DOCUMENT OF EPISCOPAL PROTOCOL & APOSTOLIC MANDATE
SOLEMN FEAST OF PENTECOST - 2008
DECLARATION AND STATEMENT OF FULL SACRAMENTAL UNION
APOSTOLIC GREETINGS & ARCHPASTORAL BLESSINGS ON ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS AND SALUTATIONS IN CHRIST JESUS DO COME.
In the name of the XFather and of the XSon and of the XHoly Spirit
now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen!
THE ORTHODOX CHURCH CANADA (EASTERN RITE)
THE ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE NEW WORLD (WESTERN RITE)
here after to be known as
THE ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE EAST & WEST (CANADA & USA)
THE ANGLICAN INDEPENDENT COMMUNION - ORIGINAL PROVINCE
In accordance with the witness of Holy Orthodox Tradition and in full conformity with the Canons of the Holy Orthodox & Catholic Church of our Lord Jesus Christ
we do make the following Statements and Declarations:
The Hierarchy, Clergy and devout Faithful of our respective jurisdictions have heeded the prayer of our Blessed Savior "that they all may be one" articulated as His expressed will in St. John 17. For too long we have jointly and severally acknowledged our failure, resistance and inability to be obedient to our Lord's call to unity and conform to His desire for us.. In the name of Christ we have called upon the Holy Spirit to "come among us" and to rely only on Him to bring this unity to fruition.
It is our desire to heed the words of St. Paul who so eloquently expressed that "in Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile, male nor female; bond or free." Organic unity among true believers has never been regulated to personalities, social consideration or the ramifications and machinations of civil law or politics. Neither has Holy Orthodoxy been regulated to ethnicity, language, national or local customs nor distinctions such as the venerable yet distinct liturgical expressions that have always existed among Christians of the East & West. The Holy Orthodox Faith and Church has never - in her pristine and unpolitical form - been described as a Rite, particular native language or set of Liturgical Customs. The only test of what has been properly termed as Orthodox from apostolic times has been that which has been accepted as "right or correct belief". Consequently, if any are truly "Orthodox" in theological expression, they will worship "in spirit and truth" using those holy instruments of salvation given unto us by the Lord Himself which is in full conformity and uphold the "right or correct belief." These sacred expressions of our Orthodox faith have been handed down to us as our inheritance . If ones Liturgy (belief or faith in action) is Orthodox in expression, then his Belief (Creed) will also be fully and completely the same. These sentiments have severally been expressed and affirmed by the holy Church Fathers representing both Eastern and Western traditions: St. Basil, St. Augustine, St. Gregory the Great, St. Ambrose St. John Chrysostom and St. Cyprian. It is not our mandate to disregard the directives or fail to follow the saintly examples of those who have come before us and to therefore be disobedient unto Christ Himself. Their selfless and sacrificial examples serve as a reminder to us to lay aside all things which are impediments to full sacramental and intrinsic unity, as the Lord Himself wills.
It is with the same heart, mind and spirit that permeated the undivided Church (prior to 1054) that we come before God our Father on this Feast Day of Holy Pentecost, - the "birth day" of the One, Holy, Orthodox, Catholic & Apostolic Church - and by His grace and loving kindness hereby announce and declare that:
The undersigned - representing our respective Synod of Bishops, Clergy and devout Faithful - are one organic and sacramental Orthodox Catholic faith community, unified members of the living body of Christ (His Church ) and members of one Orthodox Catholic communion, composed of Eastern & Western Liturgical and Sacramental expressions as dictated by local custom, governed by one Holy Synod of Bishops who are equal among equals ("pares inter pares’) with a council-ruled administration. To the Glory of God, the expression of this unity is made visible with the formation of one Synod of Bishops to be known as:
THE SYNOD OF ORTHODOX CATHOLIC BISHOPS OF NORTH AMERICA (SOCBNA)
This formal statement of full and complete communion is declared for the glory of Almighty God and for the greater good of our Clergy and Laity, with our desire to uphold the purity of our Orthodox Faith "which was once delivered unto the saints" (St. Jude 1:3). As St. Paul plainly states; "one Lord, one faith, one baptism and one God and Father of all" (Ephesians 4). When admonishing the Christian community in Corinth he declared, "We all eat of one bread and drink from the same cup." Unworthy though we are, plagued by sin, human weaknesses and desires, we stand before God’s people triumphant in Christ, joyful, obedient and with grateful hearts! The prayerful aspirations of St. Simeon of Thessalonica urge us on: "do not cease in the reality of true unity and praying for unity among all of the brethren, with one voice attaining to the perfected faith and a fuller knowledge of our Savior - God". He further proclaims, "We are perfected in love, faith, grace and can aspire to lead a life pleasing to God and in service to each other in the Church."
