Archbishop Demetrios of America Resigns

(Nikolaos Manginas, Ecumenical Patriarchate Press Service via AP, Pool)

CONSTANTINOPLE – Archbishop Demetrios of America submitted his resignation in writing to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on Saturday, May 4, 2019 according to an official Communique

of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

The Patriarch will present the Archbishop’s resignation at the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Phanar on Thursday, May 9.

Demetrios returned to New York on late Saturday night and he Liturgized the following day at the Church of the Resurrection in Brookville, Long Island. He was accompanied by Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh.

The National Herald has learned that Demetrios tried to obtain another extension for a few more months but this time Bartholomew declined.

The Archbishop didn’t make any mention at the Eparchial Synod’s meeting two weeks ago that he intended to resign. Neither had he informed the Archdiocesan Council. On the contrary, he scheduled meetings of the Archdiocesan Council in Atlanta May 7-11, the same days that the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate will convene at the Planar.

It is reminded here that Bartholomew three times urged Demetrios to submit his resignation voluntarily, as The National Herald had revealed, because he had led the Archdiocese into financial, administrative, and spiritual bankruptcy, but the Archbishop refused.

Specifically, the Patriarch proposed a voluntary resignation to Demetrios on September 3, 2017 and his election as Metropolitan Geron of Herakleia which is considered a prominent Eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate that was destroyed during the Asia Minor Catastrophe in the early 20th century.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, left, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, poses for a photograph with Archbishop Demetrios, right, of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, at the Patriarchate in Istanbul, Saturday, May 4, 2019. (Nikolaos Manginas, Ecumenical Patriarchate Press Service via AP, Pool)

The second time was on May 30, 2018 when Demetrios showed complete defiance toward the Patriarch. The Archbishop refused to resign after Bartholomew invited him to do so officially at the meeting of the Patriarchate’s Holy Synod on May 30.  He said that he wanted to stay to fix the problems of the Archdiocese. Bartholomew invited Demetrios into his office for a private discussion and told him it was time to think of resigning. The Archbishop refused. Then, the Patriarch put the issue to the Holy Synod, inviting its members to assume their responsibilities.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers’ report about the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine was read at the Synod and was discussed extensively. Many members pointed out contradictions in the report. The Patriarch said people do not give money [toward the rebuilding] when they have lost their trust [in the institution].

The third time was November 20, 2018 when Bartholomew gave the Archbishop a new extension. The Patriarch notified the Holy Synod of the Phanar on Tuesday, November 27 that he has accepted the request of Demetrios of America to grant extension for his resignation until Easter. This development was made during the second round of a meeting held in Geneva on Tuesday, November 20 as The National Herald had exclusively revealed.

The official announcement of the Ecumenical Patriarchate regarding the written resignation of the Archbishop has as follows:

“Ecumenical Patriarchate Communique

Herein it is announced that today, Saturday May 4, 2019, His All-Holiness received in audience His Eminence Geron Archbishop Demetrios of America, who informed Him of various matters involving his God-saved Eparchy.

Furthermore, His Eminence the Archbishop submitted his written resignation from the throne of the Holy Archdiocese of America, which he shepherded with godly love for twenty years. The Patriarch will bring the resignation before the Holy and Sacred Synod in its upcoming meeting on May 9th.

From the Chief Secretariat of the Holy and Sacred Synod.”

37 Comments

  1. Big deal Papa Smurf is not the one in charge just another Alex Karloutsos scapegoat.
    I am sure Leaderless 100, Faithless and the Archons of Nothing will continue to do just the same
    great job destroying our church. You seriously think that a new Archbishop will change anything?

    Time for the Manhattan Taliban to go!

  2. This entire era of our Church, under this Archbishop will be a dark spot on its history. He allowed the cult of the Ephraimites to take hold and spread it’s cancer throughout our Church and pollute our Faith with heresies. The damage done by this cult, and by his weak mismanagement has done irreparable damage. The weakness of the Metropolitans has been exposed. These narcissistic and self-absorbed men have created conditions that have established weak powerless fiefdoms. They are mismanaging their respective Metropolises. In the end, removing the Archbishop should have occurred 17 or 18 years ago. Just like waiting for the late Metropolitan of Chicago to die rather then replace him. Management by death or waiting until the bankruptcy of the Church to move out the truly incompetent is only hurting the Faithful.

