Source: The National Herald
By Theodore Kalmoukos
BOSTON – Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Phanar Synod thwarted the plans of Archbishop Elpidophoros during the session of the Synod held in Constantinople on Wednesday, June 28, 2023, as they reportedly caught him engaging in lies and misinformation. We reveal here that the Metropolis of New Jersey will not be abolished and attached to the Direct Archdiocesan District as Elpidophoros had planned, but in the next Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the end of July, a Metropolitan of New Jersey will be elected. This also means that the existing Charter remains in full force, despite Elpidophoros’ efforts to change it by abolishing the Metropolises and downgrading the Metropolitans.
Οn Wednesday, July 5, the Eparchial Synod will hold an extraordinary session to prepare the three-person list of nominees (τριπρόσωπον), as provided for by the Charter, which will be submitted to the Patriarchate.
In detail, the following matters were examined and discussed at the Synod:
When the report of the Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese of America was read regarding the promotion of Bishop Apostolos to an active Metropolitan of a once-glorious Metropolitanate of the Ecumenical Throne in Asia Minor, as revealed by The National Herald, Elpidophoros had reportedly altered the transcript of the discussion and proposals of the Eparchial Synod, falsely claiming that the hierarchs unanimously agreed to promote Apostolos to Metropolitan and appoint him as the Archdiocesan Supervisor of the Metropolis of New Jersey.
As reported by The National Herald in its Greek online edition on the evening of Tuesday, June 27, 2023, “the common consensus of the opinions of the Metropolitans once again was that ‘we have no objection to Apostolos’ promotion, but his election as Metropolitan of the Throne is not our issue but that of the Patriarchate.’”
When asked how Apostolos would serve in the United States, in what capacity or role, Elpidophoros responded that there is no problem and that a solution will be found. He was informed that he was violating the Charter of the Archdiocese, which does not allow for the ‘exchange’ of a Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of America with a hierarch of a Metropolitanate in Asia Minor, even on a temporary basis. During the session on Thursday, June 15 Elpidophoros withdrew his initial proposal, to make Apostolos a member of the Eparchial Synod, following the strong reaction of the Metropolitans.
Metropolitan Evangelos intervened and addressed the Patriarch, saying, “Your All Holiness, I request that a copy of this report, signed by Elpidophoros, be sent to all members of the Eparchial Synod to verify the contents.” At this point, Elpidophoros became agitated and started shouting in the Synod, saying, “are you questioning my report?” to which Evangelos replied, “of course, I am questioning it, because what you have written here does not correspond to any truth, not even a fraction of it. What happened at the Eparchial Synod is exactly the opposite of what you have written here.”
It is noted here that Metropolitan Evangelos was not present at the meeting of the Eparchial Synod in the United States.
Elpidophoros, in an angry tone, then attacked Evangelos, saying, “you are not in a position to judge my Eparchial Synod.” Evangelos responded, “it is not your Synod, but it consists of you and seven other Metropolitans, and you are obliged to respect the decisions of the Eparchial Synod and convey them here to the Patriarch and the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, rather than presenting what you want and how you want it.”
Elpidophoros then said to Evangelos, “you are not a member of the Eparchial Synod,” to which Evangelos replied, “fortunately for you, I am not a member of the Eparchial Synod.” Elpidophoros continued his attack on Evangelos, saying, “you have malice within you because of your dethronement from the Metropolis.” In response, Evangelos addressed the Patriarch and said, “I have no malice within me, and I have proven that” – while Bartholomew nodded his head in agreement.
At this point, the Patriarch intervened and stated that “this will not happen,” referring to the promotion of Apostolos to Metropolitan of the Ecumenical Throne and his appointment as ‘overseer’ or ‘supervisor’ in the Metropolis of New Jersey. Bartholomew emphasized that “this is uncanonical and ecclesiologically unfounded.” Elpidophoros persisted in his opposition to the Patriarch, insisting that “it must be done this way.” However, the Patriarch cut him off, saying, “no, what you want will not happen when there is also the Eparchial Synod, which, as we have learned, has decided the opposite of what you want.” Elpidophoros then stated, “let Apostolos remain as an Auxiliary Bishop.” Evangelos intervened once again, saying, “no, Your All Holiness, Apostolos should not remain as an Auxiliary Bishop but should leave here as the Metropolitan in active service of the Ecumenical Throne. Elpidophoros stirred him up, announced it in America, brought him here, telling him that he would become a Metropolitan and serve as a Supervisor. Apostolos tasted the joy of promotion, and it is neither right nor humane for Apostolos to leave here embittered, humiliated, and saddened. Instead, he should leave here as a Metropolitan.” The Patriarch agreed with Evangelos’ words.
After dinner, Metropolitan Ioakeim of Prousa made a proposal, saying, “Apostolos should become the Metropolitan of New Jersey.” Elpidophoros then started shouting, saying, “it will not happen. The Metropolis of New Jersey will be abolished, it is uncanonical.” When he realized that Ioakeim’s statement reflected the Patriarch’s decision not to abolish the Metropolis of New Jersey, then Elpidophoros, realizing that he had lost the game, said, “well, then let’s make him the Metropolitan of New Jersey.” At this point, the Patriarch said, “at the next session of the Eparchial Synod, the triprosopo will be formed, and at our next Synod here, we will proceed with the election.”
Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, who love and are concerned about the dignity of the institution of the Patriarchate and the Patriarch, commented to the National Herald that, “if Elpidophoros had any trace of sensitivity and dignity, after the events at the Wednesday Synod, he should have already submitted his resignation.”