SCOBA Hierarchs Convene For Spring 2008 Session

Friday, June 13, 2008

Press Release

New York, NY - The Spring Session of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) met on June 12, 2008 from 10:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the Headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. This session was attended by all Hierarchs of SCOBA: Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese), Metropolitan Philip, Vice-Chairman (Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese), Metropolitan Christopher, Secretary (Serbian Orthodox Church), Metropolitan Nicholas (Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese), Metropolitan Herman (Orthodox Church in America), Metropolitan Joseph (Bulgarian Orthodox Church), Archbishop Nicolae (Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese), Archbishop Antony (proxy, Ukrainian Orthodox Church) and Bishop Ilia (Albanian Orthodox Diocese). In attendance as well were Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese), Metropolitan Methodios of Boston (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese), and Bishop Antoun of Miami (Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese). Also present were the General Secretary and thirteen members of the SCOBA Study and Planning Commission representing all the SCOBA member Churches.

The Hierarchs held a fraternal and open discussion related to SCOBA Agencies, dealing with communications, education and mission. The formal request of the Vicar of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, who is also the Administrator of the Moscow Patriarchal parishes in the USA (33 in number), Bishop Mercurius of Zaraisk to be included on SCOBA was presented by the Chairman, Archbishop Demetrios. He noted that the Moscow Patriarchate, through its Exarchate, had been one of the original signers of the SCOBA Constitution. After the Archbishop's presentation of the matter, there was immediate unanimous agreement, in a spirit of fraternal welcome, by all SCOBA Hierarchs to welcome the Representation of the Moscow Patriarchate in the United States, in the person of Bishop Mercurius, to full membership in SCOBA.

In addition, both Archbishop Demetrios and Metropolitan Philip shared with the other SCOBA Hierarchs the positive results of their individual meetings with Metropolitan Hilarion, the newly enthroned (May 18, 2008) First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR).

The Co-Chair of the Orthodox-Roman Catholic Theological Consultation, Metropolitan Maximos, gave a presentation on the status of the various Inter-Christian Dialogues. The meeting closed with an open and fraternal discussion of ecclesiastical issues that need attention.