    1. Basil 312, you have no idea what you are talking about. There are many miracles coming from Elder Ephraim of healing and even neptune awareness of peoples sins and thoughts. I have had several of these direct experiences. If anyone goes to the monasteries under him there is much love given to all and there is definitely love for God and obedience to the hierarchy. They do nothing without obedience to the canonical bishops, and they bend over backwards to support everyone going to their local parishes. So, if there is any overturning of churches, or damage, it is from jealous people who cannot recognize fellow lovers of Christ.

    2. I am curious about heresies espoused by the Ephraimites. I have heard about some practices that just aren’t right but heresy is a whole different ball game. Can you be specific?

    3. repanidi1908 rather then getting into an extensive discussion here may I just suggest you look at these 3 websites to give you the information you seek:

      http://gotruthreform.org/

      http://weareorthodox.com/ourblog/about/

      https://www.pokrov.org/an-answer-to-an-answer-about-monastacism-and-the-business-of-monasteries/
      Gotruthreform is based in the Metropolis of Chicago. It has a number of editors that are Attorneys, Professors, some clergy based in their Metropolis and others and laity.
      Weareorthodox is based in Atlanta and has both retired clergy and laity as the editors.
      The last link is to an article written by the late Fr. Evagoras Constantinides of Blessed Memory. He was an intellectually accomplished clergyman in the Metropolis of Chicago. There is a great deal of material and scholarship online concerning this scourge upon the Faith.

    4. Ephraim devotees are like Zombies when you talk to them. They remind me of Jonestown Followers. I look for some good but all I see is numb-brained cult followers. Mostly Greek women, over 50. By the way, The Jehovah’s Witnesses have success with the same Greek demographic.

    5. Mr. Jerry Dimitriou addressed false claims. Here is what Mr. Dimitriou the former Executive Director of the GOA had to say on the issue of false and misleading assertions by cult followers:
      “Jerry Dimitriou on April 13, 2017 7:27 pm
      Dear All,
      Thank you Bill Stotis for your comments! Greetings to Mr. Carris who I have known for over 35 years!
      For the record, I never reviewed financial statements provided by the Monasteries and said they were in “good order”. As Bill Stotis knows, the members of the Monastery Review Committee MRC (of which I was a participant) requested financial statements from ALL of the monasteries but NEVER received most of them. The ones we did receive were insufficient and incomplete. The MRC obtained financial statements of the Monasteries that were filed with their state or filed when they were purchasing properties and not directly from the Monasteries. The financials that we found, were significantly different and showed substantially more assets than those provided by the Monasteries to their Metropolitans or the MRC.
      The Monasteries in the United States are NOT following the regulations set forth by the Synod nor are they complying with the direction of their Metropolitans. They are functioning independent and do not follow the rules or the direction of their Metropolitans in most cases.
      I hope this clarifies some of the statements made above. Bill Stotis’ comments are exactly on point.
      Thanks and have a Kali Anastasi and Blessed Pascha!

    6. Kathryn your statement “They do nothing without obedience to the canonical bishops, and they bend over backwards to support everyone going to their local parishes.”, is clearly contradictory to the assertions of the former Executive Director of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. These cult followers are spiritually obedient only to their elders. They could care less about the health and well-being of parishes of our Church. One of us doesn’t know what they’re talking about, the other is well-informed. Perhaps you can ask your local Metropolitan to view the reports of the Monastery Review Committee? Perhaps you can educate yourself about what kind of a scourge we have unleashed into the “well“ of our faith. I have spoken to multiple members of that committee. I know what’s going on. The problem is, they have pull the wool over to many peoples eyes. Many of the people who know the truth are too scared to deal with it.

  3. Christos Anesti / I welcome the resignation of Geron Archbishop Demetrios / I pray that the American Orthodox Church may now begin to rebuild its tattered image of scandals in a period of losing a large number of faithful to become as before the guardian of God’s blessings of our planet. Archbishop Demetrios served the faith well in the aftermath of the dismal service of Archbishop Spiridon’s tenure, yet his skills in managing and leading the Church were not equal to the demands required. Our hopes are that the new archbishop will be one who can relate to todays scenarios of events and properly adress same. We the laity demand an administration of openess, transparency and responsibility.

    dismal

    1. Part of the problem is that it continues to be a “Greek” Orthodox Archdiocese/Church that is basically unfriendly to converts, preferring to be a first class purveyor of all things Greek cultural in the guise of being necessary to be an Orthodox parish.

