CONSTANTINOPLE – High ranking officials at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople told The National Herald that Patriarch Bartholomew intends to address the issue of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and specifically Archbishop Demetrios, at the next Synod, which is scheduled November 27-29.
The sources also told TNH that now that Patriarch Bartholomew has established the process for granting Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, he will next focus on the overdue issue of the Archdiocese.
Bartholomew has twice urged Demetrios to resign voluntarily, the sources said, but Demetrios has refused to do so. Due to the Archbishop’s advanced age (he is 90), they said, Bartholomew hopes to give him a few more weeks to do the right thing on his own.
In any case, the decision to replace Demetrios is based not only on the Archdiocese’s virtual bankruptcy, both financially and spiritually, but also on the Patriarchate’s prestige. Because the Archdiocese is an Ecclesiastical Eparchy of the Patriarchate, both entities’ reputations suffer in light of issues such as the finances, the unfinished St. Nicholas National Shrine, and the severe administrative and financial problems at Hellenic College/Holy School of Theology (HCHC).
Meanwhile, there is no indication on Demetrios’ part, at least to this point, that he is willing to submit his resignation. On the contrary, he gives the impression that there is no issue regarding his replacement, and is planning to appoint or renew various individuals, such as members of the Archdiocesan Council, Executive Committee, National Philoptochos, and the Finance Committee.