[ditty_news_ticker id="27897"] What Metropolitan Emmanuel and Patriarch Bartholomew Said to the Metropolitans of America - Orthodox Christian Laity

What Metropolitan Emmanuel and Patriarch Bartholomew Said to the Metropolitans of America


Source: The National Herald

By Theodore Kalmoukos

Members of the Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese of America with His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Also shown are Metropolitan Emmanuel Geron of Chalcedon and Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain. (Photo: Ecumenical Patriarchate/ Nicholas Papachristou)

BOSTON – The National Herald publishes here the fourth and final part of the confidential report from the meeting of hierarchs of the Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese of  America with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on Wednesday, April 5, 2023. This article features what Metropolitan of Chalcedon Emmanuel and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said.

The report contains the following:

“Next, Metropolitan Chalcedon took the floor, emphasizing the need to build a spirit of mutual trust between the Archbishop of America and the members of the Eparchial Synod, and in no case should [people]be given the impression that there is a division between the Archbishop and the Metropolitans.”

Referring to the Mixed Committee for the revision of the Charter of the Holy Archdiocese of America, whose President Metropolitan Emmanuel was appointed synodically, it was reminded that both the decision of the Eparchial Synod and the guiding principle of His All-Holiness was for a partial, not a total, revision of certain provisions of the existing Charter.

For this reason, Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon requested that there should be no pressure for the completion of the whole project within three months but rather time should be given for the entire process to unfold in a spirit of calmness, sobriety, and, above all, genuine dialogue, in order to achieve a result that satisfies everyone. He strongly advised to avoid, at all costs, cultivating or maintaining an atmosphere of autocephaly, and specifically regarding the proposal of the triple commemoration, he pointed out that professors in Greece and elsewhere consider it uncanonical.”

Intervention of Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco:

“At this point, Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco took the floor and reiterated the necessity of convening the Holy Eparchial Synod with the sole agenda of discussing the proposal of the Archbishop of America regarding the revision of the existing Charter, in order to thoroughly analyze and understand his proposal and to avoid creating false impressions.”

Archbishop Elpidophoros welcomed Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon with a kiss of peace at St. Nicholas. (Photo by GOA/Dimitrios Panagos)

Regarding Patriarch Bartholomew

“In his concluding statement, His All-Holiness emphasized that he listened to everyone with particular interest and special appreciation for each person’s opinion. He expressed his joy and satisfaction with the regular convening of the Holy Eparchial Synod, noting that the relevant provision in the current Charter allows for such meetings twice a year at the minimum. Furthermore, His All-Holiness restated ‘the triad’ with which he began his introductory remarks (‘peace’, ‘unity’, ‘trust’), recalling the Biblical verse that “perfect love casts out fear” and questioned whether the inactivation of the Mixed Committee would be appropriate.”

Following that, His All-Holiness expressed the following positions regarding the three proposed points of the Archbishop of America:

  1. a) Concerning the establishment of a mandatory retirement age for Archbishops from active service [the Patriarch]expressed [his]gratitude for the majority’s stance that this is an exclusive matter within the competence of the Mother Church. [He] reminded that the divine and sacred Canons speak about the lifetime tenure of [hierarchs]in their respective dioceses. However, [he]clarified that in the event of establishing the incapacity of a specific [hierarch]to fulfill his duties, to the detriment of himself and his diocese, the Mother Church has the provision to take appropriate measures and provide the necessary resolution.
  2. b) Regarding the multiple commemorations, he expressed [his]strong concern about the possibility of their institutionalization in the Charter of the Holy Archdiocese of America, as he emphasized that this new practice in the USA could potentially be abused and exploited, leading to significant complications, especially in the Metropolises of the ‘New Lands’ – Νέων Χωρών [in Greece]where, in addition to the double commemoration of the name of the Patriarch and the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, there is a tendency to establish the same in the Patriarchal Stavropegial Monasteries beyond the commemoration of the name of the Ecumenical Patriarch as the ruling Bishop and the name of the local Metropolitan within whose Eparchy the Patriarchal Stavropegial Monastery is located.

Regarding the administrative structure of the Holy Archdiocese of America, His All Holiness emphasized his position that the current administrative system contains an irregularity in its conception, as it creates active Metropolises within a unified Archdiocese. For instance, it would be unacceptable for active Metropolises like Heidelberg, Munich, etc., to be created within the territory of the Holy Metropolis of Germany. For this reason, His All-Holiness entrusted the Holy Eparchial Synod to examine this issue within a three-year period and subsequently submit a proposal that would be jointly and canonically acceptable to the Holy and Sacred Synod.

