Paramus, NJ – On behalf of H.H. Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, H.E. Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak welcomed the representatives of the Coptic, Armenian, Eritrean, Malankara-Syriac, and Ethiopian Churches to the Mor Aphrem Syriac Orthodox Center for the biannual meeting of the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches. The Standing Conference reconvened today – Tuesday, December 08, 2015 – to discuss a number of important issues facing the Oriental Orthodox Communion, including the Church’s national consultation and international dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church, the present genocide being carried out against the Christians of the Middle East, the persecution of the Orthodox Church of Eritrea and its lawful Patriarch H.H. Abune Antonious I by that nation’s government, and the Standing Conference’s ongoing ministry to the Orthodox youth of America through its campus ministry (OCCM) and its youth ministry (SCOOYA).
The Standing Conference was also happy to welcome the Very Reverend Dr. Nathanael Symeonides of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops who came to discuss that body’s interest in renewing the North American dialogue between the representatives of the Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox Churches. Other topics discussed included regional and national concelebrations of the Divine Liturgy. The bishops of SCOOCH plan to convene their next concelebration – in the Ethiopian rite – at a to be determined location on October 22, 2016. The faithful are enjoined to mark their calendars and watch this site for further details.