Thursday, July 23, 2015

Met. Elpidoforos to head Greek Archdiocese of America?

CONSTANTINOPLE (OCL) – Metropolitan Elpidoforos of Bursa, Abbot of the Holy Trinity Patriarchal Monastery on the island of Chalki, is making efforts to succeed Demetrios as the future Archbishop of America, sources in Constantinople, Athens, and New York told TNH.

But Archbishop Demetrios told TNH that he has not resigned and has no intention of doing so. “No, absolutely not,” the archbishop said, calling the information “mendacity” and “fable.”

But does he intend to resign soon? Again, Demetrios responded: “I want you to know that there is a big ‘no’ to everything that relates to resignation. As long as I am alive and I am in this [healthy] condition, God gives me health and strength and I work. There is no intention for resignation.” The Archbishop added that “these issues are up to God’s will and not man’s.”

His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew recently approached Metropolitan Methodios of Boston to see if he wanted to become Archbishop of America, but the latter declined, invoking reasons of health.

That was the second time that Methodios has declined the Patriarch’s offer. The first time was in August 1999, before the Patriarchate settled on Demetrios. At that time, Bartholomew had invited Metropolitan Methodios to Constantinople and offered him the Archbishopric Throne, to which Methodios declined also then for health reasons.

TNH has learned there were other reasons for Methodios’ declining the offer, related to the composition of the Holy Eparchial Synod in American at the time.

Sources told TNH that Metropolitan Methodios told Metropolitan Elpidoforos that the hierarchs in America want the latter to be the next Archbishop, and Metropolitan Elpidoforos conveyed that to Patriarch Bartholomew, whose initial reaction reportedly was “will see”, but then said “if you think that you can do it, proceed.”

Elpidoforos asked Hierarchs to support his candidacy, while also campaigning with high-ranking members of the Greek government, powerful publishers, Archons, and benefactors of the Patriarchate in Greece.

It should be noted here that Patriarch Bartholomew’s words do not amount to a conclusive decision, but rather an attempt to test Elpidoforos’ candidacy.

Elpidoforos has promised Bartholomew that he will solve the Patriarchate’s economic problems once and for all. The hierarchs, priests, and general employees, for instance, have not been paid for three months now.

Well-respected Greek-Americans, who choose to remain anonymous, told TNH that Elpidoforos would be a risk, drawing parallels to Demetrios’ predecessor, Archbishop Spyridon.


  1. To give a dishonest reason for declining the archbishopric (poor health for 16 years??!!) is most unseemly, especially for a metropolitan.

  2. Am I just naive for not wanting to believe that the Ecumenical Patriarchate operates this way?

    EP Bart.: "if you think you can do it, proceed."

    "Elpidoforos asked Hierarchs to support his candidacy, while also campaigning with high-ranking members of the Greek government, powerful publishers, Archons, and benefactors of the Patriarchate in Greece."

    Perhaps the "business end" of all this is being blown out of proportion.

    If not I would say we have a serious problem in the Phanar.

  3. This is ridiculous. There should not be this kind of politicking. This is not some civil position, but a position of shepard. I also agree hat this just doesn't sound the way the EP would actually operate...or at least how it should operate. Lord, have mercy.

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  5. Good grief! I would hope that the synod of the EP (and of the US archdiocese) has more sense than to place such a polarizing & controversial person as +Elpidophoros in the leading role here in the US.

    If Met. Elpidophoros became the next archbishop in the US I would very seriously consider resigning from my parish council & moving my family to another location in order to attend a parish in another Orthodox jurisdiction.

    +Elpidophoros is an educated & warm individual (I chatted briefly with him once when he was here in the US for a visit), but his views on Orthodoxy in America, canon 28 of the Council of Chalcedon & the Ecumenical Patriarchate's role in world-wide Orthodoxy are simply unacceptable & untenable.

    "theguide42": Yes, there are serious problems in the Phanar (the place is swarming with bishops who have no Churches to shepherd which means they are merely ecclesiastical bureaucrats who very existence degrades both the episcopate the our Orthodox ecclesiology), but there is much good there as well. Archbishop Demetrios is a wonderful leading hierarch because he's wise & sensitive...nothing like +Elpidophoros, who would do well to dial it down a bit & learn a thing or two from +Demetrios.

    1. I take it he is for the creation of an autocephalous American church under the aegis of Constantinople?

    2. You took me a while, but I knew I recognized his name. Your post about his view of the EP's position jolted my memory. A while back, he wrote a paper called "First without Equals"

      The EP would really like to be head of the Church. Shame (for him) that we don't work that way.

    3. I forgot to say that one of my "favorite" parts is when he writes that the EP has the right to remove autocephaly. He gives the examples of Ohrid and Pec. The way it was done, the EP went to the sultan. Sigh. Sadly, the EP acting this way is nothing new. I challenge the metropolitan to show where the EP gets the right (you know, without appealing to secular anti-Orthodox authorities).

  6. Is this article all guesswork and speculation?