At this point, the Archbishop of America took the floor and expressed his deepest gratitude to His All-Holiness for his position. He emphasized that since there is a clear Patriarchal order, he permanently withdraws his proposals regarding the establishment of a retirement age limit for the hierarchs from active service and the multiple commemorations. He also promised to bring the matter of the administrative structure of the Archdiocese of America to the Eparchial Synod for study and to find a solution that would be jointly accepted.

Finally, in response to a question from Archbishop Elpidophoros, regarding whether he can continue his tours to inform the flock of the Holy Archdiocese of America about his proposal on the Charter revision, both Metropolitan of Chicago and Metropolitan of San Francisco emphasized the need to form a common position on this matter, primarily within the Eparchial Synod. The Archbishop of America explained that the presentation of his proposal will always be accompanied by clarification that it is his personal and individual proposal, not a proposal of the Eparchial Synod. His All-Holiness gave his blessing.



  1. Cato the Elder on

    Where are the voices of the laity in all of this back and forth over the illegally imposed, then suspended, then reinstated 2003 Charter.. this unilaterally imposed “gift” from the Ecumenical Patriarch?

    No, I don’t mean the voices of the faithful in the pews; the Parish Councils and Metropolis Councils (except for the Metropolis Council of the Chicago Metropolis which not surprisingly came down on the side of the Mets in the Archbishop vs. Mets tug of war).

    Charmingly we read that the Patriarch “emphasized his position that that the current administrative system [WHICH HE UNILATERALLY IMPOSED TWENTY YEARS AGO/emphasis supplied] contains an ‘irregularity’ in its conception..”

    Apparently the all-seeing, all-knowing, “First Without Equal” (did +Elpidophoros really say that?) Patriarch sees parallels between “Metropolises within Metropolises” and “Metropolises within a unified Archdiocese” which he hadn’t seen in 2003 which will require the Archbishop and Metropolitans to resolve and report back to him in about three years. Meanwhile…?

    Is there a comic book version of this that parents and high-school church school teachers can use to teach their teenagers about how the adults running the Greek Church are managing the institution?

    Alert: The Assembly of Bishops should get to work, unite as a synod and declare the Church in America is Autocephalous. They may make a mistake or two along the way, but there is no way they can be as incompetent as those trying to run their colonies from Istanbul.. or Damascus, Belgrade, Bucharest, Sofia or Moscow.

  2. George D. Karcazes on

    The Archbishop of Athens and all Greece has active Metropolises in Greece.

    The Archbishop of Constantinople also has active Metropolises in Turkey.

    The Archbishop of America has active Metropolises in America.

    Are all these the result of an “irregularity” in [their] inception?

    What determines whether a colony claimed by the Patriarchate of Constantinople is an “Archdiocese” or a “Metropolis”? The Greek Orthodox Church in America is an Archdiocese.. so is the Church in Australia and Great Britain.. Canada is a Metropolis (Toronto and all of Canada).. so is Hong Kong which includes all of China, India, the Philippine Islands, Singapore, and Indonesia.

    The Patriarchate of Constantinople created the Metropolises in America.. and elsewhere.. when it dismembered the Archdiocese of North and South America as it had existed since it was created. This occurred after the forced retirement of Archbishop Iakovos of blessed memory and the enthronement of Archbishop Spyridon.

    Archbishop Demetrios had no problem with this arrangement.

    Archbishop Elpidophoros apparently is not happy with this arrangement and is trying to convince the Patriarch to change the Charter at the expense of the Metropolitans.

    At the present time the Archdiocese of America is governed by the Eparchial Synod which is composed of the Archbishop and eight Metropolitans.

    The Archbishop presides over meetings of this Synod and the “Direct Archdiocesan District” which consists of the parishes in the greater New York City area and northern suburbs, upstate New York, all of Long Island, the western half of Connecticut, Washington, DC and the Bahamas.

    The eight Metropolitans each preside over Metropolises that consist of parishes within the boundaries of their Metropolises (e.g.the Metropolis of Chicago includes all of the parishes in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin most of Missouri and some of Indiana). Any Charter that increases the size of the Eparchial Synod or creates “Districts” carved out of the parishes currently under the omophorion of the Metropolitans or the boundaries of the Metropolises.. or that places the Metropolitans under the direct supervision of the Archbishop rather than the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate under the banner of uniting the Archdiocese or centralizing ministries to save costs, appears to be a diversion from the reality that the Archbishop wants more control over the Metropolitans and Metropolises.

    The question the people in the pews must consider is: Will the parishes do better under the local oversight of their Metropolitans or under the Archbishop in New York? The follow-up question is: will the opinions of the people in the pews ever be heard or considered?

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