The process for the revision of the Charter of the Archdiocese of America is in full swing, with the aim of providing the largest diocese of the Ecumenical Patriarchate with the basic tools for the modernization of its administration, which will lead it to its second century, in the spirit of the decisions of the Holy Synod of the Phanar.
Archbishop Elpidophoros of America has begun dialogue and meetings with the clergy, while at the same time a website for questions, comments and suggestions has been launched, which is accessible to the whole flock of the Archdiocese. However, the revision process evolves at a time when – in an underhand manner – a strong tedency towards thr Autocephaly of the Archdiocese of America, has been manifested both by clergy but also by metropolitans with basically… financial and in no way religious arguments. No one overlooks the fact that the Archdiocese of America, with the help of the powerful Greek community, finances (in relation to the other dioceses) the (Ecumenical) Patriarchate in order to meet its multifaceted needs. But some have in mind the money, ignoring the national reasons that call for the strengthening of ties with the Phanar. The minimal weakening of ties, as ecclesiastical sources note, would affect the heart of Orthodoxy.
In this context, those who from the beginning did not positively view the election of Archbishop Elpidophoros to the head of the Archdiocese of America continue their campaign of defamation and slander – with the help of a small number of ambitious expatriates but also of Greek diaspora media that no longer have much influence. They have been claiming that the Archbishop is “pro-Turkish” and develops relations with Turkish prominent figures in the US in order to serve his ambition to be a strong and powerful candidate for the succession of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. In this way, they overlook that Archbishop Elpidophoros is a genuine child of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, born and raised at the Phanar, and that he strictly adheres to his main course of action. He, therefore, seeks to strengthen ties with the Phanar – which was pointed out by the Ecumenical Patriarch himself when he visited the headquarters of the Archdiocese of America and stated that Archbishop Elpidophoros was “the best”. He, moreover, faithfully follows the orders of the Ecumenical Patriarch, and has put some matters higher on his agenda, such as the reopening of the Theological School of Chalki. As its abbot, he himself managed to make the matter known internationally. Another important matter he put on the agenda is the protection of the freedoms of our minority in Constantinople but also the restoration of Hagia Sophia to its previous status.
With this in mind, the Archbishop of America is expected to meet with clergy of the Metropolis of Chicago, as well as Metropolitan Nathaniel of Chicago, in the context of the meetings and the dialogue on the revision of the Charter. According to the Archdiocese of America, even those who support the Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in the USA and attack the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew personally are listening to those who support the Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in the USA. Thus, it is possible to be put on the agenda questions about the necessity of Autocephaly of the Archdiocese of America.