[ditty_news_ticker id="27897"] Assembly Faces Temporary Withdrawal of Participation by Hierarchs of Patriarchate of Antioch - Orthodox Christian Laity

Assembly Faces Temporary Withdrawal of Participation by Hierarchs of Patriarchate of Antioch


Assembly of Bishops Banner LogoSource: Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America

Archbishop Demetrios of America, Chairman of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, has issued the following statement in response to the temporary withdrawal of the Hierarchs of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America from their participation in the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America. The Synod of the Patriarchate of Antioch, in October 2013, decided to temporarily withdraw from all Assemblies of Canonical Orthodox Bishops around the world because of a jurisdictional issue in the Middle East.

The statement of Archbishop Demetrios is as follows:

“We are deeply grieved that this temporary withdrawal has occurred, and we pray for a swift resolution. We hope that the Antiochian faithful who are participating in the many good works under the aegis of the Assembly—the philanthropic activities of IOCC, the prison ministries of OCPM, the college work of OCF, the missionary efforts of OCMC and the work of other  Assembly Agencies—will be encouraged to stay involved. While it is true that from time to time throughout the Church’s history jurisdictional issues have caused unintended consequences, we

pray that the particulars of this matter, which have nothing to do with the situation here in North and Central America or in other global regions with Assemblies of Bishops, will quickly be resolved. Until such time, the Assembly, as established by a unanimous consent of all the Autocephalous Churches, will continue to serve the faithful and its mission to foster the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3), and we continue to pray that the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, will guide the work of the Assembly and inspire unfeigned brotherly love among all Orthodox Christians.”

As this action has precipitated the temporary absence of the Secretary, the Chairman of the Assembly has named an interim Secretary, the Very Rev. Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides, to ensure that the work of the Assembly continues uninterrupted.

PDF version of official letter available HERE.

Related Stories
Official Statement from the Meeting of the Holy Synod of Antioch held on October 15-17, 2013 – Patriarchate of Antioch
Letter from Metropolitan Philip to All Clergy and Laypersons of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese – Antiochian Archdiocese



  1. Pearl Nakash Ford on

    This is the reply I forwarded in response to ROCOR letter.
    I am a cradle Orthodox, 71 years old, am not a college graduate, but have much experience as a mother and grandmother.
    If I’m understanding “this letter” correctly, it’s trying to say that the Orthodox Church in this wonderful country of America cannot become unified by leaving our Patriarchy. Well, I say, maybe our Patriarchy should rethink their individualism and find a way to become of one mind and one thought to include a unified Orthodox Church in America.

    • philip tamoush on

      Remember, that in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s there was an ‘independent’ Orthodox Church OF America, sanctioned by the Russian Orthodox Church. It was growing and succeeding until the lead hierarch decided to get married, partly to ‘test the waters’ of this prohibited state. Is it time to reinstate this idea of a totally independent jurisdiction?? There are a couple of groups out there who profess to be the living vestiges of that former independent jurisdiction, but I don’ see them succeeding without more support, and they bring un-needed baggage with them. The current OCA has not succeeded in creating the independence with all its current ethnic groups. None of our current ethnic jurisdictions seem to be able to construct an independent ethos. Or shall we just admit failure in the ‘new world’ and go back to our compartmented existence with our once-a-year attempts at a show of a unified church at the Triumph of Orthodoxy. Forgive me if I offend. Phil Tamoush

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.