Resources and Texts

All texts promulgated on this website are not necessarily official positions of the Orthodox Church or of SCOBA, but reflect the considered theological understanding of the Commissions, Consultations and Dialogues, whose members are appointed and empowered by SCOBA to explore these issues. 


Ecumenical Guidelines for SCOBA

Published by the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in America and commended to the clergy for guidance.

Written by and under the supervision of The Reverend Robert G. Stephanopoulos, Ph.D.

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Pastoral Letter on the Occasion of the Third Christian Millenium

Published by the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in America and commended to the clergy for guidance.

From the Hierarchs of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas

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The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation

SCOBA Chairman: Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh
Catholic Chairman: Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk of Cincinnati

Sponsored jointly on the Catholic side by the USCCB and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Orthodox side is sponsored by the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of America (SCOBA).

The members of national bilateral dialogue commissions are sanctioned by the hierarchies of the two churches to examine divisive issues, and to make recommendations regarding ways to overcome them. As such, the agreed statements are issued on the authority of the dialogue commission itself, and do not bind the authorities of either church.



Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference in Chambesy

At the invitation of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, delegates from the fourteen Autocephalous Churches participated in the historic Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference, meeting at the Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy-Geneva, Switzerland on 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 at the Ecumenical Patriarchate October 10-12, 2008. At that time, all the Heads, They 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."

At the October meeting of the Heads of the Autocephalous Churches, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew called upon them to "activate the 1993 agreement of the Inter-Orthodox Consultation of the Holy and Great Council in order to resolve the pending matter of the Orthodox Diaspora." This agreement provided a plan to establish an ‘Episcopal Assembly' with appropriate authority for the bishops to guide the entire Church in each of the regions of the so-called Orthodox Diaspora.

Acting as formal representatives of the Autocephalous Churches, the members of the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Conference in Chambésy 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" in specific regions which are beyond the boundaries of the Autocephalous Churches. The Conference initially identified twelve regions throughout the world. The Episcopal Assembly will include all the canonical Orthodox bishops in a given region such as North America. The representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch (in this case, Archbishop Demetrios of America) will chair the Episcopal Assembly in each region. The Assembly will meet yearly and will have an Executive Committee which will meet every three months. Other committees, composed of clergy and laity, will be established to address particular concerns.

The texts that are linked below are the official English Translations and official Greek texts issued by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Communiqué, the Decision, and the Regulations.

Links to all three below


The Joint Committee of Orthodox and Catholic Bishops

The Joint Committee of Orthodox and Catholic Bishops
Orthodox Co-Chairman: Bishop Seraphim of Ottawa and Canada
Catholic Co-Chairman: Archbishop Oscar H. Lipscomb of Mobile