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Church

Synod of Ecumenical Patriarchate Orders Elpidophoros to Reply to Church of Greece

September 13, 2022

BOSTON – The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in its recent meeting August 29-30 discussed the case of Archbishop Elpidophoros of America regarding the infamous baptism of the children of the Greek-American same-sex couple of Evangelos Bousis and Peter Dundas.

The Synod decided to send the letter of protest of the Church of Greece to Elpidophoros with the directive to reply “immediately.”

The National Herald has learned that the issue came up for discussion after the interventions of hierarchs of the Phanar who reportedly told Patriarch Bartholomew that is not right to ignore the Church of Greece since at the July Synodic meeting no decision was made. In the meantime the Patriarch was going to see Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece during his recent visit to island of Thasos and the Metropolis of Komotini in Greece and it was felt that he had to tell him something.

It is reminded here that Archbishop Elpidophoros made a special trip to Greece to celebrate the baptism of the children of his close friends, Greek-Americans Evangelos Bousis and Peter Dundas. Elpidophoros has appointed Bousis’ mother, Eleni Bousis, from the city of Northbrook, IL, to the Archdiocesan Council and specifically to the critical Archdiocese Administration and Youth committees.

The sacrament of baptism took place on the evening of Saturday, July 9, 2022, in the holy church of Panagia Faneromeni of the Metropolis of Voula. The children were given the names Alexios and Eleni, and the sponsors were the famous model Bianca Brandolini and Eugenia Niarchos. The children were apparently born from surrogate mothers.

Fashion designer Peter Dundas and his husband Evangelos Bousis got married and live in California. The Bousis family owns chains of food stores called Germak Fresh Market in the states of Illinois and Wisconsin, through which they import from Greece and other European countries, including Russia and Poland.

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew met with His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros at the Phanar. (Photo: GOARCH)

The christening was attended by guests from America and Greece, while a party followed at the Four Seasons hotel in Vouliagmeni, where Anna Vissi sang.

It is pointed out that except for a few insiders of the Archdiocese, no one knew about the trip of Archbishop Elpidophoros to Greece for the baptism of the children of the Bousis-Dundas couple, including the members of the Holy Eparchial Synod.

A climate of concern and discomfort has been created regarding Elpidophoros both among the hierarchy and many clergy and laity of the Greek-American community, as well as among several hierarchs and high officials of the Phanar, as The National Herald is in a position to know. They are generally concerned and worried about the Archdiocese.

Metropolitan Antonios of Glyfada, Hellinikon, Voula, Vouliagmeni, and Vari, whose jurisdiction includes the Church of Panagia Faneromeni in which Archbishop Elpidophoros performed the baptism, spoke in an exclusive interview with TNH about what transpired. He openly stated that Archbishop Elpidophoros actually misled him in order to obtain the canonical license in order to minister within the boundaries of his Metropolis.

Asked if he intends to directly denounce Archbishop Elpidophoros to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Metropolitan Antonios said, “I filed a report-complaint to the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, from then on the Holy Synod as the proper authority will decide whether or not it should be reported to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.”

The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece in its meeting on Monday July 18 also dealt with the issue and decided to send a letter of protest to Archbishop Elpidophoros as well to his ecclesiastical superior, the Ecumenical Patriarchate since Elpidophoros belongs to the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

It should be noted here the sending of a letter of protest against a hierarch of the Patriarchate and especially the Archbishop of America is an unusual act which was done for the first time on behalf of the Church of Greece.

In an official announcement issued after the Synodic meeting the following was stated:

“It was decided a letter of protest to be sent to the His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America regarding all that was reported in written form by His Eminence Metropolitan Antonios of Glyfada, Hellinikon, Voula, Vouliagmeni and Vari, about the celebration of the Holy Sacrament of Baptism of two infants in Vouliagmeni, also regarding a relevant letter to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, under whose canonical jurisdiction belongs the Archbishop of America.”

Elpidophoros up until this now hasn’t issued any announcement, or statement, regarding the issue which has created a crisis in the relationship between the Church of Greece and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, but through his salaried advisors Stratos Safioleas and John Chryssavgis, Archdeacon of the Archdiocese of Constantinople and salaried advisor to Elpidophoros, launched an attack against the Church of Greece and Mouth Athos. Specifically, there was an article was written by Chryssavgis which was distributed by the Religious News Service throughout the United States and internationally.

The National Herald is in a position to know that Patriarch Bartholomew rebuked Elpidophoros very strongly during the latter’s recent visit to the Phanar. It has been reported that various cronies of Elpidophoros are spreading the word that the Archbishop does not do anything without the knowledge and the approval of the Patriarch.

The dysphoria among the vast majority of the hierarchs at the Phanar against Elpidophoros is such that he didn’t appear to sign the ‘Codex of the Indictos’ on September 1, when he was vacationing in the province of Attaleia in southern Turkey.

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