Kalavryta, Greece, November 28, 2017
After 39 years of service to God in the episcopacy of the Greek Orthodox Church, the dedicated and fiery Metropolitan Ambrose of Kalavryta tearfully announced his retirement to his flock during the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, reports Russian Athens.
Kneeling in front of the Royal Doors of the Faneromeni Mother of God Church in Kalavryta (Peloponnese), the prelate tearfully begged forgiveness of all whom he may have hurt in any way over the many years of his ministry.
“Forgive me, I beg you, forgive me my brothers and my children for my mistakes, my shortcomings, and the imperfections of my character! And glorify with me the name of our Lord!” the metropolitan implored his beloved flock.
Writing in his personal blog, the Kalavryta hierarch noted, “By the grace of God, on Sunday, November 19, 2017, I fulfilled 39 years of pastoral ministry in this historic and holy metropolis,” characterizing his long labor as “39 years of struggle, battle, and strife for the Lord’s glory; creation, joy, pain, tears, and above all prayer! My only recourse in all this martyrdom … has been and still is my recourse to the Lord!”
Met. Ambrose was never afraid to boldly speak the truth. He has often publicly spoken and written of the damage the atheistic authorities in Greece have brought and are continuing to bring to their Church and nation. He has written to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew about the ecumenistic problems with the 2016 Council of Crete, and has not been afraid to publicly chastise even the prime minister.
His Eminence has suffered scorn and persecution at times for his strict Orthodox stances. At some point in the future he will have to stand trial on charges of supposedly publicly inciting violence against gay people and abuse of his ecclesiastical office, stemming from statements he made in 2015 against the co-habitation law that was passed in Greece.
According to the protocol of the Greek Orthodox Church, Met. Ambrose will remain in his position until the end of 2018, thus completing 40 years of labors, and the process of his succession will begin after he leaves the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church.