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General Resolutions of the 40th Clergy Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

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Jul 13, 2010

Archon Religious Freedom Resolution
Resolution Regarding Oil Spill
Resolution Calling for Peace in the World
Resolution Regarding Episcopal Assembly of North and Central America
Chaplaincy Resolution
Resolution of Thanks

ARCHON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RESOLUTION


WHEREAS, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has been suffering as a result of the oppressive policies and actions of the Turkish government and its agencies; and
WHEREAS, by reason of such policies and actions, the worldwide ministry of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is hindered, and as a result our own rights as Orthodox Christians in America are violated,
NOW, THEREFORE, we, the officers and delegates of the 40th Clergy-Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, an Eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, hereby unanimously
RESOLVE and call upon the Government and Congress of the United States of America, as well as upon the Governors and Legislatures of all 50 States to:
Demand that the Turkish government comply with its obligations to provide religious freedom to its minorities and further respect its commitments pursuant to the Turkish Constitution, the Treaty of Lausanne and the several human rights conventions it has signed and ratified; and we
FURTHER RESOLVE, that the Government of the United States of America intensify its efforts and strongly urge the government of the Republic of Turkey to:
(a)            Refrain from interfering with the governance of the Ecumenical Patriarchate;
(b)            Recognize and acknowledge that the Ecumenical Patriarchate exists and functions as a legal entity and maintains its own legal personality;
(c)            Acknowledge the Ecumenical status of His All Holiness, Patriarch Bartholomew;
(d)            Take all necessary steps to allow the prompt and orderly re-opening of the Theological School of Halki;
(e)            Immediately refrain from any further seizures of Church-owned properties and return or otherwise provide fair compensation for all properties previously confiscated since the establishment of the Republic of Turkey and to
(f)            Implement and respect the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights with respect to minority property rights in Turkey.

RESOLUTION REGARDING OIL SPILL


WHEREAS
, while we mourn deeply for those who have suffered from natural disasters, we grieve painfully for those environmental disasters of our own making.  We stand astonished and ashamed as the unresolved and catastrophic oil spill continues in the Gulf of Mexico, threatening untold environmental and economic damage to our homeland, and to the land, marine environment, and people of our host Metropolis of Atlanta.

WHEREAS, we acknowledge a deep sense of our own responsibility for the harm caused by this disaster, and we hear the lament of our beloved Patriarch Bartholomew and his call, as follows, to responsible action:

“As citizens of God's creation, we perceive this monumental spill of crude oil in the oceans of our planet as a sign of how far we have moved from the purpose of God's creation. Our immediate reaction is to pray fervently for the urgent and efficient response to the current crisis, to mourn painfully for the sacrifice of human life as well as for the loss of marine life and wildlife, and to support the people and communities of the region, whose livelihood directly depends on the fisheries of the Gulf.”

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That we give thanks for the tireless efforts of the thousands of men and women attempting to staunch the flow of oil and to limit the environmental harm it causes, and ask our Lord and Savior to grant them speedy success.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we call upon the Orthodox Faithful and all peoples of the world to assist their fellow man in times of both natural disaster and man-made crisis, through fervent prayer, generous financial support and tireless volunteerism; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we beseech all of our brothers and sisters to do their utmost to preserve our planet and to take all possible care to avoid future man-made calamity, giving due care to the need to preserve the environment as well as to extract energy resources, and striving at all times to serve as good and faithful stewards of the beautiful Earth given to us by our Creator.  We further beseech our government to act swiftly, using its powers and resources to prevent these disasters and to take all possible action to assist in remedying damage that has already occurred.  

RESOLUTION CALLING FOR PEACE IN THE WORLD


WHEREAS
, the world is currently afflicted with war and conflict; and

WHEREAS, Christ exhorts us to love one another and said, “Blessed are the peacemakers”;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED
, That we, the delegates of the 40th Clergy Laity Congress, call upon all governments and peoples of the world to support the resolution of disputes peaceably and without force; we urge our government to continue and intensify its cooperation with other governments in order to restore peace in the world.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we call upon all citizens of the United States of America to support our Armed Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and to pray fervently for their safe return home.

