Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Churches in Australia

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The Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Churches in Australia (SCCOCA) was an organisation founded in 1979 under the leadership of Archbishop Stylianos (Harkianakis) of Australia and intended to help cooperation among the Orthodox jurisdictions in Australia, under the permanent chairmanship of the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Contents

Founding members

Membership-related Events

Regarding the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia

ROCOR chose to withdraw from membership in SCCOCA.

Regarding the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand

According to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, the acceptance of schismatic Romanian communities run by defrocked priests has forced SCCOCA to exclude the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand from membership until said actions are reversed.citation needed

According to the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand, SCCOCA's complete inactivity between early 1999 and early 2006, (except for a letter from Bp Seraphim in March 2000), justifies its view of SCCOCA as being dead. Consequently, it is impossible to be excluded from a non-existent organisation.[1]

It should be noted that the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese also denies that any Romanian communities were schismatic or run by defrocked priests within its jurisdiction. Instead its Romanian priest was released with the personal permission and blessing of Patriarch Teoctist. This priest subsequently established a worship community which has always been within "the gentle care and loving guidance" of Antioch.[2]

Regarding the Romanian Orthodox Church

Although Fr Gabriel Popescu was present at the foundation of SCCOCA, the Romanian Orthodox Church was never an actual member of SCCOCA since, according to Patriarch Teoctist, the Romanian Patriarchate never sanctioned this move.

Current Events

According to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, SCCOCA member churches concelebrated on the Vespers of Orthodoxy and Thomas Sunday.

"In March 2006, Vespers of the Sunday of Orthodoxy was celebrated at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Marrickville with Archbishop Stylianos of the Greek Orthodox Church, the Bishop Milutin of the Serbian Orthodox Church, as well as representative clergy from the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Partriarchate) and the Romanian Orthodox Church. In total about 35 clergy were present surrounded by about 500 faithful. The event was powerful, sombre and moving as each of the jurisdictions read the testimony from the 7th Ecumenical council in their respective languages as well as English. The ceremony ended with exchanges of words of love and solidarity by the bishops."

Consistent with its earlier stated view, the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand says there cannot be current events in an organisation that "is dead" (Metropolitan Archbishop Paul).

Future Events

The Antiochian Archdiocese looks forward to the time when God wills for a cooperative meeting of all the Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions in Australia. Metropolitan Archbishop Paul prays for a gathering devoted to the stability and good relations between all the jurisdictions present in Australia, with a view to working harmoniously and in good faith towards that point when "they all may be one, as You Father and I are one" (Jn 17:21). Until that time comes, the primate and members of the Antiochian Archdiocese continue to pray for the unity of witness, worship, and loving kindness, which should be found in all true-believing churches throughout the world.

See also

External links

  • History of SCCOCA from the website of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia (covering the foundation of SCCOCA)
  • History of SCCOCA from the website of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand (including recent events regarding the Antiochian Archdiocese)
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