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Eparchial Synod Holds Special Meeting for Chicago Metropolitan Three-Person Ballot

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The Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America concelebrating the Divine Liturgy at the Clergy Laity Congress in Nashville, TN in July, 2016. (Photo by GOA/Dimitrios Panagos)

Source: The National Herald

By Theodoros Kalmoukos

NEW YORK – His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios Geron of America has called a special meeting of the Holy Eparchial Synod on February 5in order to select the trioprosopon (three-person ballot) for the election of the next metropolitan of Chicago, who will succeed the late Metropolitan Iakovos.

The selection will be made from the Official List of Candidates submitted by the Archdiocese and authorized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. On the revised list, at the Patriarchate’s directive, beyond the celibate priests of the Archdiocese were added those metropolitans who serve in Ecclesiastical Eparchies of the Ecumenical Throne abroad, who had served in the past as priests in the Archdiocese. Specifically they are the following: Metropolitan Sotirios of Toronto and All Canada, Athenagoras of Mexico, Cleopas of Sweden, and Nikitas of Dardanelles.

For the first time, the process of “transfer” known as metatheton will be allowed, which means all the existing metropolitans will have the right to be candidates as well. The National Herald has learned that Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit, currently locum tenens of the Chicago Metropolis has shown interest to be transferred to Chicago. TNH has also learned that a few weeks ago, Chicago Metropolis Chancellor Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos went to the Patriarchate and spoke negatively about Nicholas and he explained to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew why Nicholas should not be chosen.

The archbishop will send the triprosopon selection to the Patriarchate for official selection by the Holy Synod at its next meeting, in February.

As TNH reported at the time, in its July 6 meeting, the Eparchial Synod gave Bishop Sevastianos of Zela, the Synod’s Chief Secretary, seven of the eight total votes. The triprosopon was comprised of Bishop Sevastianos, Holy Trinity (Salt Lake City, UT) Presiding Priest Archimandrite George Nikas, who received three votes, and Holy Cross (Brooklyn) Presiding Priest Gerasimos Makris, who also received three votes.

The Synod was comprised of Archbishop Demetrios, presiding, and Metropolitans Methodios of Boston, Isaiah of Denver, Alexios of Atlanta, Nicholas, Savas of Pittsburgh, Gerasimos of San Francisco, and Evangelos of New Jersey.

All voted for Sevastianos except for Gerasimos, who made clear to Demetrios and the other Synod members his preference for a candidacy of Metropolitan Nikitas. Sevastianos was Demetrios’ choice.

The result was sent to the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the official election by its Holy Synod, which rejected it, ordering the removal of those who shouldn’t be on it and directing the addition of metropolitans who serve abroad but served the Archdiocese in the past. It also authorized the metatheton.

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