Henceforth, by these acts (ordained and willed by Christ-God), through the power and action of the Holy Spirit, we take our several and individual places along side those (who now repose in eternal glory) who have given much to realize an undivided Orthodox Catholic Church. We humbly bow to their greater sanctity and more profound wisdom and ask for their prayers and intercessions to Christ as we strive to follow their saintly examples. Our intrinsic unity is grounded in our common Orthodox Catholic Faith as expressed by the 3 Great historic Creeds and defined by the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Our various Liturgical Rites being those in full conformity with the decrees of the same Ecumenical Councils as evidenced by the living expression of devout Christian worshipers throughout the ages.
WITH ONE VOICE, PROCLAIMING ONE HOLY FAITH,
WE NOW STAND AS A UNITED WITNESS FOR CHRIST IN THE WORLD.
WE EXTEND A LOVING & FRATERNAL INVITATION TO ALL JURISDICTIONS, PARISHES, CLERGY OR LAITY WHO MAY WANT TO JOURNEY WITH US AS A UNIFIED WITNESS TO "THE MYSTERIES OF THE FAITH" AS WE STRIVE TO BE OBEDIENT TO THE PRAYERFUL WILL OF OUR SAVIOR.
In testimony of and in witness to the truths contained herein, we place our signatures and the seal of our jurisdictions on this 11th day of May in the 2008th year of the salvation of the world.
Metropolitan Archbishop of the Orthodox Church of the East & West
Episcopal See of the City of Edmonton & All Canada
Archbishop of the Western Rite in the USA
Episcopal see of the Delaware & all America
Suffragan Bishop of the Western Rite in the USA
Episcopal See of the City of Camden, South Carolina
XXJosephus Johannes Archbishop Palumbo, OCR
Metropolitan of the Anglican Independent Communion
Episcopal See of Webb City, Missouri
XXJohn Charles Archbishop Maier, OCR
Superior General of the Order of Christ the King
Ordo Chancery in Laguna Beach, California
"PARES INTER PARES" & FOUNDING HIERARCHS OF
THE SYNOD OF ORTHODOX CATHOLIC BISHOPS OF NORTH AMERICA (SOCBNA)
" PRO DEO ET HUMANITATE - UNA VOCA; UNA ECCLESIA"
Amen! Amen! Amen!
PROTOCOL NUMBER: 100508-OP01
COMMEMORATING THE VICTIMS OF SEPTEMBER 11th
The Orthodox Church of Canada & the Orthodox Church of the East & West (CANADA & USA) - Hierarchs, Clergy and devout Faithful - join in prayerfully remembering the souls of those who perished in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 (seven years ago) and their loved ones. "With the souls of the righteous departed, grant rest, O Lord, to the souls of Thy servants and grant them rest in a place of light, happiness and peace, where there is no pain, sorrow or mourning, only life everlasting." We also ask Christ, the Divine Physician of our souls and bodies, to comfort those loved ones who during this time - once again - face the pain of loss and separation as they remember, bringing them peace and solace.
Primate of the Orthodox Church of Canada /
Orthodox Church of the East & West (CANADA & USA)