Dearborn, Michigan. July 28, 2005.
This afternoon the General Convention of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America voted overwhelmingly to leave the National Council of Churches of Christ. The General Convention is holding its annual meeting this week in Dearborn, Michigan.
The action was not a temporary "suspension" of membership, but a formal withdrawal from the NCC. The clergy unanimously approved the withdrawal, followed by a unanimous vote of the lay delegates supporting the move. An announcement of the final vote was met with thunderous applause by the Convention.
Reasons given for the withdrawal include the general liberalism of the NCC, whose General Secretary, Bob Edgar, withdrew his signature from a statement defining marriage as being between a man and a woman.
Metropolitan PHILIP, head of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese, was reportedly outspoken in calling for the church to withdraw from the NCC, stating that the relationship had proven fruitless.
The National Council of the Churches of Christ has listed on its website "36 member communions and denominations." It now has 35.
Note: An interview about this vote and its consequences with the Very Rev. Olof Scott, the newly-elected chairman of the Department of Interfaith Relationships, is scheduled to air on Ancient Faith Radio this coming Sunday, July 31, 2005, at 5 PM EDT.
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