On the issue of the adoption of a new charter of for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America I wrote an ‘Analysis’ a few weeks ago, and I will revisit the issue after Pascha. Today, however, I would just like to point out that it was the right move and right choice of Archbishop Elpidophoros to appoint Michael Psaros as co-chairman of the Advisory Committee. Mr. Psaros in fact stands out in the Church, that is, in the Body of the Laity, because in addition to his leadership, organizational, and administrative skills in his business ventures and the purchase of companies of world renown, as TNH wrote just recently, he is also a man of ethos, with deep and genuine faith in Christ and the Church. It is a fact that whatever Mr. Psaros undertakes, he carries it to completion. An example of this is the completion of the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine, the work on which is going extremely well.
Mr. Psaros’ statement, which was included the Archdiocese’s announcement of the establishment of the Advisory Committee, is, I daresay, the very essence of the project for the adoption of the new Charter.
“The main task of the Advisory Committee is to formulate a series of proposals to improve the organization and administration of our Church in America with a view to its future needs. Obviously, since the current Charter has been revoked, maintaining the existing status quo is not our choice.”
And in my view, the guideposts and criteria should be the coherence and unity of our Church in America, as one, unified, and indivisible Ecclesiastical Eparchy of the Ecumenical Throne, under one shepherd (υπό έναν ποιμενάρχη), or ruling Bishop if you prefer, the Archbishop of America. The pastoral supervision of the various regions in the United States should to be assigned to Auxiliary Bishops, who, however, will report to the Archbishop and will act on his behalf regarding in all issues and functions. The Archbishop will be able to transfer them at any time, or even dismiss them if they do not follow the single line of the Archdiocese.
Let there be just one strong voice, that of the Archbishop, which will express the fullness of the Church throughout the Archdiocese in the entire United States, and not the current divisive ‘cacophony’ in which one says one thing and the other says another, and the Archbishop runs in to patch up the ‘discrepancies’.
And one more thing: a retirement age should be established for hierarchs, including the Archbishop. I wrote about this issue, i.e. the age limit of the hierarchs, years ago and I will return to it in the future, because I think it is vital for the structure of the Archdiocese. I do not ignore the fact that their appointment is “for life,” that is, they are supposed to die on the throne, but I also cannot help but notice the extent of the damage caused by ineffectiveness and advanced age. The Church and the Omogenia should always be the guides and not the people who pass away and leave.
The Archdiocese of America has all the potentialities to be the best and most well-organized local Church, with Elpidophoros and able co-workers such as Michael Psaros.