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Revelations from the Most Recent Phanar Synod

October 16, 2022

BOSTON – Interesting and revealing things were done and said indicative of the of the situation and climate at the last meeting of the Synod of the Phanar of Monday October 3 regarding the appointment of the Charter Committee that will review the Charter of The Archdiocese of America.

As The National Herald reported on October 6, “Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew announced to the Patriarchal Synod that he has named the members of the Phanar’s Committee for the Charter of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

We reveal today, however, that the issue of the Charter was not even on the agenda of the synodic meeting and many hierarchs considered it closed after various actions and intrigues. At some point the Patriarch said that we have a Charter for America that was in abeyance and he appointed the relevant Committee for the Charter without any explanation.

When asked about the responsibilities of the Committee which he appointed, meaning, whether the Charter would be eliminated and replaced in its entirety, or only some Articles would be amended, the Patriarch said, “these issues will be discussed by the Committee.”
Archbishop Elpidophoros, who is a member of the Synod during this current synodic period said, “during the panegyric meeting which took place under the presidency of Metropolitan of Chalcedon (Emmanuel) I posed questions for which I haven’t received any answer yet.”

When the Chief Secretary, Archimandrite Gregorios Fragakis, was asked why the report of Archbishop Elpidophoros didn’t appear at the Synod, he replied that “it was sent only for informational purposes; it wasn’t send and anything else.”

It is reminded here that the Charter of the Archdiocese was revoked on October 8, 2020 by Patriarch Bartholomew and his Synod after the verbal demands of Archbishop Elpidophoros to Patriarch Bartholomew, but without any prior consultation or even notification of the Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese of America or the Archdiocesan Council, who received the news from The National Herald.

Elpidophoros’ aim was to overturn the existing administrative structure of the Archdiocese by eliminating the metropolises and demoting the metropolitans. In order to intimidate the hierarchs, he convinced the Patriarch to dethrone Evangelos of New Jersey and suspend Methodios of Boston for three months without inviting them to the Phanar to ask discuss the situation.

The process of revocation or amendment of the Charter is provided in the Article 25 of the Charter will is back in operation, as has been reported by The National Herald.

In the meantime there was strong reaction from the hierarchs in America and also by hierarchs at the Phanar regarding the intrigues of Elpidophoros. Patriarch Bartholomew found himself in an extremely difficult position as he had allowed Elpidophoros to mislead him about the Charter and also the dethronement of Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey.

In his attempt to salvage his Patriarchal prestige, as The National Herald revealed on June 9, 2022, shortly after the meeting of the Synodic Committee of the Eparchies of the Phanar Abroad it was decided to have the Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese request the restoration of the suspended Charter. The Patriarchate would then accept the request of the Holy Eparchial Synod and officially reply that the Charter continues to be in effect and will remain as it is.

The understanding was that if in the future a need arises for any modifications of some of its articles it will done according to what Article 25 provides.

As The National Herald has reported, that is what was done.

It should be emphasized here that neither the Eparchial Synod nor the Archdiocesan Council to this day have requested the revocation or amendment of the existing Charter.

Regarding the issue of the controversial baptism Archbishop Elpidophoros performed in Glyfada on July 9 and the reactions from many sides, including an official protest of the Church of Greece, whose letter was given by the Patriarch to Elpidophoros to reply to, it became known that the latter sent a letter in which he attempts to give a lesson in baptismal theology.

We reveal that the Phanar will simply forward Elpidophoros’ letter, but it doesn’t seem that officials will send a response to the Church of Greece “because it will be too much” as it was said.

In the days that followed the Synod many hierarchs were discussing the issue, expressing their bewilderment which has even reached ‘the ears’ of the Church of Greece.

Many hierarchs of the Phanar who, for now, have requested their names be protected for obvious reasons, told The National Herald that none of the hierarchs of the Phanar supports Elpidophoros.


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