[ditty_news_ticker id="27897"] Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Holy Eparchial Synod Communique – Nov 10, 2022 - Orthodox Christian Laity

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Holy Eparchial Synod Communique – Nov 10, 2022


Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

NEW YORK – His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America convened a special meeting of the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Archdiocese of America through videoconference for the purpose of considering current issues concerning the life of the Church in America.

The Archbishop first informed the members of the Holy Eparchial Synod about the decision of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to establish a Mixed Commission for the new Charter of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and to appoint members on behalf of the Mother Church. Therefore, the Archbishop submitted for discussion the need for the Archdiocese to appoint its delegates to the Mixed Commission.

The Holy Eparchial Synod decided to propose the following members for the Archdiocese:

a) His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros,

b) His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco,

c) Very Rev. Archimandrite Bartholomew Mercado,

d) Rev. Protobresbyter Paul Kaplanis

e) Archon Mr. Demetrios Logothetis,


f) Mrs. Anita Kartalopoulos, Esq.

In addition:

1) The Holy Eparchial Synod decided to propose to the Mother Church additional names for inclusion on the list of candidates eligible for election to the Office of Metropolitan or Auxiliary Bishop.

2) Noting that the extraordinary danger posed by the coronavirus pandemic that affected the country has largely passed, to the Glory of our Lord Jesus Christ Who Is Physician of both Souls and Bodies, the Holy Eparchial Synod decided to discontinue the corresponding specific petitions in the Litany of Peace during the Divine Liturgy and the other Church services which had been exceptionally added as a response to the coronavirus pandemic.

3) Finally, best wishes for the upcoming Nativity Fast and Thanksgiving national holiday were exchanged between the Archbishop and the synodal hierarchs in a spirit of brotherly love.

From the Chief Secretariat



  1. Cato the Elder on

    So what happened to the broadly based charter committee from a year or two ago? Too much input?

    How much input do the members of the Archdiocesan Council, Metropolis Councils, Clergy Brotherhoods and Parish Councils have into this proposed new charter?

    Did the Eparchial Synod ASK for the charter to be amended, or were they TOLD that Constantinople decided to change it and they were allowed to agree to the Archbishop’s choices as members of the mixed commission that will supposedly draw up the new charter?

    So, who are Archbishop’s choices to represent the Archdiocese?

    Himself, Met. Gerry of SF, an Archimandrite, a Protopresbyter, an Archon/L100 insider and a Philoptochos Lady/Founding member of the +Pat. Bart Foundation. Don’t expect a minority report or dissenting opinion from that group.

    Rather than dwell on the independence and bona fides of the commission members consider the odds that the commissions are a charade and the new charter is already sitting on +Bart’s and +Elpi’s desks.

    The silence from the Archdiocesan, Metropolis and Parish Councils is deafening. The only sounds you hear are the footsteps of those who are tired of these shenanigans and are walking away.

  2. George D. Karcazes on

    Since I was a member of the previous Charter Committee I feel compelled to respond.

    1. The former committee was disbanded when push-back from the Metropolitans caused the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Archbishop Elpidophoros to back away from the two-year suspension of the Charter and plans to draft a new one. Instead, the charter was reinstated prior to the July 2022 Clergy-Laity Congress.

    2. While the earlier broad-based committee included some members from these various bodies, the bodies themselves were not formally represented. The current Commission members appointed by the Archbishop are neither broad-based nor representative.

    3. If verbatim minutes of the meetings of the Eparchial Synod are kept, they are not published. The current charter provides that any amendments must emanate from the Eparchial Synod. This was clearly not the case the first time around. Any announcement about whether the Eparchial Synod requested a change in the charter or was told to agree to the need for a change must reflect the reality that its members know that they can be removed by the Patriarchate at any time and for any or no reason. Absent transparency and accountability and based on the position of the Patriarchate (and default acquiescence by the clergy and laity), deciding how and by whom the decision to amend or replace the charter is meaningless.

    4. The newly announced process for developing a new charter for the archdiocese indicates that (a) the Patriarch and Archbishop are intent on changing the relationship between the Patriarchate and the church in America and (b) they have abandoned any pretense that the process will include meaningful input from the clergy and laity of the Archdiocese.

    So, here’s how I see things:

    1. The charter defines the relationship between the Patriarchate and the Greek Archdiocese in America.

    2. Since the establishment of the Archdiocese a little more an 100 years ago, each successive charter has tightened the control of the Patriarchate and diminished the grass-roots voices of the clergy and laity in the administration of the church.

    3. The new charter should reinstate the autonomy of the Archdiocese restoring a meaningful voice and participation to the clergy and laity in the administration of the church in America (including importantly the selection of its hierarchs). If the Patriarchate and Archbishop decide to tighten the control of the Patriarchate and Archbishop and centralizing and prioritizing a two-tiered church administration where resources are diverted to the Patriarchate and Archdiocese and the parishes are taxed and ignored, the people will continue to walk away.

    4. Without an autonomous Greek Archdiocese, the Assembly of Bishops cannot unite as a single synod and bring the Church in America into canonical order as directed by the heads of all of the sister autocephalous churches (including the Patriarchate of Constantinople) more than a decade ago.

    This presents us with two questions: Can Patriarch Bartholomew trust a united, growing, autocephalous American Orthodox Church to support him and the Patriarchate financially, politically and spiritually? Or, will he continue to rely on the Greek Government and a handful of wealthy Greek Americans for this support while the parishes struggle and continue their decline? Having demoralized and marginalized the clergy and laity of America into apathy and acquiescence, the decision now rests with the Patriarch and Archbishop.

    Any new charter they decide to impose on the Archdiocese will answer those questions.

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