The Assembly has been established in accordance with the Decision of the 4th Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference, convoked in Chambésy, Switzerland, June 6-12, 2009, at which met representatives from all the universally-recognized autocephalous Orthodox churches. These representatives recognized substantial canonical “anomalies” in the organization and life of the Church in these regions, and realized that, though these anomalies had arisen from specific historical circumstances and pastoral needs, they nonetheless present a number of serious problems for the faithful; moreover, they give an appearance of disunity in the one holy Church. As such, these representatives unanimously agreed to the formation of the assemblies of bishops to heal, as quickly as possible, these anomalies. – Source
The purpose of the Assembly of Bishops of North and Central America is to preserve and contribute to the unity of the Orthodox Church by helping to further her spiritual, theological, ecclesiological, canonical, educational, missionary and philanthropic aims. To accomplish this, the Assembly has as its goals: i) the promotion and accomplishment of Church unity in North and Central America; ii) the strengthening of the common pastoral ministry to all the Orthodox faithful of this region; and iii) a common witness by the Church to all those outside her. In addition, the Assembly has as an express goal iv) the organization of the Church in North and Central America in accordance with the ecclesiological and the canonical tradition of the Orthodox Church. – Source
Since 2009, what have representatives of the universally-recognized autocephalous Orthodox churches done to respond to the efforts of the Assemblies of Bishops in the twelve Bishops’ Assemblies throughout the world?
During its first meeting in 2010, the Assembly of North and Central America “… requests to partition the present region of the … Assembly of North and Central America into two distinct regions of the United States and Canada, as well as to merge Mexico and Central America with the Assembly of South America. As a result, some of the Bishops of Mexico and Central America do not attend the North American Assembly, anticipating their joining with the South American Assembly” (Wikipedia). Why after 3 years is there still no response from the Old World Patriarchates?
Isn’t the reticence and unwillingness of the Old World Patriarchates to give freedom of action and negotiation to the hierarchs in North and Central America in conflict with the stated purpose of the Assembly and a clear sign that true unity on all levels (canonical, spiritual and administrative) is not what these Patriarchates desire?
How does civil government politics figure into the equation of Orthodox Church governance beyond the geographical boundaries of the Patriarchates abroad? Are foreign government interests a major factor in preventing unity in regions like North and Central America?
Orthodox Christian Unity Prize
If an “Orthodox Christian Unity Prize” were offered for ideas and practical steps that could be taken to achieve Orthodox Christian Unity on all levels in America, what would your proposal be to the Assembly of Bishops?