His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America [OCA], welcomed His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America [AOCA] to the OCA Chancery here on December 10, 2002.
The visit between the two hierarchs was their second, with Metropolitan Philip hosting Metropolitan Herman at AOCA headquarters in Englewood, NJ on September 17, less than two months after the latter had been elected OCA Primate.
Metropolitan Philip, who was accompanied by His Grace, Bishop Antoun, also was greeted by His Eminence, Archbishop Peter of New York and New Jersey and Protopresbyter Robert Kondratick, OCA Chancellor.
“I am delighted to join you here in this joyful season as we are preparing to celebrate the most decisive event in human history,” Metropolitan Philip told Metropolitan Herman. “I greet you on behalf of the clergy and faithful of the AOCA. We are not strangers, but instead we share fellowship and full communion with each other.”
During their meeting, Metropolitans Herman and Philip reflected on the decades of common history shared by the OCA and the AOCA under their predecessors, which included former OCA Metropolitans Leonty, Ireney, and Theodosius and AOCA Metropolitan Anthony [Bashir].
“We thank God for these friendly relations, and pray that these brotherly relations will continue for years to come,” Metropolitan Philip stated after discussing mutual concerns involving world Orthodoxy and the present and future situation of Orthodox Christianity in North America.
During his visit, Metropolitan Philip also met members of the OCA Chancery staff, prayed in Saint Sergius Chapel, and shared a luncheon with Metropolitan Herman and his hosts.