The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America is one of thirteen bishops' assemblies that have been established in different geographical regions throughout the world. It is made up of all the active, canonical Orthodox bishops of the United States of America, of every jurisdiction.
The Assembly was established in accordance with the Decision of the 4th Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference, convoked in Chambésy, Switzerland, June 6-12, 2009, at which met representatives from all the universally-recognized autocephalous Orthodox churches. These representatives recognized substantial canonical "anomalies" in the organization and life of the Church in these regions, and realized that, though these anomalies had arisen from specific historical circumstances and pastoral needs, they nonetheless present a number of serious problems for the faithful; moreover, they give an appearance of disunity in the one holy Church. As such, these representatives unanimously agreed to the formation of the assemblies of bishops to heal, as quickly as possible, these anomalies.
The bishops of the USA, Canada and Central America were originally together in one Assembly, called the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America; in April 2014 it was announced that, in order to best respond to the cultural diversity and pastoral needs in the region, the Canadian and US bishops would form separate assemblies and the Central American bishops would join the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of Latin America.
The purpose of the Assembly of Bishops of the United States of America is to preserve and contribute to the unity of the Orthodox Church by helping to further her spiritual, theological, ecclesiological, canonical, educational, missionary and philanthropic aims. To accomplish this, the Assembly has as its goals: i) the promotion and accomplishment of Church unity in the United States ii) the strengthening of the common pastoral ministry to all the Orthodox faithful of the region; and iii) a common witness by the Church to all those outside her. In addition, the Assembly has as an express goal iv) the organization of the Church in the United States in accordance with the ecclesiological and the canonical tradition of the Orthodox Church.
Assembly of Bishops News RSS
30 Jan 2018 at 7:12am
The study 'Orthodox Christian Churches in 21st Century America' offers a comprehensive picture of the lives of local American Orthodox parishes, including such aspects as membership, worship, programs, religious education, youth, usage of electronic technologies, and much more. In addition, the study also addressed the crucial question: 'How are Orthodox Christian parishes faring today among the many other American local religious communities?'
Nativity Message from the Assembly Chairman
22 Dec 2017 at 1:03pm
The encounter between God and man does not occur in shopping centers, Christmas markets, or ornate storefronts. Such festive places certainly bring a smile to our faces, especially to our children, but they fail to offer us salvation. Worth more than a precious ornament, and more valuable than fragrant perfumes, God’s mercy is freely offered to the world by the birth of the Son of God.
Response to The Chieti Document is Another Step Forward for the Orthodox and ...
14 Dec 2017 at 5:45pm
The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation (NAOCTC) has released its response to the most recent document produced by the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. The Chieti Document discusses the relationship between primacy and synodality during the first millennium Churches of the East and West. It specifically examines that relationship on three levels: the local, regional and universal. The NAOCTC response reflects upon each of the three levels and offers suggestions for further study and consideration.
Young Adults Study
29 Nov 2017 at 1:45pm
The subject of young Orthodox Church members was a major topic on the agenda of the recent Annual General Assembly Meeting. This report was prepared in order to help Assembly address our common concern about the engagement of youth and young adults in the lives of American Orthodox parishes.
Orthodox Christian Hierarchs Gather in New Jersey for Eighth Annual Meeting; ...
11 Oct 2017 at 11:28am
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America held its Eighth Annual General Assembly Meeting October 3-5, 2017 in Garfield, NJ. Thirty-Two Hierarchs from across the country gathered to prayerfully consider ways to enhance their Orthodox witness to the world and to address their common concerns for youth and emerging adults.