My opening remarks this morning are taken from the Vespers of Palm Sunday, "Today the Grace of the Holy Spirit has gathered us together." How wonderful and pleasing to God for all of us to meet and discuss matters related to the life of our Church on this particular continent.
Archbishop Demetrios Convenes First Episcopal Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Hierarchs in North and Central America
The first Episcopal Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Hierarchs in North and Central America was convened today by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America at the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel in New York City.
I sincerely greet all of you as the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church, and would like to convey to you the warmest of well-wishes from His Holiness Kyrill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.
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. 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
As we behold the event of Pentecost, we observe that the multiplicity of languages used by the Holy Apostle in proclaiming the single Gospel is not a cause of confusion or conflict, but a reason for thanksgiving and celebration. The one Gospel does not obliterate linguistic, ethnic, or cultural differences and particularities. The Gospel is clearly a call to unity, but as our history of 2000 years demonstrates, it does not cause an eclipse of the diversity within the Church. And this speaks directly to our case.