Tuesday, October 13, 2020

More communiques from the Greek Archdiocese

New York (GOARCH) - On Monday, October 12, 2020, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America convened the Holy Eparchial Synod via videoconference for an extraordinary session to consider the current issues concerning the life of the Church.

Significant decisions were made, such as:

  1. The expression of gratitude to His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Holy and Sacred Synod of the venerable center of Orthodoxy for the opportunity provided to the Archdiocese of America to draft a new Charter. This distinguished prospect is made even more profound in light of the celebration in the year 2022 of the first centennial since the inception of the Archdiocese. The compilation of the new Charter, with the collaboration of the Hierarchy, the clergy and the laity of the Church, will inaugurate the new centennial of Archdiocesan ministry, and for this reason two Committees will be commissioned with this great and sacred task: 1) An extensive committee in America, composed of representatives of the Holy Eparchial Synod, the clergy and the laity and 2) a second committee, assigned to participate in the Joint Committee that will be devised by our Mother Church, in order to convey and communicate the essence and the ideas of the former committee. 
  2. The validation of the Press Release of the Holy Archdiocese regarding the uninterrupted authority and continuous operation of all the Archdiocesan administrative bodies until the ratification and publication of the new Charter by the Patriarchate such as the Holy Eparchial Synod, the Archdiocesan Council, the Executive Committee, the Clergy Laity Congress and the respective administrative bodies of the Metropolises. So it looks like they will still exist, just without a coordinating document to rule their behaviors.
  3. The dedication of upcoming meetings of the Archdiocesan Council to the formulation of the vision for the new Charter.
  4. To ensure a dignified life with sufficient earnings, befitting to his hierarchal distinction and to the tradition of the Church, for His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of Sardes, who has served the Archdiocese for many decades. Does anyone know why he was removed?

Lastly, the Archbishop announced the a) composition of the Executive Committee and the National Board of the National Philoptochos Society, b) the appointment of the V. Rev. Archimandrite Constantine Moralis as the Chancellor of the Holy Metropolis of New Jersey and the appointment of the Metropolitan Council of the aforementioned Metropolis and c) the dates for the ordinations to the Sacred Hierarchy of the Bishops-elect: His Grace Spyridon (Kezios) of Amastris on November 14th, His Grace Timothy (Bakakos) of Hexamilion on December 5th and His Grace Ioannis (Constantine) of Phocaea on December 19th of this year.

From the Office of the Chief-Secretary of the Holy Eparchial Synod


  1. Hopefully something good comes out of this process. Sometimes the best way forward is to start over.

    As for Metropolitan Evangelos and Methodios, I'm sure the "real story" will come out soon enough. There is already enough gossip and innuendo to fill a football stadium.

    What is interesting to me, is that Metropolitan Evangelos is being held up as some sort of martyr of "EP overreach." These are the very same people who heaped some of the worst scorn on the man in the past. My first reaction in reading this stuff was: "But you hate him!" They were calling for him to be given the boot for a long time, and then when the EP does it they get mad?

    What is the Patriarchate supposed to say? I saw somewhere they were decrying how Archbishop Elpidophoros was going to strip the Metropolitans of their "fancy" health plans and force them into equity with the priests.

    But that's what you wanted! If the comboxes can be believed.

    It's the same thing with the Charter. I thought the anti-EP folks hated the Archdiocesan Council, the L100 and all of those Greek-American fatcats? They are corrupt, right? So Archbishop Elpidophoros in conjunction with the Patriarchate has decided to do something about them.

    But that's what you wanted, right?

    I think the issue isn't what is being done, but rather who is doing it. If it was the Moscow Patriarchate doing this with a long suffering and corrupted eparchy/diocese, the usual suspects would be praising it as a cleansing fire. But since the EP is doing it, it is a "power grab."

    Archbishop Elpidophoros was never going to get a fair shake, because of who he is and how he got here.

    The ink isn't even dry on these pronouncements. More information will be forthcoming, of this I have no doubt.

    1. The power grab happened in 1922, when an American archdiocese was handed to a vestigial patriarchate in Turkey on a plate in 1922. I think everyone would agree the EP can do whatever he wants with his own hierarchy.

      There may be a very pedestrian reason behind this: metropolitans are just too expensive.

      The prime directive of the EP remains intact: don't get to know your neighbors, and never enthrone non-Greeks.

      I don't think anybody denies that there is an Orthodox-wide problem here. The EP is just singularly blatant about it.

  2. Not what or how it was done but the idiocy of tying the process to so-called Orthodox unity.

    It is neither Orthodox nor a basis for unity. The real basis for unity was Ligonier but that could not be allowed. The GOA has been in a tail spin since then.
    I just wish they would get over themselves and stop acting like they live on Olympus.
    Frankly the GOA leadership disgust me.

    1. This gets back to the discussion on yet another "Committee" a couple of posts back. If the EA really wanted to make a splash, they'd meet in secret, divvy up the properties, work out the tithes to the Patriarchates, and elect a Metropolitan ("Patriarch" has acquired a historical character that simply would not apply to the Americas). Then announce autocephaly to the world and prepare to live in schism over the next two centuries.

      Of course, that would probably break the vow of obedience so it's a no-go.

      Probably, the Old World patriarchates would have to be vacant or otherwise inoperative or suppressed, at which point autocephaly would just be taken.

  3. Perhaps this is a move to bring the patriarchate from instanbul to Washington. If so, this will potentially destroy the eastern orthodox christian church in the USA. Eastern orthodox christianity is not synonymous with hellenism. In the USA we need an American church,,american bishops, and need to be devoid of being bled dry by foreign entities. If we are to prosper and growth this involvement with foreign entities needs to cease. I love my heritage,,,but my grandchildren are but a fraction so, their allegience to a church is not by ethnic ties. And this should be a reality for all of us. Ergo we need to do only what will make us truly and american eastern orthodox christian church, a blend of many ethnic background s united through our Christian faith and not through ethnicity

  4. "1922." "Ligonier." This illustrates my point. This isn't about Archbishop Elpidophoros at all, or about the Charter.

    I think people are holding "Ligonier" up too high, particularly American autocephalists. Much like "Vatican II" for Catholics, it has taken on a mythic quality out of proportion of what it was or what it represented.

    The bitterness of crushed dreams is a very unsavory cup, I don't discount people's feelings at all. But that is what this is: Feelings.

    This action has triggered a lot of very strong feelings, and the GOA is divided. I have also seen comments that this was "a long time coming" and praising the decision. My own opinion is "wait and see." To hit the reset button like this tells me that there are very deep problems that need to be addressed. If there is corruption and it is as deep as people in these comboxes and elsewhere say, then a hard line reset by an outsider is likely the only solution and way forward. Again, it isn't about what is being done, but who is doing it.

    1. Well yeah. A Greek more genetically scrupulous than anybody's white supremacist hobgoblin.

      The American situation is uncanonical, all the time, every day. The proffered Greek solution is to carve up Americans into ethnic vicariates answering to the EP. So you can see why everyone's a tad wary of Greeks.

      As far as this particular shake-up, again, the EP can do with his hierarchy what he will, after all. My guess is the hierarchy is getting too expensive but no idea.

  5. Do we already have Metropolitan Councils or is that a new thing? I saw they were appointing one to New Jersey.