Source: Orthodox Christian Laity
It is our right and duty to communicate with each other across Orthodox Christian jurisdictional groupings.
Every month, we must celebrate and report the ministry and outreach programs and activities we do by joining together in unity. Thank you, Baltimore, for sharing your Bible Learning program. We are disappointed that the Greek Orthodox parishes did not participate. We are also disappointed to read the Greek Orthodox response to a request to inform parishioners in Naples, Florida, of the OCL Open Forum which was held on March 29 in neighboring Bonita Springs, Florida. The presenter was Dr Gayle Woloschak, and the topic was the IOTA meeting held in Romania in January 2019. The reply to a request made by a member, asking the priest to inform his parishioners of the event, states: “With regard to the Orthodox Christian Laity meeting at St. Peter Antiochian Orthodox Church, I am prohibited from attending due to its location by order of my bishop, Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta, whom I dearly love and respect. Furthermore, please consider me a faithful champion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and especially of His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew, who I regard to be a very saintly man; so the notion that we are going to achieve canonical autocephaly in the United States without HAH’s blessing and approval, or in rebellion against HAH, is foreign and repulsive to me. Please know that St Katherine counts more than 25 Archons on our membership roster from throughout the United States, and we stand together as faithful protectors of our Holy Mother Church of Constantinople…by God’s Grace and Mercy, perhaps you will one day be counted among them.” This response is in line with the Patriarch’s admonition that it is our duty to realize the wisdom of his actions in Ukraine, and I guess in Naples, Florida.
This mindset makes it even more important for individual Orthodox Christians of all jurisdictions to reach out to each other and work together, so that the canonical disorder of Orthodoxy in the USA can be overcome. Local programs developed across jurisdictions that bring us together to do ministry and outreach are imperative for the survival of Orthodoxy in this geographical area and in all geographic areas where Orthodoxy exists in pluralistic societies. The faithful, local parishioners throughout the world are leading the way to unity. Send us information about your programs, so we can post them on our website for others to see and emulate.
It should be noted that OCL has been supportive of the creation of the Assembly of Bishops and has reported its work on our web site. OCL has contributed funds so that the bishops can meet. They had no quorum at their last meeting. After 10 years, they seem to be at an impasse. We were closer to a unified Church in 1994 than we are today. OCL has supported and reported extensively on the Holy and Great Council. We are counted as supporters of Canonical Orthodox Christian Unity which can be achieved by synodical and conciliar actions of the hierarchy of all jurisdictions working together in synergy with the Holy Spirit. They should be joyful of the work of the laity who lead the way.
OCL Executive Director