    2. I cannot agree with you more. There has been a total lack of leadership at the Archdiocese since the forced resignation of blessed memory, His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos.
      This seemingly group of hierarchs, along with the seemingly unfortunate leaderless Archdiocesan Council, Archons of Nothing, Leaderless 100, Faithless etc. have not done their due diligence to and for the Archdiocese. They have no one to blame and are all collectively responsible for the demise of the Archdiocese and Metropolises. Shame on them all!

    3. so why should it not be the Greek Orthodox Church? seems to me because you fail to assimilate to Greek culture.learn the Greek language and culture, it is someone else’s fault. Besides 400 years of Ottoman Occupation allows the Greek Orthodox Church to be the Greek Orthodox Church,primarily for the Greeks, they saved Greek culture, so that you can try to be a part of it. You have choice, like it or leave it. Don’t see any of the other churches trying to be Greek, so , why should the Greek Orthodox Church not be Greek in nature.

    4. Young Greek, If you have recourse to an English language New Testament you may find such sentiments as “In Christ there is neither Greek nor Jew.” Whatever the merits of an organization that thinks otherwise, it is not a church.

    1. Xristos Anesti ☦️ Unless all the greedy Metropolitans are removed along with the Archbishop you have failed the Laity! Too many scapegoats have been used. Archbishop Demetrios alone isn’t responsible for all the Orthodox failings which are many caused by greed and arrogance ! I don’t know God’s plan. May Our Patriarch have his eyes wide open. Your Lambs are tired of the Hypocrisy in our Church. May Our Lord And Savior Help You Through These turbulent Times. My GOD IS EVERYWHERE . May He open Your Eyes To All The Wolves In Sheep’s Clothing especially in America! If you don’t listen to us as our Beloved Patriarch who will? We need our leadership to stop their lies and change their ways. Shame on us for allowing this to continue for so long. PLEASE Hear Us!!!!☦️

  4. The church is not at all unwelcoming to converts. It is very welcoming to all. I don’t know which parish you are referring to. Our church is half converts and they feel right at home. My stewardship goes to a “Greek” Orthodox Church. Just like the Catholics belong to the “Roman” Catholic Church. Do not blame the “Greek “ for bad actors in our archdiocese. Do not minimize the language God chose for the New Testament. Blame the actors.
    Demetrios is a great theologian and scholar but not a leader. The problem is , we have no competent leaders who can run the archdiocese

    1. I don’t know if unwelcoming is the correct word but there is certainly a large barrier for entry. My wife is Greek Orthodox, I was raised Catholic. We have been married going on 14 years but I didn’t convert until a few years ago. I chose to convert because I prefer the Orthodox faith over the Catholic faith but the Catholic Church is far more welcoming. I don’t feel nearly as welcome as I did in the Catholic Church.

      My experience with my parish may be very different from others but I don’t know that it is. I understand that the liturgy is in Greek and I’m fine with that. I can understand context and connect to my Catholic upbringing. But the sermon every week is in Greek, which doesn’t need to be. I get nothing out of that except time to plan out my week at work, probably not the priest’s intentions. At least half the times I attend Church Greek culture and the Orthodox faith are indistinguishable. The lead priest has referred on multiple occasions to “our shared culture and heritage” followed by songs sung in Greek. And the kicker for me: one of the priests at Church refused to perform the 40 day blessing for my kids because I’m not Greek. I’ve heard similar stories at other parishes in the area so I don’t think my experience is unique.

    2. @Nikos
      We don’t need great leaders! We need strong – passionate followers. Followers of Jesus Christ. Followers living the Great commission of Christ. Followers who love their neighbor. Followers that do good works. Verse 16 says it all; Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. The fisherman actually listened! They went because they loved Jesus – they went because their hearts were full of His divine love – they went so they could spread His love to their neighbors…they were true followers!!
      Matthew 28:16-20 New International Version (NIV)
      Christ is Risen!!!

  5. Brian that sounds very odd that the priest would not perform the 40 day because you weren’t Greek. I think it may have been because you weren’t Orthodox and not because you werent Greek. These are the rules imposed by the archdiocese which we may not agree with but the priests have to follow. And yes Greek culture and Orthodoxy are entwined and again don’t fault the priest or the flock for that. Catholics may seem more welcoming but the Italian immigrant culture is long gone and the Irish culture is entwined with American culture. My first language was Greek and I was born in the faith but the converts in our community have been the biggest gifts for us embracing Greek Orthodoxy by choice and not by birth.

