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Politics

Ecumenical Patriarchate Wants Embattled Archbishop Demetrios Out

The time of Archbishop Demetrios to the Archbishopric Throne of America seems limited as the Ecumenical Patriarchate wants him to resign voluntarily, exclusive information obtained by The National Herald has found.

It was also reportedly proposed to the Archbishop he be elected Metropolitan Geron of Hrakleia which is considered a prominent Eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate that was destroyed during the catastrophe of Asia Minor.

The reasons for this decision to ask the Archbishop to “depart in peace” -expected by many who know the workings at the Archdiocese – are the general withering condition of the Archdiocese – and the dire situation of its finances, which many of its officials characterize as bankruptcy.

Others speak of what they called “financial scandals” at the Archdiocese, with a deficit so far of some $8.5 million.

Archbishop Demetrios announced to the members of the Holy Eparchial Synod who accompanied him to the Ecumenical Patriarchate that Jerry Dimitriou, in charge of the administrative and financial affairs of the Archdiocese for the last 19 years, is going to be dismissed as fallout continues.

The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate presided over by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was held Aug. 30, a joint meeting with the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America headed by Archbishop Demetrios regarding the election of the Metropolitan of Chicago and list of candidates for election to the high priesthood.

The National Herald has learned it was decided that the list should be enhanced and updated as the Patriarchate had requested. TNH had written extensively and in detail about the issue in its analyses in previous editions.

The list should be clean and the names of those who are ill and retired be deleted. Names of other celibate priests should be added, it was proposed.

Archbishop Demetrios said that the contribution and examination of the Legal Committee of the Archdiocesan Council is required. The Patriarchate said that the opinion of the Legal Committee should be sent to the Ecumenical Patriarchate to be studied by the Canonical Committee and also the Committee of the Ecclesiastical Eparchies of the Ecumenical Throne for the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate to grant its final validation.

Concerning the addition to the list of the names of those Metropolitans who served at some point the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and now are serving Metropolises abroad, such as Metropolitans Sotirios of Toronto Athenagoras of Mexico, Nikitas of Dardanelles and Cleopas of Sweden as the Patriarchate had initially requested, Archbishop Demetrios opposed trying to convince the Patriarch a session of a Clergy Laity Congress of the Archdiocese is needed.

The next Clergy Laity Congress is due to be held in July of 2018, but to this point no official announcement has been made about where, nor the agenda. The unofficial word coming from within the Archdiocese is that perhaps Boston will be selected.

The process of the joint meetings at the Phanar was the following: First Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew granted an audience to the Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese of America and then the Eparchial Synod met with the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate presided over by Patriarch Bartholomew.

Absent from the Eparchial Synod were Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco who had minor foot surgery as TNH had reported and Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta who told the Ecumenical Patriarchate he lost his passport in Greece. Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver sent a letter in which he declared his obedience “to whatever the Ecumenical Patriarchate says.”

Ecclesiastical officials knowledgeable about ecclesiastical issues told TNH that the outcome of the meetings was simply a maneuver of the Phanar to get more time for Archbishop Demetrios and accommodate the Ecumenical Patriarchate with a voluntary resignation with reports within the Patriarchate that Archbishop Demetrios’ era is over.

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