His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman was among a number of Eastern Orthodox and Oriental hierarchs who attended a breakfast discussion with His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I at the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on Monday, March 15, 2004.
Invited to the breakfast, which was hosted by His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Archdiocese, were hierarchs representing member jurisdictions of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas [SCOBA] and the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches [SCOOCH].
In his welcoming remarks, Archbishop Demetrios spoke of the increasingly close relations between the SCOBA and SCOOCH hierarchs and noted the ongoing work of the Joint Commission of Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches. He cited the recent Service of Prayer for United Nations personnel, hosted at the Greek Archdiocese’s Holy Trinity Cathedral in New York by Metropolitan Herman, as an example of SCOBA-SCOOCH cooperation.
Patriarch Bartholomew then shared with the hierarchs his impressions of the recent SCOBA statement on the moral crisis in contemporary society and led a discussion on how the Church might address the situation. He offered encouragement to the hierarchs to continue their efforts for the good of society, that the fullness of the Gospel might be revealed to all who seek it.
Patriarch Bartholomew arrived in the US on Saturday, March 14 to begin a week-long visit to archdiocesan communities in the New York and New Jersey area. He is also slated to deliver a lecture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and to meet with a number of religious and civic leaders.
Accompanying Metropolitan Herman was Protopresbyter Robert Kondratick, Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America.
In addition to Metropolitan Herman and Archbishop Demetrios, other SCOBA hierarchs attending the breakfast included His Eminence, Metropolitan Nicholas, American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese in the USA and Canada; His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, Bulgarian Orthodox Archdiocese in America and Canada; His Eminence, Archbishop Nicolae, Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America; and His Eminence, Metropolitan Christopher, Serbian Orthodox Church in the USA and Canada. SCOOCH hierarchs in attendance included His Eminence, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Diocese of the Armenian Church of America [Eastern], and His Eminence, Archbishop Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim, Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch.
Following the breakfast, Archpriest Leonid Kishkovsky, Assistant to the Chancellor for External Affairs and Interchurch Relations, attended a meeting of North American religious leaders hosted at the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. The participants, convened by His Eminence, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, Director of Inter-religious Affairs for the Patriarchate of Constantinople, discussed a range of North American and international inter-faith issues and were briefed on preparations for an “Interfaith Conference of the Three Monotheistic Religions” slated to take place in Istanbul, Turkey, this October under the auspices of the Ecumenical Patriarch.