SCOBA Hierarchs address the present challenge to security and peace

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, was among nine Orthodox Christian hierarchs belonging to the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas [SCOBA] to sign a statement on the current challenge to security and peace.

Dated February 11, 2003, the text of the statement reads as follows.

“At this time, one of the most critical in human history, we the hierarchs of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas painfully understand the exceedingly great existential burden placed upon our government leaders who, at this crucial moment, are charged with the power to decide the fate of innumerable human beings. They will have to make the ultimate decisions required by the information available to them. We pray for them, for their wisdom, determination and compassion as they contemplate actions that may have a tremendous impact upon millions of our fellow human beings, including many of our own sons and daughters.

As leaders of the Orthodox Christian communities throughout America and as servants of the One Who, on His way to the Cross, said: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you” [John 14:27], we urge all leaders of governments to utilize every means available to seek a peaceful resolution to the present challenge to the security and happiness of all humankind, posed by the forces of terror and evil that threaten not only the civilized world, but the very survival of human existence.

As Orthodox Christians we constantly and fervently pray in each and every worship service of our Church ‘for the peace from above,’ and incessantly implore the Lord ‘for the peace of the whole world.’ As disciples and followers of Jesus Christ we seek and pursue peace in prayer, in faith and in action. Death, terror, destruction and endless suffering are formidable enemies with which we are never going to be reconciled.

In the uniquely significant days ahead, may our good and loving God enable us all, the people of this blessed country, to know and to do what is just and right in order to secure a lasting peace on our planet Earth.”

In addition to Metropolitan Herman, other hierarchs who signed the statement included His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, SCOBA Chairman; His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip, Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, SCOBA Vice Chairman; His Eminence, Metropolitan Christopher, Serbian Orthodox Church in the USA and Canada, SCOBA Secretary; His Eminence, Metropolitan Nicholas of Amissos, American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese in the USA; His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph, Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church; His Eminence, Metropolitan Constantine, Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA; His Eminence, Archbishop Nicolae, Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America and Canada; and His Grace, Bishop Ilia of Philomelion, Albanian Orthodox Diocese.