Saturday, May 23, 2020

Episcopal Assembly appeals to governors for fair treatment

(AOB) - Today, the Executive Committee of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America met via video conference and determined that a direct appeal to several Governors be made to insist on the equitable treatment of religion in the reopening of certain States.

In the appeal, the Hierarchs of the Executive Committee noted that the “founders of our country wisely protected the free exercise of religion precisely because of the vital role played by communities of faith in providing their members faith, hope, and comfort, and their communities love, service, and charitable outreach during times of trial such as these.”

They also noted that “religious institutions provide for social and emotional cohesion, important rites of passage, and participation in the mysterium of human existence that expresses meaning and purpose, and are as vital to the common good as the reinitializing of the economic engines that provide the means of material life.”

Finally, they appealed that “religious institutions of all faiths be given the same consideration that those economic engines are being given, as guaranteed by the Constitution, and that our rights of assembly be commensurate with those of the businesses, associations, establishments, and other societal institutions that are engaged in reopening at this time.”

The letter concluded with an assurance to observe “all recommended public health best practices, as well as all legal requirements that pertain to the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Members of the Executive Committee who convened today:

Chairman, Archbishop Elpidophoros, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
First Vice-Chairman, Metropolitan Joseph, Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Treasurer, Archbishop Michael, Orthodox Church in America
Secretary, Metropolitan Gregory, American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the USA,
Bishop Irinej, Serbian Orthodox Church in North, Central and South America
Metropolitan Nicolae, Romanian Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas
Metropolitan Joseph, Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the USA, Canada, and Australia
Bishop Saba, Georgian Apostolic Church in North America
Metropolitan Tikhon, Orthodox Church in America


  1. I'm intrigued by the State's differing approaches to HIV and COVID-19. The former is a highly potent virus with an extremely narrow reproductive bottleneck. We literally could have burned it out in a year or two by impeding anal intercourse and IV drug use. COVID-19, by contrast, is rarely fatal and skews heavily toward people with co-morbidities and its transmission is only avoidable by effectively shuttering much of what was heretofore considered normal, and bearable, daily life.

    It's pretty remarkable we haven't shuttered a single airport or subway or, to use an extreme example, gay swinger's clubs, but churches are claimed to be particularly serious vectors of infection.

    1. Common sense and science have very little to do with government policy at the moment.

      In NY Cuomo was shocked to find out that 66% of new CV19 cases were from people who had not broken quarantine or left their houses, but no policy changes were made to reflect that knowledge.

      As many doctors are pointing out, we’ve never quarantined the healthy on a mass scale like this.

      Not to mention that you can’t contain a virus as long as people still go to stores and interact with their fellow human beings even indirectly.

      But the narrative switched from “flatten the curve” to “Life can’t go back to normal until we have a cure” even tho Corona Viruses can’t be cured, the common cold is a Corona virus, and this one isn’t deadly enough to warrant such a reaction in the first place.

      Maybe after the election is over, and this isn’t being used as political fodder, we can move on.

  2. In Minnesota the Roman Catholic and Lutheran church leaders informed the Governor that they were going to re-open without his "blessing".

    "After Catholic and Lutheran Churches announced plans to reopen their churches to groups larger than ten without the Governor’s blessing, Minnesota announced today that it would lift that limitation, and clear the way for houses of worship of all faith traditions to open to larger groups starting Wednesday, May 27, 2020."