Just so we're clear, according to the precedent set by the Ecumenical Patriarchate last week in Lithuania, Tatsis could appeal to the ecumenical throne and be reinstated and allowed to set up his own church without anyone ever having to talk to Archbishop Makarios. Does that make any sense to you? Of course not. And that's why the Lithuanian decision is going to prove a catalyst for even more egregious decisions very soon.
(GOA-Australia) - The Holy Archdiocese of Australia informs the reverend clergy and the Orthodox people of the fifth continent that, by decision of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the former clergyman Eleftherios Tatsis was imposed with the penalty of the removal from the rank of the priesthood for a series of ecclesiastical and canonical offenses that he committed. Therefore, the defrocked cleric by decision of the Orthodox Church has returned to the rank of the laity and has lost the privilege of wearing priestly vestments as well as the right to perform the Holy Sacraments and other divine services.
The aforementioned unfortunate development occurred as a result of the long-standing anti-canonical behaviour of Mr Eleftherios Tatsis who, with successive improper actions and his hostile public positions, contested against the Orthodox Church, the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Archbishop, the Bishops and his fellow brother clergy, even going so far as to create his own “church”, officially and wilfully cutting himself off from the canonical and only Orthodox Church. Although His Eminence Archbishop Makarios sought with sincerity, paternal concern and steadfastness to bring about the pacification of his soul, repentance and return to the Body of the Church, unfortunately, all our Shepherd’s efforts clashed with the now deposed clergyman’s selfishness and persistent desire for autonomy.
Consequently, our Holy Archdiocese is obliged to remind its pious and Christ-loving flock that all the Holy Sacraments and divine services (Divine Liturgies, Holy Services, Weddings, Baptisms, Funerals etc) that the henceforth deposed cleric Mr Tatsis may possibly anti-canonically perform are invalid and non-existent, and are considered as never having been performed by the canonical Orthodox Church throughout the world. That is, nothing more of what Mr Tatsis may perform, will be recognised by the Orthodox Patriarchates, the Archdioceses, the Metropolises, the monasteries of Mount Athos and all other monasteries of the Orthodox Church.
Also, according to the holy canons, those who participate in the Sacraments and divine services that are performed anti-canonically by defrocked clergy, such as Mr Tatsis, cut themselves off from the canonical body of the Church, that is, they excommunicate themselves and, therefore, cannot be accepted by any of the canonical parishes and churches of the Archdiocese for the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, nor for other Sacraments and, obviously, neither for other services such as a funeral.
In the situation of Mr Tatsis going off course, great responsibility is also borne by Mrs Glykeria Andriotis, who thought she could be involved in the holy and sacred things of the priesthood and the Orthodox faith. Although the lady was summoned by the spiritual courts of the Church to explain the reasons for her anti-canonical behaviour, she dishonoured it and did not make an appearance. For her canonical and ecclesiastical misdemeanours, by decision of the secondary ecclesiastical court of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, she was imposed with the penalty of being banned from receiving Holy Communion. The possibility of referring her to the Australian judicial system is also being considered because, despite the regulations of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia that all members of Parish Councils participate in the life of the Church voluntarily and on a not-for-profit basis, she received a regular salary from the Church of Panagia Kamariani.
Finally, it is worth recalling some indicative quotes from the teachings of two contemporary saints of our Church – St Porphyrios of Kavsokalivia and St Paisios the Athonite:
- “Fanaticism has nothing to do with Christ” (St Porphyrios of Kavsokalivia, in the book, “Christ is fullness of life”, p. 103 – Greek version).
- “To preserve our unity, we should obey the Church and Its Bishops. By obeying the Church, we obey Christ Himself” (St Porphyrios of Kavsokalivia, in the book, “Christ is fullness of life”, p. 29 – Greek version).
- “Whatever the Church says, is what we all have to follow” (St Paisios the Athonite, in the book, “An outpouring of myrrh”, p. 41 – Greek version).
His Eminence, our Archbishop and all the clergy of our local Church hope and pray for the repentance and return of both Mr Eleftherios Tatsis and his co-worker, Mrs Glykeria Andriotis.