BOSTON – The Clergy Syndesmos of the Metropolis of Boston sent a protest letter to Archbishop Elpidophoros dated April 25, 2022 regarding his decisions and specifically about the old Charter, its revocation, and the questionnaire pertaining to the new one.
It is emphasized here that it is the second such collective expression of disappointment towards Elpidophoros, after the one by the Clergy Syndesmos of Chicago.
The Boston Clergy Syndesmos is one of the largest clergy associations of the Archdiocese. The priests of New England copied their letter to all the members of the Eparchial Synod as well as the members of the Archdiocesan Council and the Archdiocesan Presbyters Council.
The entire letter follows:
Metropolis of Boston
Clergy Brotherhood of St. Andrew
162 Goddard Avenue, Brookline, MA, 02445 • Tel.: 617-277-4742
April 25, 2022
Your Eminence, Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, Eminent Hierarchs of the Eparchial Synod, Reverend Clergy of the Archdiocesan Presbyters Council And Esteemed Members of the Archdiocesan Council,
Christ is Risen!
We, the clergy of the Metropolis of Boston, are writing to you with respect out of our concern regarding the Charter questionnaire. Needless to say, the entire global community is in distress having suffered through the pandemic, and now, the war in Ukraine. Globally, economies are suffering, and Europe is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis.
In the midst of this turmoil, we are perplexed at the necessity and speed at which we are moving to inaugurate a new Charter for our Church in America. We know that it is your prayer that this process be smooth and that all voices be heard.
It is in this spirit that our Clergy Brotherhood of New England addresses our concerns to you for your prayerful consideration. A new Charter is not an unusual occurrence. We were happy to hear about the questionnaire sent to the members of the Charter Committee as well as to other members of the Church in America. We, as the clergy brotherhood, were blessed to have the opportunity to review this questionnaire recently. However, we found ourselves unsettled by some of the questions and answer options. We believe the polling firm engaged by the Church has done us a great disservice. For many of the questions, a third alternative – perhaps a more neutral answer – seems to have been omitted. It would have been prudent to get a broader input into the questionnaire from the Eparchial Synod, the Archdiocesan Presbyters Council, the Archdiocesan Council, and parish councils, during its creation. We are pleased that it has subsequently been sent to the clergy and parish council presidents.
We believe this will only magnify the inadequacies of the formation of the questionnaire. Furthermore, we ask for clarification regarding the 2003 Charter. It is our impression that the 2003 Charter is still in abeyance but, if this were true, how could the Church in America be governed, administered or shepherded currently? Our understanding is that any changes made to the Charter or to the Uniform Parish Regulations must be made through the prescribed, traditional process as outlined in Article 25 of the 2003 Charter. How, then, can the affairs of the Archdiocese and the upcoming Clergy-Laity Congress be conducted without a charter in place? It is our opinion that the abeyance of the 2003 Charter be officially lifted until all voices have been heard and the process of drafting a new charter be completed.
Finally, Your Eminence, we realize that these aforementioned considerations will, in all likelihood, require more time for input, prayer, and thoughtful reflection. In the spirit of broader participation and transparency, we humbly submit that the full process of amending the Charter may require a special Clergy-Laity Congress or a delay until the 2024 Congress.
Thank you, Your Eminence, for your thoughtful consideration and prayers.
The Clergy Brotherhood of New England.