ΒΟSΤΟN – The resignation of Archbishop Demetrios of America seems to be imminent – a matter of days – according to what has recently transpired at his meeting in Geneva with His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew as The National Herald revealed on November 21.
Patriarch Bartholomew requested the Archbishop submit his resignation on his own.
Although no official announcement was issued about the meeting, TNH has learned the following:
First, it was Patriarch Bartholomew’s initiative to invite Archbishop Demetrios to Geneva for the meeting. The Archbishop knew about this meeting since Friday, November 16 and shared this information with Archdiocesan Council Vice Chairman, George Tsandikos, and chief secretary, Alice Keurian.
Second, the Patriarch has already urged the Archbishop to think about, and place above everything else, the interest of the Archdiocese of America, the Church in general, as well as the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and thus, has asked the Archbishop to resign willingly. Up to this point, the Archbishop has refused.
The Patriarch did not want to remove Archbishop Demetrios without having secured his resignation. Therefore, he called the Archbishop in one final time in an attempt to convince him that “the time has come.” The Patriarch reportedly told him that he has shown a lot of patience and that the Church in America should be allowed to move forward. He also added that they have cooperated harmoniously in the past and that he should depart with dignity and not wake up one morning as a former Archbishop of America or be transferred to another Metropolis. The Patriarch asked Archbishop Demetrios to facilitate the process by submitting his resignation, making it clear to him that the decision to replace him has been made.
The Archbishop attempted to refute the Patriarch, reportedly saying that everything has been taken care of at the Archdiocese. He mentioned what was discussed at the recent meeting of the Archdiocesan Council last month, including the misleading statements of some of his officials about the finances of the Church. However, the Archbishop failed to convince the Patriarch, who knows well the true nature of the issues of the Archdiocese.
High ranking ecclesiastical officials from the Ecumenical Patriarchate told TNH that the Patriarch has decided to proceed, but that he wanted the change to be done in a respectful and conscientious way.
Regarding the hierarch who will be elected to replace Archbishop Demetrios, nobody seems to know with certainty, except for some speculations. The appointment of a locum tenens should not be ruled out.
TNH has learned that there is a small group of appointed laymen of the Archdiocesan Council, as well as some Metropolitans, who have advised the Archbishop not to resign.
The teleconference of the Executive Committee of the Archdiocesan Council is expected on Monday, November 26 at 3 PM. The Archdiocese has leaked that the teleconference will not deal with the Archbishop’s resignation.