    1. The 40 day blessing should have been held if the children were going to be baptized in the Orthodox Church, even if he had not yet converted. His wife is Orthodox, and, assuming they were married in an Orthodox church, and the children were to be baptized in the Orthodox church, the priest was mistaken in not doing the blessing.

    2. I should have provided more information. Yes my wife is Greek Orthodox, we were married in the Greek Orthodox Church(the same one mind you), and our children have been baptized in the Greek Orthodox Church (the same one…again). My wife was told it was because I’m not Greek, not that I’m not Orthodox. Luckily the other priest is much more understanding.

      Your parish sounds wonderful. It’s not the same everywhere.

  6. If Putin was so Orthodox why is he futzing with Cuba and Venezuela? Bart and his Archons are fully complictit in Putin’s schemes. Archons’ Historic Journey to Cathedral in Cuba, TNH, January 10, 2013 More than 80 Archons and Greek Orthodox faithful journeyed to Havana, Cuba for a 6-day pilgrimage to visit Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral from December 5 to 10. The pilgrimage was sponsored by the Order of St Andrew and led by its spiritual advisor, Father Alexander Karloutsos, Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The trip culminated in a celebration of the Feast of Saint Nicholas and took place under the auspices of His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras .. . Upon the official invitation of former President Fidel Castro, in January 2004, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew made a five-day official visit to Cuba, consecrating the new St. Nicholas Cathedral. Former President Fidel Castro presented the key of the Cathedral to the spiritual leader of the world’s 250 million Orthodox Christians. His All Holiness invited Archbishop Demetrios of America to accompany him on his historic first-ever visit to a Latin American nation. The giving of the church by Fidel Castro was a historic event marking the potential for a new era in Cuban history and accentuating the increasing role of Orthodox missions around the world.”

  7. Dear mr young Greek,
    I joined the Greek Orthodox Church almost 3 years ago. Why is the church for Greeks only? I tried to assimilate and the 70 year old Greek members told me I wasn’t Greek enough for the church. I left for an Antiochain church after being harassed constantly. The Greek Orthodox Church will slowly die because of the racism.

  8. kathryn paine What in the world is “neptune awareness of people’s sins and thoughts”?

    1. That term is Ephraimite speak for “He is all knowledgeable and is thus closer to God than the rest of us”. In other words a CULT!

  9. Young Greek, for the record, my parents came over in the holds of ships almost 100 years ago. They instilled in their children a love of their faith and their culture. My command of modern Greek is much better than most of my contemporaries. And I would put my knowledge of Greek culture and history up against my contemporaries.You confuse the faith with culture. Other parts of the Orthodox Church survived and kept the faith. You do not have to be of Greek descent to be Orthodox. And other parts of the Orthodox world suffered under Moslem rule as well. People in many Greek Orthodox parishes believe they need to continue to have a co-equal faith and culture in the parish. My answer to that is where are all the 4th and 5th generation Greek Americans who do not belong to GOA parishes? The great majority of the marriages in the GOA for at least the last generation are of the so-called “mixed” type. How many of those non-Greek spouses have converted and are active in their parish? Simply put, people do not need the Greek culture to be Orthodox. Being Greek cannot get you salvation. Being Orthodox can.

  10. Basil 312, having read what you referenced it is apparent that many do not understand what heresy refers to. Heresy in the Orthodox Church refers to teachings, beliefs and practices which are not in agreement with the Christological dogma espoused by the Church since its inception. The only thing referenced in those articles that can be interpreted as heretical, is the toll house issue. This is not to defend what is happening. Couples do not have to stop having marital relations when the wife can no longer bear children. Wedding crowns do not have to be sent to Mt Athos to be blessed before the marriage ceremony. Certainly there should be an attempt to establish better relations with the families of the monks and nuns, especially those who are converts and whose families are totally unaware of Orthodox monasticism.There are other ridiculous things which go on as well. What I have always been curious about is why/how Fr. Ephraim was able to establish so many monasteries in such a short time? Why didn’t the GOA be more proactive in establishing monasteries? Could it be that a void has been filled, a void that has been intentionally ignored by the GOA? Monasteries in other Orthodox countries are centers of spiritual renewal for the laity. Why hasn’t that happened here? Unfortunately, things have progressed to the point that we hear the word “fundamentalism” bandied about. There is no such thing as fundamentalism. Either you’re Orthodox or not.

