Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America

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*[http://orthodoxhistory.org/tag/episcopal-assembly/ Episcopal Assembly articles] from the [[Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas]] (SOCHA)
 
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Revision as of 10:18, June 22, 2010

The Episcopal Assembly

The Episcopal Assembly of North and Central America, founded in 2010, consists of all the active Orthodox bishops of North and Central America, representing multiple jurisdictions. It is the successor to SCOBA and has assumed responsibility for all SCOBA agencies and ministries. It is not, properly speaking, a synod. The Episcopal Assembly of North and Central America is one of several such bodies around the world which operate in the so-called "diaspora."

The primary purpose of the Assembly is to prepare the Orthodox of the region for an upcoming "Great and Holy Council" which will include all Orthodox bishops throughout the world (date to be announced). While participating in that council, the bishops of the Assembly will present their recommendations for the regularization of canonical order in their region. The secondary purpose of the Assembly is to provide a forum for the formation of a common pastoral vision in the region, examining various matters of common concern.

The Episcopal Assemblies derive their authority and basic rules of operation from the decisions of the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference held at the Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, Switzerland, from June 6-12, 2009.

At the first meeting of the Assembly, May 26-28, 2010, the SCOBA members present voted to dissolve the organization and permit the Assembly to supersede it and assume all its functions, agencies and ministries. It differs from SCOBA in two significant respects: it includes all the Orthodox bishops in the region (not just the primates), and it was officially mandated by the hierachies of the mother churches (rather than being of purely local provenance). It is also notable in that it is the first pan-Orthodox body in North America to include bishops of the ROCOR.

At the 2010 meeting, officers were also elected and committees formed to work together on numerous issues of common concern to the Orthodox in the region. It was further decided to request of the mother churches that Canada be given its own Episcopal Assembly and that the bishops of Central America be allowed to join the Episcopal Assembly of South America.

The Secretariat of the Assembly, led by Bp. Basil (Essey), is headquartered in Wichita, Kansas.[1]

This article forms part of the series
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