Episcopal Assembly of South America
- A second Episcopal Assembly of South America was held on 2-4 October in Sao Paulo, during which the bishops of the continent discussed issues relevant to the Orthodox Church in the region. The meeting was attended by a hierarch of the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos of Rio de Janeiro and Olinda-Recife.
The meeting was chaired by Archbishop Athenagoras of Central America, the Caribbean, Colombia and Venezuela (Patriarchate of Constantinople). It was also attended by Archbishop Tarasius of Sao Paulo and titular Ukrainian Archbishop Jeremiah of Aspendos (both of the Patriarchate of Constantinople), Metropolitan Plato of South America and Bishop John of Caracas (Patriarchate of Moscow), Metropolitan Amfilochius of Montenegro (locum temens of the Diocese of South and Central America of the Patriarchate of Serbia) and Archbishop Chrysostomos of Rio de Janeiro and Olinda-Recife (Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church). Hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Antioch were not present, because at that time they participated in a meeting of their Synod in Balamand, Lebanon.
October 3 hierarchs jointly celebrated the Liturgy in the Constantinopolitan Cathedral Church of Dormition of the Theotokos. There was also a reception organised by Ambassador of Greece on the occasion of the Episcopal Assembly and the 20th anniversary of the enthronement of Patriarch Bartholomew.
During the meeting four committees were created that will deal with canonical and liturgical matters, the creation of the Assembly's internal rules and catechesis. It is also planned to create a list of all the parishes, clergy and Orthodox organizations in South America. The meeting participants agreed that they should strengthen cooperation with each other.
Next Meeting of the Episcopal Assembly of South America will be held in November 2012 in Caracas.
Episcopal Assemblies of different regions of the world had been introduced in areas where there are no local Orthodox Churches on the Inter-Orthodox Conference in Chambésy, near Geneva in 2009. They coordinate all Orthodox jurisdictions in the respective regions and are organized by senior hierarchs of the Church of Constantinople of the area.
Polish Orthodox Church hierarchs were not invited to the first meeting, which took place in the Antiochian Cathedral in Sao Paulo in April 2010. Father Peter Dileo-Vulic from the chancellery of the organizer, Archbishop Athenagoras explained that it was caused by " the lack of accurate information about the Diocese of the Polish Orthodox Church in Brazil".