Assembly of Bishops opens in Chicago

The second gathering of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America opened here on Wednesday, May 25, 2011, under the chairmanship of His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Formal notification of the gathering was sent to all canonical Orthodox Christian hierarchs across North and Central America at the end of February 2011.

Among the items on the agenda, according to the Assembly of Bishops’ web site, is the work of the Assembly’s 13 committees, its Secretariat, and its 14 agencies and endorsed organizations.

Prior to the gathering, Archbishop Demetrios apprised the member bishops that the fifth and latest meeting of the Inter-Orthodox Preparatory Commission was at the end of February in Chamb├ęsy, Switzerland, adding hope that the May gathering will conclude significant work for the Pan-Orthodox Pre-Conciliar process. It was the fourth session of this Commission, held in 2009, that established the various Assemblies of Bishops across the globe. Among the final issues to be addressed by the Commission, in advance of the planned Great and Holy Council, are the questions of the diptychs—that is,the order of seniority among the autocephalous churches—and a unified process for granting and recognizing the autocephaly of dependent Churches.

The hierarchs of the Orthodox Church in America are in attendance at the Assembly, which concludes on Friday, May 27.