OCL Prayer for Episcopal Assembly

February 26, 2010

To the Servants of God who attend the Orthodox Christian Church in the Americas.

Prayer for the Episcopal Assembly

At its February meeting, the Board members of Orthodox Christian Laity unanimously concurred that the most effective support Orthodox Christians in North and Central America – Hierarchs, Clergy and Laity, can provide to the more than 60 bishops who shepherd this land mass, as they move forward to develop a plan for manifesting the unity of the Orthodox Christian Church of the Americas, is to fervently pray every day for the successful convening and conclusion of the first Episcopal Assembly. This Assembly will take place in the week following the feast of Pentecost. Therefore, during this period of the Great and Holy Fast and the season of the Resurrection and Pentecost which follows, let us pray:

Lord hear our prayers that our Holy Fathers grow in wisdom and strength, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and increase in love and Christian fellowship for each other and with their flock, so that they can make the conciliar decisions needed to create a canonically ordered Orthodox Christian Church of the Americas.

That their work to develop a plan for manifesting unity be guided by the Decision and the Rules of Operation for the Episcopal Assembly that were established by the Conference convened by the Ecumenical Patriarchate with the consensus of all Their Beatitudes, the Primates of the Most Holy Orthodox Churches in the world.

That all the Hierarchs, Clergy and Laity familiarize themselves and be informed by the Decisions and the Rules of Operation in order that they might appropriately participate and support their bishops in their mandated work.

Furthermore we ask that God Bless the work of all His People, working together in Him, for the building up of His Holy Orthodox Church of the Americas.


Orthodox Christian Laity


  1. Isa Almisry :

    I pray for Met. Jonah, and that this ends well.

    I just locked horns with a Ukrainian in Canada, and how he loathes the thought of being brought into the OCA (not without reason; as I’ve posted my ideas about North American Autocephaly, eventual Autocephaly for Canada should be in the cards). Is any movement going on in Canada above the Episcopal Assembly? In Mexico? Come the week after Pentecost all of us Orthodox except the OCA (who, not being invited to sign, is not bound by Chambesy) from the Arctic to Columbia are going to be one happy family. Is SCOBA going to merely decide how to organize itself and then append Canada and Mexico to the outcome?

  2. George Michalopulos :

    Isa, I never considered the fact that the OCA was not a signatory to Chambesy. Yet another escape hatch (of the many which already populate the Chambesy protocols). Interesting.

    As for Canada and Central America, it is vital that they be granted immediately autonomous status with eventual autocephaly. I know that none of the other US-dominated jurisdictions want this (save for the GOA –good for them on this issue). Having said that, the Archbishop of Washington should be the primate of the Orthodox Church of the United States, the Archbishop of Ottawa the primate of Canada, and the Bishop of Mexico City the primate of Central America. This will not only conform to canonical norms but solve all linguistic problems. (I cannot think of anything more ridiculous and costly than having to print out all communiques from the central HQ in English, French, and Spanish.) Since the US dominates North America, the Archbishop of Washington should also be known as Patriarch while the archbishops in Ottawa and Mexico City known as Metropolitans.

    What do you think?

  3. Isa Almisry :

    Given the attitude of the Greek Met. in Canada, I’m not sure autocephaly is what they’re after (divide and conquer).

    Yes, the North American Church should have Canadian and Mexican autocephaly in view. The former sooner, the latter probably later, for purely practical reasons. I don’t think that automatically solves all linguistic problems: Met. Jonah specifically has brought up the issue of Mayan in the issue of what’s up in Guatemala, and there are plenty of Spanish speakers in the US. Then there’s the Quebecois.

    I don’t see any reason to leap frog America into Patriarch status: besides the apoplexy that would cause in the Old World (we some reason: Ukraine I believe should have its own Patriarch first, Cyprus and Albania still are just an Archbishopric and Czech/Slovakia and Poland have Metropolitans. Hierarchs make a great deal of these things (like senators), Canada and Mexico might have some issues. No need to fight that battle just yet.

  4. George Michalopulos :

    Good points all. After all, all bishops (who are ordinaries) are equal. The only reason I say “patriarch” for the US is because of the plethora of metropolitans that already exist. I like what the OCA and ROCOR have: one metropolitan as primate. All other diocesan ordinaries are “bishop” or “archbishop.” As far as I’m concerned the Archbishop of Washington could be known as “the Metropolitan of All-America,” the one in Ottawa, “the Metropolitan of All-Canada,” etc. My fear is the top-down Overseas Patriarch-American Metropolitan–Diocesan auxiliaries that was the norm for the GOA (and still is for the AOCNA) may be arise again. (It never really worked out well for the GOA and it doesn’t seem to be doing gangbusters for the AOCNA.)

    In another post I commended the GOA for doing something right, I’ll do so again: even though it was wrong to unilaterally fire +Iakovos and to break the power of the GOA arbp in NYC, the creation of diocesan bishops as members of an eparchial synod w/ the EP as its president was more canonically normal (all things being equal). What was disdainful (in addition to how it came about) was the “elevation” of the bishops & dioceses to “metropolitans” & “metropolises.” They should have remained “bishops” & dioceses, with some of the more senior bishops being known as “archbishop.” The title of “bishop” is a perfectly good one and if some present bishops feel that their pride needs to be coddled by perverting a word to mollify them, –well, let them ponder the story in which the sons of Zebedee made demands of our Lord as to their own placement in the hierarchy.

    I known I’m known as a Johnny One-note on certain things, but the profligate use of the title of “metropolitan” will redound to the detriment of the GOA (and Orthodoxy in general). The only way that this could make any sense at all would be for each of the present metropolises to be subdivided into dioceses and the bishops of these new dioceses being the electors of the metropolitan to whose metropolis they belong. Because that’s the definition of what a metropolitan is: a senior bishop of a central city who is elected to that position by the bishops who preside over its constituent dioceses.

    Sorry for the longwindedness. Thanks for the corrections though. They are needed.

  5. Isa Almisry :

    I heartily concur with reserving the Metropolitanate for those who are Metropolitans. Title inflation serves no good.

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