RESOLUTION of 47th Antiochian National Assembly Summer 2005 Calling for Orthodox Unity

We are happy to reprint this resolution as the Assembly of Bishops begins its deliberations developing a blueprint for an administratively-unified, self-governing Orthodox Church in North and Central America. For the last 200 years, Orthodox Christians in North America have been working together to bring the message of Christ to their brothers and sisters and to care for widows, the poor, and the least of God’s Children. They lived the faith before there was a formal structure here. They also built most of the churches before there was a formal administrative structure. The Assembly is a turning point to build the unified, canonical, administrative structure to serve the will of God and the spiritual needs of the faithful in this geographic area. - Editor

WHEREAS, Orthodoxy first came to North America over two hundred years ago, and has been firmly planted in this soil and in the hearts and souls of North Americans who have been born and raised on this Continent as well as those who have immigrated here and have no desire to leave their homeland;

AND WHEREAS, the past century has seen the presence of many Orthodox jurisdictions, each with their own parishes, bishops, priests and faithful, building churches and Orthodox communities along their own ethnic and/or jurisdictional lines, often in close proximity and in conflict with other Orthodox communities;

AND WHEREAS, this has resulted in an uncanonical situation by the presence of multiple Orthodox communities in the same geographic area and the presence of more than one Orthodox Bishop for the same geographic area, as well as the division of the one Holy Orthodox Church along jurisdictional and/or ethnic lines thereby dividing what is meant by God to be united;

AND WHEREAS, this uncanonical situation has weakened the presence of the Orthodox Church in North America, in many practical respects among others: The inability to speak to the political leaders and the citizens in North America with one united Orthodox voice that would vocalize with strength the Orthodox position and concerns on the moral, spiritual, practical and political issues that concern North Americans in their everyday life;

AND WHEREAS, this uncanonical situation has resulted in the faithful Orthodox, whether in school, work or in the home, being unaware that their schoolmates, fellow workers and/or neighbors share the same Orthodox faith;

AND WHEREAS, it is the duty of all Orthodox Christians, and especially the members of the holy episcopate to work and pray for the unity of the faith and to work to correct any uncanonical situation;

AND WHEREAS, the Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops in America, (SCOBA) which is comprised of Orthodox bishops from all canonical Orthodox jurisdictions in North America, last met with respect to Orthodox unity at the Antiochian Village in 1994 and has done nothing since that time to further resolve the uncanonical situation in North America and to promote Orthodox unity;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that this General Assembly of the 47th Archdiocesan Convention, duly assembled at Dearborn, Michigan, challenges, requests and calls on SCOBA to meet with all deliberate speed with the expressed purpose to endorse, promote and accomplish Orthodox Unity in North America and to set forth a plan and timetable for achieving such Orthodox Unity.


 

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