Decisions of the IV Whole-Orthodox Pre-assembly Session
According to the Agreement between the Heads and the Representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches, achieved at the meeting in Phanar in October 2008, and confirmed in the correspondence following after, the subject of the Fourth Whole-Orthodox Pre-assembly Session has to be the consideration of the canonical Orthodox Diaspora upholding. The participants agreed about the agenda of the conference. The issues of the agenda of the Whole-Orthodox sessions (the way to declare Autocephaly and the order of the Diptych, as well) are to be taken in consideration at the sessions to come after the preparation in the Inter-Orthodox preparation commission.
It has been confirmed on the session, that the solution of the problem concerning the canonical Orthodox Diaspora upholding, means the believers living out from the traditional borders of the Local Orthodox Churches has to be attained on the basis of ecclesiology, canonical tradition and the practice of the Orthodox Church. In order to achieve such aim, it was approved, in most parts of the world, to make hierarch’s assemblies consisting of all canonical bishops governing the congregation in the municipalities in particular areas.
The activity of such hierarch’s assemblies will be focussed to the manifestation and strengthening of the union of the Orthodox Church, to better pastoral serving orthodox people of such regions and to a common witnessing to the outer world. The decisions in the assemblies will be brought on the basis of consensus of all the Churches represented by their bishops. The authorisations of the Hierarch’s Assembly do not allow any interfering in the diocese’s jurisdiction of the bishop governing the diocese, and not limiting the rights of his Church relating the connections to international organisations, state government, society, the mass-media relations, other religious convictions, governmental and/or inter-religious organisations, and other religions as well.The finalised Project of the Rule Book, which determines the basis of the activities of the regional diocese’s assemblies in the Orthodox Diaspora, has also been approved on this session.