Fourth annual meeting of the Assembly of Bishops opens in Chicago


assembly-bishops-logoSource: Orthodox Church in America

SCHAUMBURG, IL [OCA] – His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon and the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America are among 65 hierarchs participating in the 2013 annual meeting of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America at the Chicago Marriott here Tuesday through Thursday, September 17-19, 2013.
The first annual meeting was held in New York City in 2010, while the second and third gatherings were held in Chicago in 2011 and 2012.

The schedule and agenda as posted on the Assembly web site may be accessed here.

According to the announced schedule, the Assembly will open with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia), Des Plaines, IL and a commemoration of the 1700th Anniversary of the Edict of Milan.  During the opening plenary session the Assembly Chairman, His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, will deliver his opening address.  Reports by the Treasurer, Secretary, and Coordinator for Committees; a proposal from the Coordinator for Agencies and Endorsed Organizations; and an announcement concerning the establishment of Permanent 501(c)(3) status are slated to follow.  Other issues on the agenda include proposals for canonical restructuring, a regional model for communications, and a proposal to plan an Assembly-sponsored national conference for Orthodox Christian youth.

By way of background, delegates from the 14 Autocephalous Orthodox Churches participated in an historic Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference at the Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy-Geneva, Switzerland June 6-12, 2009. The Conference was a direct result of the Synaxis of the Heads of all the Orthodox Churches, convened by His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I at the Ecumenical Patriarchate October 10-12, 2008.  At that time, the Heads of the Churches expressed their “desire for the swift healing of every canonical anomaly that has arisen from historical circumstances and pastoral requirements, such as in the so-called Orthodox Diaspora, with a view to overcoming every possible influence that is foreign to Orthodox ecclesiology.”

Acting as formal representatives of the Autocephalous Churches, the members of the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Conference in Chambésy in 2009 affirmed “that is the common will of all of the most holy Orthodox Churches that the problem of the Orthodox Diaspora be resolved as quickly as possible, and that it be organized in accordance with Orthodox ecclesiology, and the canonical tradition and practice of the Orthodox Church.” The Conference decided to establish an “Episcopal Assembly” (aka “Assembly of Bishops”) in specific geographic regions which are beyond the boundaries of the Autocephalous Churches.  The Conference identified 12 such regions throughout the world, including North and Central America.



  1. George Matsoukas on

    How many Bishops are attending? Which Bishops did not attend? When will the process involve involvement of clergy and laity. Restructuring is a top down and bottom up process. Means to our ends are as important as the end results.
    George Matsoukas

  2. why do we never invite the non conical bishops to these meetings most are educated men good Bishops and are looking for unity we should open the doors to all Bishop
    they will always be here no matter what we do is it not better to share love between us.We would need to invited only thoses who are connected with their Autocephalous churches
    and are good men.think about this it is so important.

    • Your question indicates, to me, you do not understand the work of the assembly. They are not a forum for reunification, but rather to sort out issues as designated by the Ecumenical Patriarch. The non-conical bishops reside under the jurisdiction of others.

    • ted perantinides on

      orthodox church leaders do not trust one another and can not decide on who will be their spokeperson.sad, sad ,sad. my opinion is, forget past differences start a common infrastructure and stop calling all non greeks xenos.

  3. “The swift healing of every canonical anomaly” will not take place if these episcopal meetings are just seen as having the job of “sort[ing] out issues as designated by the Ecumenical Patriarch”. The EC is not interested in have American Orthodox sorting out issues: he is only interested in expanding his power by creating one Orthodox Church in the Americas – in itself an excellent thing – under his jurisdiction – which is not a good thing at all. The concept of the autocephaly of local Orthodox Churches is being destroyed – if it has not already been so – by the patriarchs of Constantinople of the 20th/21st centuries (and others in collusion with them) who for some time now have had the goal of centralizing Orthodoxy the way the Latin communion is centralized in the Vatican. Wayne Blue says that the “non-canonical” bishops reside under the authority of others; so do the “canonical” bishops, who respond to foreign jurisdictions! Thomas Vedovich is RIGHT. As a so-called “non-canonical” bishop who finds himself and his brother bishops frequently obstacled and “put down” as not being truly Orthodox – as if the Phanar and the other patriarchates have the power to determine who is truly of our Faith and who is not – I applaud Mr. Vedovich for his right-Christian thinking. It is truly amazing how many so-called Orthodox think that our Holy Faith is a question of being in certain jurisdictions instead of being the profession of that Faith “once delivered to the saints”. It is also disheartening how many so-called “canonical” Orthodox reach out their hands to the heterodox yet refuse the same sign of fellowship with those who hold the same, unchanged Orthodox Faith. To all of you: do not think of us as fanatics or fundamentalists (there are many of these within the so-called “canonical” groups); many of us are well-educated, serious Orthodox people who desire the unity of our Church and to proclaim the True Faith to the world “in order to bring all men to salvation”. +Archbishop Lorenzo of Palermo (Italy); BA in Theological Studies; MA in Biblical Studies; MA in Sacred Theology.

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