BOSTON – Interesting and revealing things were discussed at the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on October 8 on the issue of the removal of Metropolitan Evangelos from the Diocese of New Jersey and his transfer to the active Metropolis of Sardis, as well as the imposition of a suspension from all liturgical and sacred services of Metropolitan Methodios of Boston.
It is to be noted that the Holy Synod began its work on October 6, this time at the historic Monastery of Zoodochos Pege of Balukli, so as to have space for the preventive measures for the Coronavirus pandemic.
Information known to The National Herald indicates that the meeting began with the reading of the reports of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America on issues concerning the Archdiocese of America. His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew immediately spoke at length about Metropolitan Methodios of Boston.
The Ecumenical Patriarch suggested that he be reprimanded, adding that this would be his second reprimand by Ecumenical Patriarchate.
A Hierarch of the Synod then then reportedly said that since it was the second time a reprimand was being issued and because he is 74 years old, when will he come to his senses – when he is 90 years old? And he continued, saying that “I propose defrockment, but because the Mother Church is caring and loves her children enough to make a concession – because we are talking about a concession here – instead of defrockment, he should be transferred to another Metropolis.”
Another hierarch then supported the view of the previous hierarch asking for the removal of Metropolitan Methodios from Boston.
Another hierarch disagreed and suggested that Evangelos and Methodios be called to the Phanar for an apology, but the others unanimously said that they had just heard the reports by the Archbishop of America. It was then proposed that Methodios be removed from Boston and transferred to another Metropolis, and that a reprimand and suspension be imposed on Evangelos of New Jersey.
Finally, a discussion took place and it was decided to remove Evangelos from New Jersey and elect him to the Metropolis of Sardis. It is emphasized that the Metropolis of Sardis is registered in the Constitution of the Ecumenical Patriarchate as an active Metropolis (εν ενεργεία Μητρόπολις).
It was also decided to impose the punishment of suspension on Metropolitan Methodios from all liturgical services until Christmas.
It was also decided that the issue of the revocation of the Charter of the Archdiocese should be included in the announcement as its first item. As hierarchs from the Phanar explained to The National Herald, the revocation of the Constitution or Charter means that nothing from the Charter is in force at present and the process for its revision will be initiated. The Metropolitans will continue to be Metropolitans and will wait for the new Charter to see what their status will be. It was said that the strengthening of a single, indivisible Archdiocese of America was necessary.
It is emphasized that all the members of the Holy Synod voted in favor of the decisions, except for one who cast a blank vote. The Synod was not attended by the Metropolitan Cleopas of Sweden, who fell from scaffolding in a building of the Metropolis of Sweden that is being renovated, and by Metropolitan Ioannis of Pergamon. The meeting was lengthy, as it started at 12 noon on Thursday and ended at 6:30 PM.