The moves that have taken place in recent days in the USA show that Archbishop Elpidophoros with the support of the Ecumenical Patriarch did not come only to stay but to show how the leaders in the Church should move.
Those who claim that the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s decision on the Archdiocese of America came as a thunderbolt may not be watching closely what is happening on the other side of the Atlantic.
The Ecumenical Patriarch and the Synodal hierarchs in the Phanar did not decide out of the blue to place Metropolitan Methodios of Boston under a three-month penance of suspension, to transfer Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey by promoting him and to rewrite the Charter of the Archdiocese of America so that the new Charter is more robust and effective.
The outcome was expected for those who closely follow what is happening in the US Orthodox Church. Those who speak and write about “injustice” should perhaps do better research regarding the background of these decisions.
Metropolitan Methodios of Boston supported Archbishop Elpidophoros of America while showing him consideration and appreciation. The one who had a problem with was Fr. Alexios Karloutsos and the plan for changes to the priests’ pension system. It should be noted that both Archbishop Elpidophoros and the Phanar agreed with the actions of Fr. Alexios Karloutsos as the most functional.
However, the Metropolitan of Boston was firmly opposed. He did not agree with these changes and revolted against the Phanar. For what? For the Pension Plan? For Archbishop Elpidophoros who did not listen to the senior Metropolitan of Boston? For Archbishop Elpidophoros who kept Fr. Karloutsos? It does not matter.
The Metropolitan of Boston made mistakes that weakened the Archbishop of America. Archbishop Elpidophoros showed respect for his course. However, the Patriarchal Synod did not condone his anti-church moves and placed him under the penance of suspension.
On the other hand, the Metropolitan of New Jersey never swallowed the election of Elpidophoros. So he decided to make his life a misery. Information indicates that Archbishop Elpidophoros was once found in a church in New Jersey and, instead of giving him the “throne” of the church (showing respect for the institution of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, not the face of the Hopeful), the Metropolitan of New Jersey made him sit in a plastic seat and did not allow him to officiate the service. Such serious things. Attendees still wonder how the Archbishop kept his composure.
QUALITIES OF A LEADER
That is why the Phanar made these “sudden” decisions on the Archdiocese of America. However, they were not that sudden. Archbishop Elpidophoros, in consultation with the Ecumenical Patriarch, shows at a very early stage that they want to stop any attempt to create an unhealthy climate in the US.
So far, Elpidophoros’s determination and Bartholomew’s support are eloquent proof in this direction. They have one goal; not to create a climate like that during the ministry of Archbishop Spyridon. In this regard, Archbishop Elpidophoros has as an ally; not only the Phanar but also almost the entire (serious) Greek community in the USA.
As an experienced hierarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate said: “The US has many issues to resolve and threats from Russians and others plotting its territory in the US to counter. That is why we need a new Charter, a robust and strong leader to marginalize those people of the Greek community and a few clergymen who yell because they lost their comfort zone. Now everyone has to work. Do they believe it? Can they? They will stay. Can’t they? They will go for a walk in the exotic… Sardes.”