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Church

Eparchial Synod Meeting to Vacancy of Denver Metropolis

BOSTON – The Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, with Archbishop Elpidophoros presiding, is scheduled to convene on Monday, May 13 to prepare the ‘triprosopon’ (three-person ballot) for the election of a new Metropolitan of Denver. Former Metropolitan Isaiah resigned, and was elected to the historic Metropolis of Lystra in Asia Minor. The composition of the triprosopon will be drawn from the current list of candidates for election to episcopacy.

The National Herald has learned that both the Clergy Association and the Metropolitan Council of the Denver Metropolis are requesting the election of Bishop Constantine of Sasima, who has been serving as the chancellor in the Denver Metropolis since the day he became a bishop, essentially having full responsibility since Metropolitan Isaiah left Denver long ago due to health reasons and now resides at the Monastery of the Archangels in Kendalia, TS.

Meanwhile, many members of the Archdiocesan Council have conveyed to Archbishop Elpidophoros, as well as to the legal counsel of the Archdiocese that the election of the new Metropolitan should be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Archdiocesan Charter. Specifically, Article 14 of the Charter calls for consultation with the Archdiocesan Council after an official announcement that must be sent to its members by the Archbishop.

His Grace Bishop Constantine of Sasima. Photo Metropolis of Denver

The National Herald has learned that nothing of the sort has been done so far, and it is uncertain whether Archbishop Elpidophoros intends to do so, as he did not do it for candidates in the past. It is recalled that Elpidophoros had highlighted the participation and role of the laity in church affairs to the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece, Dimitris Koutsoumpas, during their recent meeting at the Archdiocese. It is noted that the vice chairman of the Archdiocesan Council, John Catsimatidis, is appointed by the Archbishop, as are the other members of the Executive Committee, as well as are a substantial number of members of the Archdiocesan Council.

It is emphasized that the Eparchial Synod in America prepares the triprosopon, which is then sent to the Patriarchate, whose Synod undertakes the ‘official’ election.

The full text of Article 14 follows:

Election of a Metropolitan

  1. In every regular meeting and in consultation with the Archdiocesan Council, the Eparchial Synod reviews and modifies, through additions and deletions, the list of those eligible for the office of Metropolitan. The Auxiliary Bishops are automatically included in this list by virtue of their office. The Eparchial Synod submits the list so completed to the Ecumenical Patriarchate for its approval. The list becomes definitive after its ratification by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and is then officially published by the Archdiocese.
  2. Immediately following a vacancy in the See of a Metropolis, but no later than forty (40) days thereafter, the Archbishop convenes the Eparchial Synod in a timely fashion, for the purpose of nominating, after soliciting the opinion of the members of the Archdiocesan Council, three persons, out of whom one shall be elected to fill the vacancy of the Metropolis. The nominees are taken from the above mentioned list of those eligible, pursuant to the procedure provided for by the Regulations of the Eparchial Synod.
  3. The list of three nominees thus established is submitted to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. According to the existing practice, the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate elects one of the three as the new Metropolitan.
  4. A nominee for the office of Metropolitan shall be a person of deep faith and ethos, a Greek Orthodox Christian, a graduate of an academically recognized and accredited Orthodox school of theology of the highest level, have a fluent knowledge of spoken and written English and Greek, and have a proven ability in administration and pastoral work. In addition, the nominee must have all the pertinent qualifications defined by the Holy Canons, shall not be less than thirty-five (35) years of age, and shall have had a period of sufficient service in the Archdiocese.
  5. Those fulfilling the above conditions are candidates and are included in the list of eligible candidates regardless of the place of residence during the time of the election.

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