Episcopal Assembly of Oceania
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Gk Orthodox Archd. of ANZ
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The Episcopal Assembly of Oceania, founded in 2010, consists of all the active Orthodox bishops in Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia, representing multiple jurisdictions. It may be considered a successor to SCCOCA (but wasn't mentioned) and it is not, properly speaking, a synod. The Episcopal Assembly of Asia and Oceania 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.
An invitation was sent to all canonical bishops resident in Australia, Oceania and Southeast Asia to attend the Episcopal Assembly of Oceania and Asia. Metropolitans Ambrose of Korea and Nektarios of Hong Kong did not attend. Presumably consequently, the Episcopal Assembly was subsequently named the Episcopal Assembly of Oceania, and included all those bishops who resided in Australia and Oceania.
At the first meeting of the Assembly, October 16-18, 2010, all of the bishops in Oceania concelebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Theotokos. Following this was a lengthy discussion on matters of mutual concern - pastoral care, catechesis, liturgical life. The unity of all canonical Orthodox Churches was reaffirmed, and local schismatic groupings were condemned.
Three committees were established:
- Campus Ministry: Chaired by Bishops Irenej and Ezekiel, this committee is to cultivate the Orthodox faith among university students and shield them from the effects of proselytism.
- Inter-Orthodox Liturgical Services: Chaired by Bishops Mihail and Seraphim, this committee is to embrace common pan-Orthodox services and adopt a unified approach to pastoral and liturgical issues.
- Canonical Issues: Chaired by Archbishop Stylianos and with representatives from each Orthodox jurisdiction, this committee will compile a list of all bishops and clergy in Oceania and another list of those who wrongly promote themselves as being canonically Orthodox.
- Archbishop Stylianos (Ecumenical Patriarchate - Australia). Chairman ex officio.
- Metropolitan Paul (Antiochian Patriarchate). First Vice Chairman ex officio.
- Bishop Agapit (Russian Church). Second Vice Chairman ex officio.
- Bishop Irenej (Serbian Church)
- Bishop Mihail (Romanian Church)
- Metropolitan Amphilochios (Ecumenical Patriarchate - New Zealand)
- Bishop Ezekiel (Assistant Bishop)
- Bishop Seraphim (Assistant Bishop)
- Bishop Nikandros (Assistant Bishop)
Jurisdictions of participants
- Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines
- Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
- Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Zealand
- Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of Australia and New Zealand
- Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia
- Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand
- Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia
- Orthodox Church in America (since withdrawn from Australia)
From the Episcopal Assembly
- First Episcopal Assembly of All canonical Orthodox Bishops of Oceania and Asia
- Episcopal Assembly Communique 2010]
- Documents from the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference at Chambésy, Switzerland that established the Episcopal Assemblies