ARMONK, NY (SCOOCH) – On Thursday, October 6, the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches convened its fall 2016 meeting on the new grounds of St. Nersess Armenian Seminary. Hosting hierarch and SCOOCH Chairman, H.E. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian (Armenian) welcomed H.G. Bishop David (Coptic), H.E. Mor Titus Yelhdo (Malankara-Syriac), H.G. Bishop Karas (Coptic), H.E. Mor Dionysios Jean Kawak (Syriac) and their appointed delegates, as well as the representatives of H.G. Bishop Makarios (Eritrean) and H.E. Archbishop Zekarias (Ethiopian).
Among the items discussed by the Standing Conference were the reorganization of the Coptic Church in North America by H.H. Pope Tawadros II, the upcoming visit of H.H. Catholicos Karekin II to North America, external dialogues with the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches as well as with various schismatic bodies within the Oriental Orthodox Communion, the ongoing humanitarian crises in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa, and the present painful schism in the Eritrean Orthodox Church. In the case of the last of these topics, the Standing Conference reaffirmed its unflagging support for H.H. Abune Antonious I and its opposition to any action which keeps His Holiness from returning to his Apostolic Throne in peace.
The Standing Conference also discussed its upcoming calendar of events, including the Concelebrated Liturgy scheduled to take place in Staten Island, NY on October 22, the Philadelphia Regional Concelebrated Liturgy slated for October 29 in Medford, NJ, and the annual Oriental Orthodox Youth Conference scheduled for November 12 in Whippany, NJ.