WASHINGTON, – Russian and other Orthodox Christians plan to meet Sunday in Ohio to discuss ideas for unifying the 12 Orthodox jurisdictions in the United States, according to media reports and church announcements.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper called the planned public forum unprecedented in its nature and said it would include members of the Greek, Ukrainian, Russian, Antiochian, Serbian, Romanian and American Orthodox churches, or most of those present in the United States.
“It is the Assembly’s hope that the forum will serve as a model to be replicated in other cities, as a means to promote pan-Orthodox understanding and dialogue about the Assembly and its mission,” the US Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops said in a statement.
The forum was planned by Cleveland’s Orthodox laity with the support of the US Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, whose 49 members are working on a plan to unify America’s different Orthodox churches, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Thursday.
Cleveland is home to 29 different Orthodox parishes representing most strands of Orthodoxy in the United States. While the various churches have their own languages and church hierarchies they share a common religious doctrine and liturgy.
Three senior bishops from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the USA, and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia are expected to attend the forum.
The forum is scheduled to be held at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Parma, Ohio on Sunday and is open to the public.