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Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America (formerly the Episcopal Assembly of North and Central America and later the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America) is an organization of church hierarchs of Eastern Orthodox Churches in United States.


The assembly began when delegates from the 14 autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches met at the Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, Switzerland, on June 6–12, 2009. At that time, the conference decided to sanction the establishment of episcopal assemblies in 12 regions of the so-called Eastern Orthodox diaspora which are beyond the boundaries of the autocephalous churches. Such assemblies have the authority to propose future administrative structures for the Church in their respective regions.

The first conference of the Episcopal Assembly of North and Central America was held at the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel in New York on May 27–28, 2010 under the chairmanship of Archbishop Demetrios of America.

One of the major decisions reached at the Episcopal Assembly's first meeting was the dissolution of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas, and to assume all of SCOBA's functions, agencies and ministries.

Other issues discussed included requests to partition the present region of the Episcopal Assembly of North and Central America into two distinct regions of the United States and Canada, as well as to merge Mexico and Central America with the Episcopal Assembly of South America. As a result, some of the bishops of Mexico and Central America do not attend the North American Assembly, anticipating their joining with the South American Assembly.

Although autonomy is an issue for North and Central American churches, there was no direct statement from the assembly regarding autonomy for the Church in North or Central America.

Shortly after the May 2010 meeting the name of the assembly was changed to Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America to avoid possible confusion with the Episcopal Church of the United States.

In April 2014, the Canadian and US bishops decided to form separate assemblies in order to best respond to the cultural diversity and pastoral needs in the region. The assembly was renamed to Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. The Canadian bishops formed the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of Canada and the Central American bishops joined the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of Latin America.[1]

Members of the Assembly

These jurisdictions' bishops are members of the Assembly, according to canonical order:

As of 14 September 2018, the Moscow Patriarchate and the churches belonging to them are not participating in the Assembly as part of the 2018 Moscow–Constantinople schism.

The Assembly of Bishops and its members represents the largest single Orthodox group in United States.

There may be as many as 7,000,000 people who may have been baptized as children and may be married in the church and have their children baptize, though they don't participate in church life, and may be unknown to local churches, though they self-identify as Orthodox. This also includes immigrants to North America who identify themselves as Orthodox, but don't participate in church life. Most studies of religious adherence includes those who self-identify with a religion, but the Assembly of Bishops only recognizes the numbers according to the study by Alexei Krindatch in 2010.

In the United States, the members of the Assembly have 800,000 faithful, representing over 95% of all the Eastern Orthodox groups in the United States. Previous estimates suggested this was in the millions, but those estimates were counting ethnic groups rather than baptized members. In reality, there are 800,000 faithful who are in good standing with the church, and who participate in church life at least once a year. There are about 210,000 faithful who regularly attend services.

There are a currently unknown number of faithful in Canada, as previous estimates for Canada were like to the United States, counting ethnic groups rather than participants in good standing. Central America currently has over 500,000 members of the Orthodox Church, though Central America is expected to be merged with the Assembly of South America.

In the United States, there are also a total of 70 monasteries and 1,860 parishes with an average membership of 430 people.

On May 9, 2019 Archbishop Demetrios of America, who was criticized for leading the Archdiocese of America into "financial, administrative and spiritual bankruptcy,"[2] submitted his letter of resignation as Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of the America and Bishop Andonios of Phasiane submitted his letter of resignation as Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America as well.[2] On May 11, 2019, the same day Demetrios' resignation went into effect,[3] a meeting was held to unanimously elect Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa as the new Archbishop of America.[4][5]

Meetings of the Assembly of Bishops

Assemblies are held annually. Members may abstain due to extraneous circumstances including illness, or distance. Many members live outside the United States and some outside of North America. Some jurisdictions in Central America do not participate in these Assemblies, as the Assembly of Bishops in North America and the Assembly in South America have petitioned to join Central America to the South American Assembly. Members from Canada also may not attend as this Assembly and their Bishops have applied to create a separate Assembly for Canada.

