New York— On Thursday, April 14, 2022, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America convened a regular meeting of the Holy Eparchial Synod. The meeting was held virtually.
The Archbishop expressed his gratitude to the Hierarchs of the Synod for their collaboration in organizing the Centennial Clergy-Laity Congress, which will be held in New York from July 3-7, 2022, as well as for their support with the programming of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Holy Archdiocese.
Additionally, the Holy Synod:
- Responded to official correspondence.
- Received updates on last year’s annual reports from the Holy Metropolis of Atlanta and from the Holy Metropolis of New Jersey from His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta and His Grace Bishop Apostolos of Medea, respectively.
- Reviewed a report from Mr. George Cantonis, President of Hellenic College Holy Cross, regarding the reduction of its total debt over the last three years from 20 million to 4.7 million dollars. Moreover, the Eparchial Synod recognized that collective coordination is necessary to increase the number of seminarians after a significant decline in their numbers due to the pandemic.
- Was apprised that the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) approved a fully online Master of Theology (ThM) degree program for Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.
- Accepted the resignation of the Reverend Protopresbyter Earl Cantos from the position of Department Director and Youth Safety Compliance Officer of the Holy Archdiocese and expressed gratitude for his service.
- Considered the request for dispensation from the Hierarchs of the Synod for the ordination of the so-called “permanent deacons” to the rank of presbyter. The Eparchial Synod decided that, moving forward, such requests may be granted provided the following conditions:
1. A special request is submitted to the Holy Eparchial Synod and ratified by a majority decision.
2. It is stipulated that the candidate to be ordained to the presbyterate will serve only small communities in need of a part-time priest
3. It is further stipulated that presbyters ordained in this way will not later take up full-time duties as heads or assistants of larger communities.
- Announced the commencement of the search for a suitable location for the 2024 Clergy-Laity Congress.
- Once again, held an extensive and constructive discussion on the ongoing process of drafting a new charter for the Holy Archdiocese, during which:
1. The advantage of participating as much as possible in public discussions related to the new charter with as many organizations and persons was emphasized again.
2. A call was made to avoid inflammatory and disruptive conduct that could compromise the unity of the Church.
3. It was clarified that the Ecumenical Patriarchate is expected to name a joint committee for the drafting of the new charter, as was the case with the present charter in the past.
4. It was decided that the interval of time between now and the Clergy-Laity Congress in July of this year is objectively insufficient to complete the process of a new charter.
5. The Eparchial Synod affirmed its previous commitment that all policies and regulations of the Holy Archdiocese remain in force until the completion of the process and ensure its compliance with order and its harmonious operation.
6. It was decided that this issue should be a permanent item on the agenda of the Synod sessions until the procedure is completed.
In conclusion, in the spirit of brotherly love and mutual respect, wishes for the upcoming Great Week and Holy Pascha were exchanged between the Archbishop and the members of the Holy Eparchial Synod.
From the Chief Secretary of the Holy Eparchial Synod