Communiqué of the Holy Eparchial Synod
Oct 23, 2012
New York, October 23, 2012
The Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America convened in its regular fall meeting on October 17 and 18, 2012, at the Synodal Chamber of the Holy Archdiocese in New York. The meeting was attended by the members of the Synod and presided by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America.
The day before the official convening of the Synod, on October 16, the members of the Synod had the opportunity to review and complete their work on the original Greek text of the Services of Vespers and Orthros along with liturgical rubrics, which will be submitted to the Ecumenical Patriarchate for final approval.
During its meeting, the Holy Synod discussed a number of subjects, among them the following:
1. Special aspects of the pastoral and administrative work of the Church in regard to clergy and laity. More specifically, the Synod approved a program for the pastoral care of patients (Chaplaincy Program) through which, besides the clergy, individuals who have theological education and have been trained in pastoral care can offer their services in various institutions i.e. hospitals, prisons, etc.
2. Matters of special cases for clergy related to disciplinary nature, as well as the need for clergy care for the clergy and their families.
3. Matters of Religious and Greek education: The Synod discussed extensively the training of candidates to the priesthood and the Special Educational Program for Deacons. Also, the need for greater participation of the youth of our parishes in the yearly and very successful program of St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival.
The new text books for the teaching of the Greek language in the Day and Afternoon Schools of the Archdiocese for the second level were presented. As it is well known, the books are distributed free of charge by Faith Endowment of the Holy Archdiocese. The drafting of the text books for the third level has already begun.
4. Administrative Matters: Administrative matters regarding parishes and monasteries of the Holy Archdiocese were discussed. The very joyful event of the signing of related documents for the rebuilding of the Church of St. Nicholas at Ground Zero was announced. The church besides being a parish will become a National Shrine and a greater witness of the Orthodox Faith.
5. Matters on Social Issues: The Synod discussed issues related to racism and fascism and proceeded with the attached press release. Also the Synod discussed the contemporary subject of the physician assisted suicide and will soon release a communiqué on this subject.
After the completion of the meetings of the Holy Eparchial Synod, its members had the opportunity to participate in the Executive Council, the Committees and the plenary session of the Archdiocesan Council (October 18-19), as well as in the yearly assembly and celebrations of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, October 20-21,2012.
From the office of the Holy Eparchial Synod
Statement of the Holy Eparchial Synod
of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
The Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in its Fall 2012 session expresses once again its deep concern over extremist language used in all spheres of public and private life. We exhort all the people with the admonition of the Holy Apostle Paul: Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one (Colossians 4:6). We deplore the use of any racist, xenophobic, fascistic, hateful speech, imagery and behavior. Noting that the one of the great gifts of living in a democracy is the right to free speech, we nevertheless commend responsibility, civility, and indeed love in choosing our words and modes of expression. The people of Greece said “NO” to fascism in World War II and consequently suffered tremendously under the Nazi occupation. We call upon all people to say “NO” to the hatefulness of all forms of totalitarianism and embrace the true philanthropy and philoxenia (love of the stranger) that is the message of the Gospel. As a leader in Interfaith and Inter-Cultural Dialogue, the Greek Orthodox Church, by the grace of God, prays and works for peace, respect, and reconciliation among all people.
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