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Church

The Issue of the Archdiocese’s Charter Is Back in the Spotlight

November 9, 2023

BOSTON – Archbishop Elpidophoros of America once again raised the issue of the Charter of the Archdiocese at the Eparchial Synod, despite the explicit decision and guidance of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Holy Synod of the Phanar that the matter not be discussed over the next three years and that the existing Charter with the existing Metropolis structure will not be changed.

Elpidophoros continues to insist and cause division and confusion among the clergy and laity of the Greek-American community, despite their general demands that no changes be made, as revealed during the meeting of Elpidophoros with the clergy and laity of the Metropolis of Chicago, as well as Boston, as reported by The National Herald.

It is emphasized once again that the Metropolises will not be abolished and transformed into ‘districts’, and the Metropolitans will not be demoted to ‘district hierarchs’ as Archbishop Elpidophoros unsuccessfully proposed. The recent election of Bishop Apostolos of Medeia as Metropolitan of New Jersey reaffirms, in the most official, canonical, and ecclesiological manner, that the Metropolitanate system will not change, constituting an outright rejection of Elpidophoros’ proposal.

It is worth reminding here about the revealing interview of Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain, who is a member of the Phanar’s Committee on the Charter, given to The National Herald on September 9, 2023, where he stated, “the Committee of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which was established in October, 2022 by the decision of Patriarch Bartholomew to jointly study possible modifications to the Archdiocese’s Charter with the corresponding Committee of the Archdiocese of America, has fallen into inactivity. The Committee will not convene for the next three years, as per the command of Patriarch Bartholomew.”

Demetrios G. Logothetis, Chairman of Leadership 100
(Photo provided by Leadership 100)

This approach by Archbishop Elpidophoros, who persists in ignoring his ecclesiastical authority, the Patriarch and the Synod of the Phanar, as well as the Eparchial  Synod of America – and sows confusion, division, and discord among the clergy and the Greek-American community at large by resurrecting the already closed matter of the Charter – results in the erosion of institutions and individuals, specifically the Patriarchate and Patriarch Bartholomew.

During the recent meeting of the Eparchial Synod on Friday, November 3, 2023, while he was told by the member hierarchs that the issue is considered closed, Elpidophoros persisted, citing the opinion of Ioannis Konidaris, a professor at the University of Athens, which was, of course, commissioned, as is common in similar cases.

It was decided that the next meeting of the Eparchial Synod will take place in Boca Raton, FL, in March, 2024, within the framework of the Leadership 100 Conference, to thoroughly address those articles of the Charter that nevertheless may require amendments, especially regarding the geographical boundaries of the Metropolises.

We reveal that during the session of the Eparchial Synod convened in New York on Friday, November 3, 2023, only two Metropolitans, Nathaniel of Chicago and Apostolos of New Jersey, appeared in person. The rest participated remotely through the ZOOM platform, except for Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver, who abstained as he is residing in a monastery, recovering from a recent illness.

Notably, Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit participated from a hospital in Detroit, where he is being treated for an illness.

Reference was made to the process of selecting a new president for the Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Theology (HCHC) in Brookline, MA. However, Archbishop Elpidophoros refused to provide details or mention the candidates that the selection committee, chaired by Fr. Markos Leondis from Florida, has settled on, fearing that the information might leak to The National Herald. Nonetheless, TNH has discovered that the committee has narrowed the choice to the following leading candidates:

  • Dimitrios Logothetis, who is well-known as the chairman of the Leadership 100 organization. According to information learned by TNH, he desires to simultaneously hold the position of chairman of the Leadership 100 alongside the presidency of the schools, a situation that has raised strong objections among officials and top members of Leadership 100.
  • Dimitris Katos, who previously served as the Dean of Hellenic College but resigned to work at a university in Boston.
  • Dimitrios Katinas, who is responsible for the School’s Department of Development. Fr. Katinas was previously associated with HCHC, left for a parish, and returned two years ago.
Fr. James Katinas, DMin has been appointed be HCHC’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement. (Photo by HCHC)
Fr. James Katinas, DMin has been appointed be HCHC’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement. (Photo by HCHC)

On November 30, HCHC’s Board of Trustees will convene to discuss the selection of the new president. The Board is led by Archbishop Elpidophoros, the chairman, and Fr. John Magoulias, vice chairman.

The Archbishop referred to the recent gathering of the monks in the United States a few weeks ago, and a committee was appointed to examine the Regulations of the Monasteries, with the participation of Metropolitan Nathaniel of Chicago and Bishop Athenagoras of Nazianzus.

In the Executive Committee meeting of the Archdiocesan Council that followed, only three Metropolitans participated: Nathaniel of Chicago, Apostolos of New Jersey, and Nicholas of Detroit, who joined via electronic connection from his hospital bed. They discussed the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine and the financial issues related to it, including the salaries of those working there, which amounts to six hundred thousand dollars annually, as well as other emerging problems.

There was also mention of the salaries of the Metropolitans and Auxiliary Bishops, and the accompanying benefits, particularly regarding housing allowances.

The attendance of the members of the Archdiocesan  Council on Saturday, November 4, was limited. However, the room was filled by the members of the ‘Senators for Orthodoxy’, the new body created by Archbishop Elpidophoros, who do not have voting rights but are supposed to serve in an advisory capacity.

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