The schism of the Greek Orthodox church in Adelaide is often characterised by supporters of GOCSA’s position as petty political squabbling within the Greek community.  This is not the view of any of the bishops of the Orthodox church in Australia as the communique below demonstrates.

First Episcopal Assembly of all Canonical Orthodox Bishops of Oceania

Communique

Bishops at First Episcopal Assembly of Oceania

Bishops at First Episcopal Assembly of Oceania

The members of the First Episcopal Assembly of all canonical Orthodox Bishops of Oceania welcomed the opportunity to meet in Sydney from 16-18 October, 2010 under the chairmanship ex officio of His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos of Australia.

The Assembly commenced with a Divine Liturgy manifesting our essential eucharistic unity at the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Theotokos, Redfern, Sydney.

In accordance with the decisions of the pre-conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference convened in Chambesy, Switzerland from 6-13 June, 2009, the canonical Orthodox Bishops met in a brotherly spirit, and after lengthy and edifying discussion centered on issues of mutual concern, such as pastoral care, catechesis, liturgical life, reaffirmed the unity of all canonical Orthodox Churches.

Consequently, we strongly condemn all of those who attempt to destroy the precious unity of our Church through adherence to new or existing schismatic groups and sect in our region.

In order to safeguard and contribute to the unity of the Orthodox Church of Oceania, the members of the Assembly unanimously agreed upon the formation of the following three Committees relating to:

Bishops Serving at First Episcopal Assembly of Oceania

Bishops Serving at First Episcopal Assembly of Oceania

1)    Campus Ministry: cultivating the Orthodox faith amongst our University students and shielding them from the effects of proselytism, co-chaired by Their Graces Bishop Irinej of the Serbian Church and Bishop Ezekiel of the Greek Archdiocese.

2)    Inter-Orthodox Liturgical Services: embracing common Pan-Orthodox services and adopting a unified approach to pastoral and liturgical issues, co-chaired by Their Graces Bishop Mihail of the Romanian Church and Bishop Seraphim of the Greek Archdiocese.

3)    Canonical Issues: compiling a list of all canonical bishops and other clergy of Oceania and a secondary list of schismatic groups and sects which attempt to promote themselves as being canonical Orthodox.  This Committee is chaired by His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos and consists of representatives from each Orthodox Church.

The Assembly looks forward to meeting in years to come to continue working for the good of Orthodoxy in our region.

Sydney, 18th October 2010

Signed by:

  • His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos (Ecumenical Patriarchate – Australia)
  • His Eminence Metropolitan Paul (Antiochian Patriarchate)
  • His Grace Bishop Agapit (Russian Church)
  • His Grace Bishop Irinej (Serbian Church)
  • His Grace Bishop Mihail (Romanian Church)
  • His Eminence Metropolitan Amphilochios (Ecumenical Patriarchate – New Zealand)
  • His Grace Bishop Ezekiel (Assistant Bishop)
  • His Grace Bishop Seraphim (Assistant Bishop)
  • His Grace Bishop Nikandros (Assistant Bishop)

(Published in October 2010 Vema)

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