GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AMERICA
Date: May 10, 2019
ARCHDIOCESAN COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY APPROVES LETTER TO ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE
ATLANTA – The Archdiocesan Council of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, which is meeting for its regular Spring meeting in Atlanta, May 9-10, 2019, received yesterday a request from the Ecumenical Patriarchate asking for the Council’s opinion according to article 13 of the Charter to be submitted today by 2:00 p.m. EDT.
After consideration, the Executive Committee and the Archdiocesan Council as a body considered the matter, drafted, unanimously approved and sent to the Ecumenical Patriarchate the letter that follows.
May 9, 2019
His All Holiness
Archbishop of Constantinople
New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch
At the Phanar
Your All Holiness,
Christ is Risen!
We extend to you our love and greetings in the name of our Risen Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
We recognize the exclusive privilege and canonical right of our beloved Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to elect the next Archbishop of America and pray that the Grace of the Holy Spirit guide you in that election. The layperson members of the Council’s Executive Committee have asked us to humbly submit this letter.
First, we express our gratitude to our Mother Church for its wisdom in granting the Church in America an Archdiocesan Charter, and approving Archdiocesan Regulations, that provide our beloved Holy Eparchial Synod and the Archdiocesan Council with a specific, meaningful and substantive advisory role in the election of the Archbishop of America.
To our surprise and concern, we were informed today, May 9, 2019, that the Ecumenical Patriarchate has afforded the Archdiocese only until 2:00 p.m. Eastern time tomorrow, May 10, to commence and complete the advisory process required by the Archdiocesan Charter and Regulations–a time frame that makes it impossible for us to complete this task. We stand ready to complete the required advisory process, with appropriate speed and diligence, should we be permitted a reasonable time period of at least thirty (30) days to conduct the process. In the interim, we respectfully ask that, in accordance with the Charter, the most senior member of our Holy Eparchial Synod, Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, be designated by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to serve as locum tenens, until the completion of a meaningful advisory process and subsequent election.
In the meanwhile, we respectfully ask the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to give every possible consideration, for election to the office of Archbishop of America, a member of our esteemed and beloved Holy Eparchial Synod.
We pray that the election decision will serve to strengthen the sacred bond between our Holy Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church in America and promote and preserve the unity and order of our Holy Archdiocese.
With deepest respect and love,
Your servants in Risen Christ
George Tsandikos, Vice President
Catherine Bouffides Walsh, Secretary
Elaine Allen, Treasurer
Dimitrios Moschos, Former President
Constantine Caras, Administration Committee Chair