RESOLUTION REGARDING EPISCOPAL ASSEMBLY
OF NORTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA


WHEREAS,
the First Episcopal Assembly of North and Central America was convened by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, in May of 2010, in accordance with the decision issued by all the Heads of the Autocephalous Churches at the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference convened by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED,  That we, the delegates of the 40th Clergy Laity Congress, commend His All Holiness and the Heads of the Autocephalous Churches for their vision in responding to the needs of Orthodox people in regions of the world where there is no single Orthodox presence;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we applaud the leadership of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios in convening and chairing this sacred body;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we support the work of the Episcopal Assembly:

-      To continue and enhance the ministries and work of SCOBA; and

-      To enhance the witness of Orthodoxy in North and Central America, while preserving the specific characteristics of each participating Church entity; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we call upon all Orthodox Christians in North and Central America to support this Holy endeavor and our common effort to call all people of this great continent to Come and See the Light of Christ.

CHAPLAINCY RESOLUTION

RESOLVED THAT: The 40th Clergy Laity Congress recognizes the heroic sacrifices of our uniformed men and women serving in the Armed Forces of the United States and of those who work for peace and safety in our Nation.

We call upon all Greek Orthodox communities to seek out and support our military and public service personnel and their families. We applaud the efforts of those communities which make special commemoration and recognition of our veterans and civil servants on our national holidays, encouraging all communities to follow this inspiring example.  
We wholeheartedly express our appreciation and gratitude to hierarchs and clergy who consistently commemorate the Armed Forces in the liturgical prayers of the Church, specifically in the Great Litany and the prayer behind the amvon, as unanimously passed at the 39th Clergy Laity Congress in Washington DC.

RESOLVED THAT: The 40th Clergy Laity Congress expresses its gratitude and respect to our priests who honorably serve in chaplaincy to the men and women of the public institutions of our great Nation:  the Armed Forces of the United States, Department of Veterans Affairs, Law Enforcement, Firefighters, Emergency Responders, Hospitals, Prisons, and college campuses.  Chaplains nurture our country’s next generation of leaders by modeling the civic virtues of tolerance and mutual respect, speaking the truth with love and compassion for all, in all settings.  Our Nation and our brave men and women in uniform deserve dedicated chaplains who care for all.  

Chaplains have been at the sides of Orthodox Christians and other children of God in their times of need, even at their last breath,  as they serve their country, state, or town, bringing to them God’s peace and love.  We invoke your prayers for all Chaplains in whatever capacity they serve.  

RESOLUTION OF THANKS


WHEREAS, this 40th Clergy Laity Congress has provided us with a unique opportunity to strengthen the witness of faith and love, to facilitate the work of our Holy Archdiocese, Metropolises and parishes, and to offer to the world an invitation to “Come and See”;

WHEREAS, we wish to express our sincere gratitude to those who made it possible for us to share the Truth of the Gospel and the Love of Christ;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that we hereby express our heartfelt thanks to our Holy Ecumenical Patriarchate and its representative, Archbishop Irenaios of Crete, to His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, to our Holy Eparchial Synod, to our Auxiliary Bishops, to Mr. Michael Jaharis, to Mr. Emanuel Demos, to Mr. Jerry Dimitriou and the staff of the Archdiocese who worked so tirelessly to make this Congress a success, and to all those clergy and laity who came together in this Congress to serve our Holy Church.

We express our special thanks to His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios and the staff of the Metropolis of Atlanta, to the Holy Annunciation Cathedral of Atlanta, to Congress Co-Chairs, William and Audrey Marianes and Nicholas and Effie Moraitakis, to the Congress Committee, and to the numerous volunteers who so generously gave of their time and talents, demonstrating to us the meaning of true Southern hospitality.

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