Archbishop Demetrios of America Resigns

Αssociated Press

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. Demetrios had resigned his post after 20 years of service. (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.

Αssociated Press

(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.”