accede the future of the American Orthodox Church to Constantinople alone. It appears the Bishops attending the assembly understand this given the importance they placed on their previous work done through SCOBA (an intellectually honest approach in my opinion). HT: St. Andrew House +++++++++++++++++ 2656 PEMBERTON DRIVE OFFICE TOLEDO, OH 43606 … [Read more...]

Metropolitan Philip addresses Episcopal Assemby

Antiochian Archdiocese Highlights: Who can dissolve SCOBA except SCOBA itself?...I believe that some of our churches in the Old World are in "Diaspora."...(N)o Primate of any jurisdiction should be excluded from the Executive Committee...The Mother Churches must realize that Orthodoxy in America is the best gift to the world...If we do not bury the burdens of the past between certain autocephalous churches, such burdens will bury us, and Orthodoxy in this country and throughout the world will become an insignificant dot on the margin of history." ++++++++++++++++ "Your Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and Brother Bishops: My opening remarks this morning are taken from the Vespers of Palm Sunday, “Today the Grace of the Holy Spirit has gathered us together.” How wonderful and pleasing to God for all of us to meet and discuss matters related to the life of our Church on this particular continent. I would like to take … [Read more...]