[ditty_news_ticker id="27897"] Archbishop Elpidophoros Turns Against the Will and Directives of Patriarch Bartholomew - Orthodox Christian Laity

Archbishop Elpidophoros Turns Against the Will and Directives of Patriarch Bartholomew


Source: The National Herald

By Theodore Kalmoukos

The Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. PHOTO GOA/DIMITRIOS PANAGOS

BOSTON – Archbishop Elpidophoros of America has turned openly against the will and directives of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew regarding the Charter of the Archdiocese of America, as it appears from the last meeting of the Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese in New York on Tuesday, March 14, 2023.

We reveal today that the will and the directives given by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the Commission of the Phanar for the Charter call for no changes to come to the metropolises and their respective metropolitans. It is recalled that the Commission of the Phanar and, by extension, the so-called ‘mixed’ Commission on the Charter, that is, consisting of the representatives of both the Phanar and the Archdiocese, is chaired by Metropolitan Emmanuel Geron of Chalcedon.

At the meeting of the Eparchial Synod in the United States, Elpidophoros completely ignored the Patriarchal mandate and directives, and in order to make himself the sole sovereign hierarch of all America, referred to the creation of small ‘Regions’ or ‘Districts’ (Περιφέρειες) within the existing metropolises, in which he will place assistant bishops who will have to report to him. He even mentioned at the Synod that the Church is divided and heading towards autocephaly, which caused the hierarchs who are members of the Eparchial Synod to become upset, compelling them to properly deal with him through a range of unanimous reactions and dynamic interventions.

In this way, Elpidophoros essentially aims to overthrow the current system of the Archdiocese, abolish the metropolises, and weaken the role of the metropolitans, aspiring to concentrate power in his hands for the entire territory of the United States.

He seeks to be commemorated in the services everywhere and always, while in order to achieve this, he includes Patriarch Bartholomew, saying – even publicly at Leadership 100 gatherings – that the people in America do not even know his name, while everyone knows Pope Francis of Rome.

FILE – Archbishop Elpidophoros of America kisses his spiritual father, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Phanar. Photo Ecumenical Patriarchate/Archive Nikos Manginas

We also reveal that Elpidophoros slandered Metropolitan Emmanuel Geron of Chalcedon by saying that he “takes back” what he said to the Charter committee about having a triple commemoration, namely Bartholomew, Elpidophoros, and the local Metropolitan. He even mentioned that there was also a related argument behind closed doors in front of Patriarch Bartholomew, before whom Emmanuel brought Elpidophoros on the matter in question.

Elpidophoros is trying to imitate the system of the Archdiocese of Constantinople by creating Districts under which certain communities-parishes fall under those so-called Hierarchical Supervisors (Αρχιερατικοί Επόπτες), who are supposedly active Metropolitans. They have to report to Bartholomew, who visits them once or twice a year, first having the Overseer Hierarch bring ‘the traditional holy bread’ accompanied by the administrative board of the celebrating community to the Phanar, according to tradition.

In the meantime, Elpidophoros, in the Eparchial Synod once again slandered both the former Archbishop of America, Spyridon, and the former Metropolitan of New Jersey and now Sardis, Evangelos. It is recalled that he had done something similar, as The National Herald revealed, at the meeting of Leadership 100 in Arizona in front of laypeople, for which there is also relevant video.

At the Clergy-Laity Congress of the Archdiocese last July, he had invited and honored Archbishop Spyridon by presenting him with an icon of Christ the Sower, but we reveal that the two clerics whom he had assigned to go to the airport to receive Spyridon never showed up, forcing Spyridon to take a taxi to the Marriot Marquis hotel. Elpidophoros’ emissaries claim that they went to the airport but did not find Spyridon.

Elpidophoros also told the Eparchial Synod that hierarchs and priests should resign at the age of 75 but that this should not apply to those now serving but in the future.

Some documents he sent to the members of the Eparchial Synod were for reading only – they could neither forward them nor print them for fear they would end up in The National Herald.

Information from the Phanar states that Patriarch Bartholomew is very concerned with the situation that Elpidophoros has created in America, but also with the entirety of his behavior, including the baptism in Glyfada, his gluttony for self-promotion in any way and by any means, and his behind-the-scenes actions through his paid consultants.

Bartholomew is waiting for the Hierarchs of the Eparchial Synod to visit the Phanar on April 5, to hear from them what is going on, as he realizes that things are leading to a critical situation with Elpidophoros, who is trying in every way to mislead and flatter the Patriarch, as even members of the Patriarchal Court are claiming.



  1. Fr. Charles Joanides on

    Here are a few reasons that compelled me to write in support of the new proposed charter. First off, I worked for the Archdiocese from 1998 through 2014, developing an outreach ministry to intermarried couples and their families. The effort yielded a great deal of valuable and essential information related to this population of spouses, couples, and families, reaching and benefiting thousands of intermarried spouses and couples. However, many roadblocks along the way slowed and undermined the success of this ministry, which I believe were directly interrelated with how the GOA is presently structured under the existing charter. For example, I had difficulty garnering support for this work from many Metropolitans, whom I believe had their preconceived notions and biases regarding this outreach effort. This reality was the case even though Clergy-Laity Congresses from 1996 through 2014 considered this ministry a vital priority. Some Metropolises even established their outreach ministry, irrespective of what was happening at the Archdiocesan level. These unfortunate realities not only stifled our efforts to develop an enduring archdiocesan national outreach ministry but also ensured the work would be lost after I retired. Today, record numbers of Greek and Eastern Orthodox are still intermarrying, while this pastoral challenge is hardly mentioned. If a strong Archdiocese existed, one that is more centrally governed, I suspect the work would have continued. As things stand today, this significant pastoral challenge is all but being ignored.

  2. Cato the Elder on

    Every day the need for a “strong Archdiocese” is proving to be the worst idea possible. The fact the the Archbishop is lobbying so desperately for it is reason enough to oppose it. He apparently has forgotten the words of the Lord: [Luke 22:24-27] as well as Orthodox ecclesiology.

    Synodality is the Orthodox model of governance. The current Charter allows the Eparchial Synod to be what it is supposed to be: a gathering of equals whose presiding hierarch is the first AMONG equals, not as he has erroneously claimed, the first WITHOUT equal.

    The current system in the Greek Archdiocese should remain until the Assembly of Bishops completes its work in uniting the Church in North America under a single synod and takes its place as an autocephalous local, sister Church alongside the other autocephalous Orthodox Churches.

    Nefarious efforts to achieve by indirection what he cannot achieve directly: by bringing in more and more hierarchs from Greece and Turkey to try to dilute the Eparchial Synod, remove territory from the Metropolitans/Metropolises and alter the status quo should be confronted and defeated for what they are.

    Power grabs and cynical divide and rule strategies. The clergy and laity of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese should not remain passive in this matter. They need to speak out at the Parish, Metropolis and Archdiocesan Councils to put an end to this ongoing Charter drama.

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