[ditty_news_ticker id="27897"] The Church of America was Autonomous (1922-1930) - Orthodox Christian Laity

The Church of America was Autonomous (1922-1930)


Peter S. Makrias

Source: Estiator Magazine

Conspiracies, Forgeries, and Lies!

Metropolitan Apostolos of Derkon, Patriarch Bartholomew’s representative at the Clergy-Laity Congress in Boston, stated in his address to the Archons that the Church of America is “a creation of the Mother Church of Constantinople – ‘bone of its bones and flesh of its flesh!’ It is not merely one of its eparchies, but an offspring and piece of its soul.”

This is a major lie. The truth is that our Church was self-made and operated Autonomously and independently between 1922-1930. However, the Patriarchate, and the Church of Greece, which had already declared its Autocephaly from the Patriarchate, conspired with the Greek Government to place it under the control of the Patriarchate. Archbishop Damaskinos of Corinth was elected Patriarchal Exarch and representative, and sent to America to do just that in 1922.

This subjugation was achieved by forging the minutes of our then Autonomous Church. The original forged minutes were published in Greek and English in a book by the late Professor Paul Manolis of California, a friend of Archbishop Iakovos, who granted the former access to the Archdiocesan archives. The title of this three-volume set, which represents a valuable publication for the history of the Greek-American Community, is The History of the Greek Church of America in Acts and Documents. It was printed in 2003 by Ambelos Press, Berkeley CA (ISBN 0-9724373-0-4). This book is available at amazon.com.

The issue of autonomy was broached in 1972 by decision of the Clergy-Laity Congress, but it was ultimately overruled by Patriarch Athenagoras following an outcry by the faithful. This was a great mistake on our part. Nonetheless, we have been supporting this idea for many years now. Mr. Steve Valiotis issued a strong statement reiterating this call during his address at the Holy Cross School of Theology graduation ceremony this past May, where he was awarded an honorary doctoral degree. Mr. Valiotis’ demand was right on target, as he proposed that the Archdiocese be granted Autocephaly and the Patriarchate relocate to the United States instead of remaining enslaved in Turkey, with a Patriarch and members of the Holy Synod who are Turkish citizens. Mr. Valiotis may have spoken harshly, but he provided a great service to the Greek-American Community and our Church, which he serves as a grand benefactor.

The Greek-American Community has come of age and is in a position to see to its own affairs without the unacceptable and violent interventions of the Patriarchate. Two Archbishops have already been forced to resign, and now the same is being demanded of the third by Patriarch Bartholomew, who has chopped up our powerful Church into eight captaincies. Archbishop Demetrios’ REFUSAL to resign is supported by a significant portion of the faithful, including the much larger English-speaking demographic.

In 1998, OCL (Orthodox Christian Laity) called for Autocephaly. Now, it has denounced the inappropriate attack against Mr. Valiotis and is standing by him (see https://ocl.org/musings-of-the-ocl-executive-director-in-support-of-efstathios-steve-g-valiotis/).

Moreover, the incendiary attacks by the Metropolitan of Derkon against Mr. Valiotis, Archbishop Demetrios, and the three Metropolitans attending the HC graduation ceremony who did not stand up and protest are unacceptable. Only three of the eight Metropolitans of our Archdiocese criticized Mr. Valiotis: Evangelos of New Jersey, Gerasimos of San Francisco, and newly-appointed Nathanael of Chicago.

Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta told The National Herald’s Theodore Kalmoukos that Archbishop Demetrios “saved the Church in America,” and that “when the Patriarchate feels that Autocephaly should be given, it will be.” (The National Herald, July 22, 2018).

Discussing the issue of Autocephaly, Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit said that “we are under the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the time may come when the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in its wisdom, might tell us children bye-bye.” (The National Herald, July 15, 2018).

This is how our Church came under the control of the Patriarchate.

P.S. Makrias


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