Attendees of the Inaugural Assembly (2010)

Fifty-five of the sixty-six hierarchs in the region were present at the founding assembly in 2010:[6]

  1. Archbishop Demetrios (Trakatellis) of America, Chairman
  2. Metropolitan Philip (Saliba) of New York, Vice Chairman
  3. Archbishop Justinian (Ovchinnikov) of Naro-Fominsk, Vice Chairman
  4. Bishop Basil (Essey) of Wichita, Secretary
  5. Archbishop Anthony (Scherba) of Hierapolis, Treasurer
  6. Metropolitan Iakovos (Garmatis) of Chicago
  7. Metropolitan Athenagoras (Aneste) of Mexico
  8. Metropolitan Methodios (Tournas) of Boston
  9. Metropolitan Isaiah (Chronopoulos) of Denver
  10. Metropolitan Alexios (Panagiotopoulos) of Atlanta
  11. Metropolitan Nikitas (Lulias) of Dardanellia
  12. Metropolitan Nicholas (Pissare) of Detroit
  13. Metropolitan Gerasimos (Michaleas) of San Francisco
  14. Metropolitan Evangelos (Kourounis) of New Jersey
  15. Metropolitan Paisios (Loulourgas) of Tyana
  16. Archbishop Yurij (Kalistchuk) of Toronto
  17. Bishop Christophoros (Rakintzakis) of Andida
  18. Bishop Vikentios (Malamatenios) of Apameia
  19. Bishop Savas (Zembillas) of Troas
  20. Bishop Andonios (Paropoulos) of Phasiane
  21. Bishop Ilia (Katre) of Philomelion
  22. Bishop Hiarion (Rudnyk) of Edmonton
  23. Bishop Andriy (Peshko) of York
  24. Bishop Demetrios (Kantzavelos) of Mokissos
  25. Bishop Daniel (Zelinskyy) of Pamphilon
  26. Bishop Antoun (Khouri) of Miami
  27. Bishop Joseph (Al-Zehlaoui) of Los Angeles
  28. Bishop Thomas (Joseph) of Charleston and Oakland
  29. Bishop Mark (Maymon) of Toledo
  30. Bishop Alexander (Mufarrij) of Ottawa
  31. Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) of New York
  32. Bishop Job (Smakouz) of Kashira
  33. Bishop Gabriel (Chemodakov) of Montreal
  34. Bishop Peter (Loukianoff) of Cleveland
  35. Bishop Theodosius (Ivashchenko) of Seattle
  36. Bishop George (Schaefer) of Mayfield
  37. Bishop Jerome (Shaw) of Manhattan
  38. Metropolitan Christopher (Kovacevich) of Midwestern America
  39. Bishop Maxim (Vasilijevic) of Western America
  40. Archbishop Nicolae (Condrea) of Chicago
  41. Bishop Ioan Casian (Tunaru) of Vicina
  42. Metropolitan Joseph (Bosakov) of America and Australia
  43. Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen) of Washington
  44. Archbishop Nathaniel (Popp) of Detroit
  45. Archbishop Seraphim (Storheim) of Ottawa
  46. Bishop Nikon (Liolin) of Boston
  47. Bishop Tikhon (Mollard) of Philadelphia
  48. Bishop Benjamin (Peterson) of San Francisco
  49. Bishop Melchisedek (Pleska) of Pittsburgh
  50. Bishop Alejo (Pacheco y Vera) of Mexico City
  51. Bishop Irineu (Duvlea) of Dearborn Heights
  52. Bishop Irénée (Rochon) of Quebec City
  53. Bishop Michael (Dahulich) of New York

See also


  1. ^ "About the Assembly of Bishops". Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  2. ^ a b Kalmoukos, Theodore (6 May 2019). "Archbishop Demetrios of America Resigns".
  3. ^ "Resolution of Thanks and Appreciation for His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America - 2019 - Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America".
  4. ^ "Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa Elected Unanimously Archbishop of America - 2019 - Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America".
  5. ^ "Elpidophoros selected new archbishop of America - Kathimerini".
  6. ^ Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Message of the Episcopal Assembly Of the Canonical Orthodox Hierarchs of North and Central America May 26-28, 2010. May 28, 2010.

External links

This page was last edited on 15 April 2020, at 19:56
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