    1. RE: “What I have always been curious about is why/how Fr. Ephraim was able to establish so many monasteries in such a short time?”

      Here is the simple answer: The monasteries offer the mystery/sacrament of confession. The average Greek Orthodox parish either minimizes the Mystery of Repentance or does not offer it at all.

      The monasteries make it the foundation of their bond with their followers and pilgrims.

      Talk to any of the monastery devotees and most will tell you that they had NEVER in their entire lives partaken of this sacrament UNTIL they had done so at the monastery.

    2. repanidi1908 clearly there is Orthodox Fundamentalism. I suggest that you read this article, here is the link: https://blogs.goarch.org/blog/-/blogs/orthodox-fundamentalism
      It is written by George E. Demacopoulos: Professor of Historical Theology; Director and Co-Founder, Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University. Here is in part what he said:
      “Thus it is alarming that so many Orthodox clerics and monks in recent years have made public statements that reflect a “fundamentalist” approach to the Church Fathers. And unless leaders of the Orthodox Church unite to repudiate this development, the entire Orthodox Church is at risk of being hijacked by extremists.

      Like other fundamentalist movements, Orthodox fundamentalism reduces all theological teaching to a subset of theological axioms and then measures the worthiness of others according to them. Typically, this manifests itself in accusations that individuals, institutions, or entire branches of the Orthodox Church fail to meet the self-prescribed standard for Orthodox teaching. For example, when the Theological Academy of Volos recently convened an international conference to examine the role of the Fathers in the modern Church, radical opportunists in the Church of Greece accused it and its bishop of heresy.”
      Orthodox Fundamentalism is a serious problem. Please don’t misrepresent this issue by telling people “There is no such thing as fundamentalism. Either you’re Orthodox or not.”

    3. I think a lot of these accusations are false. I visit one of these monasteries and family of the monastics are allowed to visit. The Gerondissa’s family was there once, and many times that I have visited I have talked to family members of some of the sisters. One sister from Moldavia, her family was there for three months. Likewise the other accusations are something I have never encountered.

  11. Basil 312, you have picked an article by one of the certainly more liberal “Orthodox theologians” happily planted in a Roman Catholic school. Certainly, some of the scholarship that comes out of the Center is suspect. As far as my comment about fundamentalism, look at it this way. If someone is accused of being a fundamentalist there’s a good chance what he represents as Orthodox isn’t necessarily so, The same goes for a liberal approach.

  12. repanidi1908 are you aware of the following conference?
    “An International Conference on “Orthodoxy and Fundamentalism” will be held on May 10-12, 2018, in Belgrade, Serbia. The conference is organized by the Volos Academy for Theological Studies in co-operation with the Institute for the Study of Culture and Christianity (Belgrade, Serbia); the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University (New York, USA); the Chair of Orthodox Theology of Münster University (Germany); the Romanian Institute for Inter-Orthodox, Inter-Confessional and Inter-Religious Studies (INTER, Cluj-Napoca, Romania); St Andrews Biblical Theological Institute (Moscow); Sankt Ignatios Orthodox Theological Academy (Stockholm, Sweden); the European Forum of Orthodox Schools of Theology (EFOST, Bruxelles), and the Center for Philosophy and Theology (Trebinje, Bosnia-Herzegovina). With the support of the Dom omladine Beograda”
    This ad hominem attack is unnecessary against the Director of the Orthodox Institute. You stated clearly there was no such thing as Orthodox fundamentalism. That is a fallacious argument. There are all types of scholarship, from both liberal and conservatives that understand that this is a very real and damaging problem. I strongly suggest you go online and read the presentations of the academics at this and other conferences. Here is another excellent source: Haralambos Ventis is Professor of the Philosophy of Religion at the Faculty of Theology, University of Athens.

    1. Ha, Ha, Fordham university group talking about fundamentalism when they openly support homosexuality?

    2. And they are all ecumenists. And, as AS says, the Fordham group openly supports homosexuality.

  13. Dimitrios did very well for his first decade. Everything was properly repaired, including th efinancles Pasias and Spyro stripped away. But then Lex Lutsos (of Pelham Esplanada and barcantony travelgate repute) weaseled his way back in the picture. And, well, we know..

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