ERA-5 - October 14, 1998
A Constructive SCOBA Meeting
By Justine Frangouli
The biannual meeting of SCOBA (Standing Conference of Canonical
Orthodox Bishops in the Americas) convened on Tuesday at the headquarters
of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, was held in a warm and constructive
atmosphere. The meeting of SCOBA, an episcopal body that seeks to promote
co-operation among all Orthodox on matters of practical and pastoral interest,
was chaired by Archbishop Spyridon of America.
The Orthodox leaders (Orthodox Church in America, Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese
in America and Canada, Serbian Orthodox Church in the United States and Canada,
Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America and Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese
of North America) present at the meeting resolved to resume theological dialogue
with Episcopalians and at the same time engage in systematic contacts with
the pre-Chalcedonians of America.
More specifically, at Archbishops Spyridons suggestion, SCOBA determined
to resume dialogue with America's Episcopalians after a ten-year interruption.
The thinking behind this was that it is self-contradictory for the Orthodox
not to maintain a theological dialogue with Episcopalians (due to the ordination
of women to the priesthood by the latter) while at the same time they engage
in theological exchanges with Baptists and Methodists, considered less traditional
in all aspects. It was resolved that the first exploratory contacts be made
by meeting with the appropriate representatives of the Episcopalian Church,
so as to draw up a plan for dialogue, to be carefully examined at the next
SCOBA meeting in spring.
In addition, SCOBA decided to engage in systematic contacts with the pre-Chalcedonians
of America (Copts, Armenians, etc.). The ultimate aim of these contacts would
be to initiate a theological dialogue between the two Christian families on
matters of pastoral nature.
It should be noted that the leaders of the canonical Orthodox Churches of
America are seeking to bridge the gap between Christian Churches in the US
through theological dialogue, a practice based on a tradition long followed
by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
[ Translated from Greek ]
[ ERA 5 - www.ert.gr/site/news/newsOmogenia.asp - October 14, 1998 ]