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Patriarch Bartholomew Gives Time Extension to Archbishop Demetrios

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FILE – In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016 file photo, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians listens during an Epiphany ceremony at the Patriarchate in Istanbul, Turkey. Plans to bring together leaders of all the world’s Orthodox churches for the first time in more than a millennium appear in jeopardy amid the wrangling over the meeting’s agenda, with the Russian Orthodox Church warning that the gathering would make no sense if at least one church fails to attend. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel, file)

Source: The National Herald

BOSTON – The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate presided over by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew held on Wednesday, August 30 a joint meeting with the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America headed by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios regarding the election of Metropolitan of Chicago and the issue of the List of Candidates for election to the high priesthood.

The National Herald has learned that it was decided that the List of candidates should be enhanced and updated as the Patriarchate had requested. TNH had written extensively and in detail about the issue in its analyses in previous editions.

The List should be clean and the names of those who are ill and retired be deleted. Names of other celibate priests should be added. Archbishop Demetrios said that the contribution and examination of the Legal Committee of the Archdiocesan Council is required. The Patriarchate said that the opinion of the Legal Committee should be sent to the Ecumenical Patriarchate to be studied by the Canonical Committee and also the Committee of the Ecclesiastical Eparchies of the Ecumenical Throne and then the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate will grant its final validation.

In regards to the addition to the List of the names of those Metropolitans who served at some point in the past in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and today are serving Metropolises abroad such as Metropolitans Sotirios of Toronto (Canada) Athenagoras of Mexico, Nikitas of Dardanelles and Cleopas of Sweden as the Patriarchate had initially requested, Archbishop Demetrios opposed convincing the Patriarch that it is required a cession of a Clergy Laity Congress of the Archdiocese.

The next Clergy Laity Congress should convene in July of 2018, but until today no announcement had been made regarding the place and the agenda. The unofficial word coming from within the Archdiocese is that perhaps Boston will host the next Clergy Laity Congress.

The process of the joint meetings at the Phanar was the following: First Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew granted an audience to the Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese of America and then the Eparchial Synod met with the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate presided over by Patriarch Bartholomew.

Absent from the Eparchial Synod were Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco who had a minor foot surgery as TNH had reported, Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta who told the Ecumenical Patriarchate that he lost his passport in Greece. Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver sent a letter in which he declared his obedience “to whatever the Ecumenical Patriarchate says.”

Ecclesiastical officials who know well the ecclesiastical issues told TNH that Wednesday’s outcome of the meetings was simply a maneuver of the Phanar for a time extension to Archbishop Demetrios in order to personally accommodate the Ecumenical Patriarchate with a voluntary resignation. It is widely spread at the Ecumenical Patriarchate that the climate is for the post-Demetrios era. TNH has already mentioned the dire financial situation of the Archdiocese, which even many of its officials characterize as bankruptcy.

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