Committee for Canonical Affairs 2014 Report

Friday, November 21, 2014

Mission:

The Committee for Canonical Affairs is responsible:

1. For creating and maintaining the registries mentioned in the Message of the Assembly of Bishops, namely:
a. The registry of canonical bishops
b. The registry of canonical clergy and their status
c. The registry of all canonical communities in the United States;

2. For recommending to the Assembly any additions or deletions from these registries

3. For determining the canonical status of local communities that have no reference to any of the autocephalous churches and addressing issues pertaining to these bodies

4. For considering any canonical questions submitted to it by the other committees.

Membership:
Met. Methodios (EP) - Chairman
Met. Hilarion (MP)
Met Athenagoras (EP)
Bp. Maxim (SP)

Committee Liaison:
Fr. Nathanael Symeonides

Consultants
Fr. Daniel Ene
Fr. Paul Hodge
Fr. John Erickson
Fr. Alexander Rentel
Dr. Lewis Patsavos


Summary Report:
The Committee for Canonical Affairs (Committee) has four main goals, which require ongoing monitoring, review, and collaboration with other Assembly committees. The Committee has had much success, with the support of the Secretariat, in establishing a database for the canonical bishops of the region. This list of bishops is primarily found on the Assembly website and updated as new bishops become ordained and others fall asleep or assume less active ministry. To best update the database on a timely manner it is important that any change in a bishop’s status be directly communicated with Secretary of the Assembly.

In 2012, the Assembly has established an automated directory of parishes and the need for an automated clergy database was identified. The proposed clergy database would assist hierarchs to identify the status of a visiting clergyman, but also provide the opportunity for the bishops to identify priests and monastics with particular skills and backgrounds that could be used to enhance the work of the Church.

Currently, the completion of the clergy database is hindered by a fragmented approach to data collection on the jurisdictional level. A fully automated clergy database requires that all jurisdictions transition into a standard protocol for collecting and updating the information about their clergy. Of the total jurisdictions in the Assembly:

• 5 utilize a fully automated system (AOCA; ACROD; GOA; OCA; ROCOR)

• 2 utilize a semi-automated system (Bulgaria; UOC)

• 2 utilize a manual system (Romania; Serbia)

• 3 do not transfer any data (Albania; MP; Georgia)

Finally, the Committee has not been asked to determine the canonical status of local communities that have no reference to any of the autocephalous churches, nor has it been commissioned to undertake the review of any canonical matter.