Sunday, January 29, 2023

EP hierarchs in US meet in LA

(EP) - On Saturday, January 28, 2023, the First Synaxis of Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the USA convened in Los Angeles, California, under the presidency of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America. The hierarchs, twelve in all, represent the Orthodox ecclesiastical eparchies under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, namely the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, as well as the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox and Albanian Orthodox dioceses.  

“As leaders of our communities at every level, we have the responsibility and privilege to voice the concerns of the Ecumenical Throne, and to provide advocacy for Her interests,” Archbishop Elpidophoros said in his opening remarks. He called the Synaxis an additional opportunity for the hierarchs to engage with one another and share their ideas: 

“Most, if not all, of you have participated in the wonderful Synax─ôs of the Ecumenical Throne at the Phanar. When His All-Holiness assembles us, it is a tremendous opportunity to exchange ideas and perspectives with our fellow brethren of Asia Minor, as well as the bishops of the worldwide Diaspora. We can learn so much from each other if we are open to fresh viewpoints. That is why, since we are meeting as the Assembly of Bishops, I thought it providential and prudent for us to gather in a Synaxis, as Hierarchs in the United States of the First Throne of Orthodoxy.”

The Ecumenical Patriarch’s message to the hierarchs also underscored their responsibility to represent and express the principles and spirit of the Ecumenical Patriarchate— most importantly, the “supra-national character” at “the very core” its identity. “For those within the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, cultural identity functions on the basis of the sacred canons and a healthy ecclesiology, without constituting a central criterion for the organization of church life,” His All-Holiness said. 

Following the opening remarks, hierarchs discussed and shared information about their respective eparchies and familiarized themselves with the work of the upcoming XII Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA, which is made of all active canonical Orthodox bishops, of every jurisdiction, in the United States. Before anyone feels compelled to comment, minus those jurisdictions that have removed themselves.

Participating hierarchs in this historic first meeting include: His Eminence (H.E.) Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, H.E. Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta, H.E. Metropolitan Gregory of Nyssa, His Grace (H.G.) Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, H.G. Bishop Sevastianos of Zela, H.G. Bishop Apostolos of Medeia, H.G. Joachim of Amissos, H.G. Bishop Spyridon of Amastris, H.G. Bishop Timothy of Hexamilion, H.G. Bishop Ioannis of Phocaea, H.G. Bishop Athenagoras of Nazianzos, H.G. Bishop Constantine of Sassima. Several additional hierarchs were unable to attend for health reasons. 

The Synaxis of Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the USA is expected to meet every year. 

“Just as there can be no son without a mother, there can be no hierarch of Constantinople without the Mother, which is the Mother Church of Constantinople,” Archbishop Elpidophoros said. “But I know there is no lack of loyalty and devotion to the Great Church by Your Eminences and Graces. Each of you exercises, in your own way, the interests and dignity of the Ecumenical Throne.” No one talks about loyalty and thrones as much as Constantinople. No one.


  1. Ukrainian Diocese isn't mentioned. Odd.

  2. And what about the Albanians, a diocese of 2 parishes ???

    Also, we are in America, why all the need fo Greek? It does not seem right that a church that has been on Ameican soil for over 100 years does not want to become part of the fabric of the host country and perpetuates the old country ways..

    In fact the service sounded like a group of ill people crying for help, and as an American Eastern Orthodox Christian, this wailing made me embarssed! Greek chant just does not cut the mustard, why not Engish with American music? There is enough that has been written!

    The ACROD is an ananomaly in this Archdiocese for they use English and music that is friendly to the ears. It is unfortunate that there is a pereption that the Archdiocese is trying to Hellenize them, even a person of Greek heritiage apparently was foisted on them as their bishop. I bet he does not seve in Old Church Slavonic.

    Isn't it time we woke up and made a committment to become an unified American church? Embracing Hellenism is not embracing the depth and breadth of what it is to be an Eastern Othodox Christian, is it?

    1. Why say things like that without knowing for sure? That "apparently a person of Greek heritage was foisted on them..."

      Met Gregory was elected by the clergy of ACROD themselves. Since becoming bishop, he was been very diligent about immersing himself in the Carpatho-Russian heritage and is anything but a Hellenizer.

    2. ACROD went through a long search for an internal candidate for bishop. When they came to an impasse, Apb. Demetrios suggested that they consider Fr Grigorios in the GOA. They interviewed him and elected him. At no point was anything foisted on them.