During today’s ordination of the elected Metropolitan of Kastoria, Kallinikos, in his speech, the statements of Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens caused a sensation.
In his speech of ordination of the new Metropolitan of Kastoria, the Archbishop said the Synodal decisions must be obeyed and called Metropolitan Kallinikos to turn first to God and then to the Holy Synod, just as he promised, in case he faces difficulties coming from outside but also, unfortunately, from within the Church.
This must happen because obedience to the Church and its Synod is of importance since it is the Synod that is at the helm of the boat.
“Your opinion is probably strong. We respect your freedom and everyone’s freedom, but he should come and tell us “This is what I am” and then leave his duties, retire to his house, his cell, his monastery and from there he can have his own views.
There is a word that many hear and shudder, “I distance myself.” He who disagrees and does not want to follow the line of the Church and that of the Holy Synod comes and says: “What I say is my own beliefs but I must obey the Church. So I give you a piece of paper and tell you that I distance myself. I believe that you will never bring us into such a difficult situation.
I believe you will never choose such a path and in such a way you will support your positions. The unity of the Church is above all because this unity supports the true faith.
These thoughts must prevail in those who are now ascending the steps of the altar but also in those whom we already serve.
The desecration of everything is not dealt with in any other way than with what you have emphasized today, the faith, the roots, the foundations. And we obey them.
We can deviate within ourselves. But we are not in a hurry. We obey the will of the Holy Synod of the Church.
If so, do not be afraid. Another opens the way and becomes passable. The history and the experience of the Church testify to us: Love in Jesus Christ and unity within the institution of the Church.”
The Archbishop also referred to the late Metropolitan of Kastoria, Grigorios and Seraphim, and in the cooperation he had with them. Addressing the new Metropolitan, he stressed that “today you are coming to join the chain of Hierarchs with the love of God and the vote of Hierarchs.”
He also spoke about the good cooperation he has with the Metropolitan of Nafpaktos, noting that it gave him the opportunity to meet important members of the Church.
“From this cooperation, I got to know your humility, your hard work, your knowledge. Many qualifications will be evident in your ministry in the Metropolis of Kastoria. That gave me the courage to nominate you as the most suitable person for this position.”
On his part, in his ordination speech, the Metropolitan of Kastoria, among other things, referred to the work of the Archbishop and his love for the clergy and the people and stressed that he would assist in his struggle for the sake of the Church.
He also thanked the hierarchs who supported him and the Metropolitan of Nafpaktos who taught him the ecclesiastical belief.
He also spoke about his acquaintance with Saint Kallinikos of Edessa, whose name he received, but also about the late predecessor, Metropolitan Seraphim of Kastoria, whose work he will continue.