NEW YORK – His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America received today (9/26/2012) at the Archdiocese headquarters the visit of the Foreign Minister of Greece Mr. Dimitrios Avramopoulos together with his deputy ministers Mr. Dimitrios Kourkoulas, deputy for European affairs and Mr. Konstantinos Tsiaras, deputy for religious affairs and Hellenes abroad.
Participating in the meeting were also the Vice Chairman of the Archdiocesan Council Mr. Michael Jaharis and members of the Minister’s delegation including the new Ambassador of Greece to the U.S. Mr. Christos Panagopoulos, the permanent representative of Greece to the United Nations Ambassador Anastasis Mitsialis, the director of the minister’s political office Ambassador Dionisios Kodelas and the Consul General of Greece in New York Mr. George Iliopoulos.
The discussion included issues of concern to the Greek-American community and Hellenes abroad and issues relating to the economic crisis facing Greece.
In a statement to the Press following the meeting, Mr. Avramopoulos said he informed the Archbishop on the recent developments in Greece, the conditions facing the people there, and the efforts of the Greek government. He said that he felt deeply moved by the initiatives and actions of His Eminence and the Archdiocese in support of the Greek people, support which, as he said, is very valuable and necessary as the country tries to regain its credibility and get back on track.
In this statement that followed, Archbishop Demetrios said the attitude of respect for what we represent, Orthodoxy and Hellenism remains unchanged despite the crisis in Greece. He said that what we have as Greek-Orthodox, is lasting and has enduring qualities and added: “We want to reassure our brethren here and in Greece that we are doing everything possible and even more than what is possible to help Greece get through and out of this crisis. I have lived as a child, the German occupation, and we surpassed it, we experienced many difficulties and we have endured. Likewise we will overcome this present adversity, with the help and collaboration of God.”
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America held its third annual meeting for all member hierarchs, that is, all active canonical bishops in its region.
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America held its third annual meeting for all member hierarchs, that is, all active canonical bishops in its region. The meeting was held from September 10-12, 2012, at the Chicago O'Hare Hilton in Chicago, Illinois. Forty-three bishops were in attendance.
The first plenary session opened on Monday morning, and began with prayer, followed by an address to the assembled hierarchs by the Chairman of the Assembly, Demetrios, Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (his address will soon be posted on the Assembly website).
The Archbishop expressed the sorrow of all present for the loss of Metropolitan Constantine of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the U.S., who fell asleep in the Lord since the last meeting of the Assembly. He also noted the absence of two brother bishops: Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh, who retired in August 2011, and Metropolitan Jonah of Washington, D.C. Moreover, he welcomed the new bishops joining the Assembly since May 2011, the time of its last meeting: Bishop Sevastianos of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, Bishops Anthony, John, and Nicholas of the Antiochian Archdiocese, Bishop Daniil of the Bulgarian Diocese, Bishop Alexander of the Orthodox Church in America, and the newly-consecrated Bishop Pankratij of the Metropolis of Mexico.
Archbishop Justinian, the administrator of the parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate in the US and second vice-chairman of the Assembly, also addressed the hierarchs, reminding his brethren of the 200th anniversary of the founding of the southernmost Russian settlement in North America, Fort Ross in California, with its Orthodox Christian chapel dedicated to the Holy Trinity.
With the legal incorporation of the Assembly, one of the chief items on the agenda was the adoption of By-Laws for its governance. A draft was provided by a provisional By-Laws Committee, working in concert with the Committee for Legal Affairs. After some deliberation by the Assembly to insure that the By-Laws conformed both to civil and canon law, they were unanimously approved by the bishops.
A proposal was presented to the hierarchs by Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, the chair of the Committee for Canonical Affairs, for a comprehensive directory of all Orthodox clergy in our region, in accordance with Article 6 of the Rules of Operation. This would augment the Assembly's already existing directories of bishops, parishes, monastic communities, and theological schools.
The second item, which occupied the Assembly during the whole of its business session on Tuesday, was the canonical organization of the Church in the United States. Archbishop Nicolae of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas, the chair of the Committee for Canonical Regional Planning, presented the findings of his committee on the chief issues involved. The assembled hierarchs were asked to discuss with one another important questions about the future structure of the Church in North America, models of administration, its organization geographically, as well as its relationship with the Mother Churches. This it did together as a body as well as in small groups. In this continuing process, designed to prepare a plan for presentation to a future Great and Holy Council of the entire Orthodox Church worldwide, there was consensus on the part of all bishops that the canonical norms of the Church must be observed and that all canonical anomalies in North America must be resolved, so t For the rest of this News Release, visit the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website