Langadas, Greece, September 19, 2019
Metropolitan Ioannis (Tassias) of Langadas received the U.S. Consul General Gregory W. Pfleger, Jr. in Thessaloniki together with Xenia Kosmidou, a political and economic specialist at the U.S. Consulate General, recently, reports Romfea.
On Wednesday, September 18, the hierarch met with the U.S. officials, and reportedly discussed “topical issues” concerning “Orthodox Teaching” among other things, as well as “an update on the history and work” of the Church of Greece.
Metropolitan Ioannis made the news recently when he served together with the primate of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” Epiphany, who subsequently claimed the Church of Greece now de-facto recognizes the Ukrainian schismatic movement. This resulted in the Metropolis of Langadas being forced to denounce that claim on behalf of the entire Greek Church, as the Greek Holy Synod of course has not yet decided to recognize the schismatics.
Still, this did not prevent the Metropolitan of Langadas from again serving with a schismatic bishop recently in his diocese, and apparently roping an Alexandrian hierarch into serving with them without his foreknowing or consent; once again, the OCU took it as an opportunity to now claim that the Patriarchate of Alexandria de-facto recognizes them.
This is of course false, as last year, His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria even traveled to Ukraine to personally urge Ukrainians to remain in the canonical Church.
Nevertheless, this was the second time the Metropolitan of Langadas served with the schismatics, despite his Holy Synod not formally approving of it.
The frequency with which Patriarch Bartholomew and other hierarchs and individuals heavily involved in the Ukrainian church issue on the side of the schismatics meet with U.S. officials has been noted. The schismatic leader Epiphany previously met to discuss the issues of the OCU being recognized at the U.S. Embassy.
It is also noteworthy that one of the leaders of the schismatic movements backed by Constantinople in Ukraine, Makary Maletich, declared that Patriarch Bartholomew only granted “autocephaly” because he had U.S. support in the matter.
The U.S. State Department has said multiple times that it backs Ukraine’s “fight” for autocephaly, even though Constantinople’s actions in Ukraine caused great harm for Orthodox unity, especially in America.
It is also noteworthy how frequently figures such as U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt, who literally organized the 2014 Maidan revolution in Ukraine, meet with Patriarch Bartholomew to discuss religious issues. Pyatt previously drew attention to the “U.S. support for the Ecumenical Patriarchate” in a meeting on Mount Athos, and given the long history of the Ecumenical Patriarchate having ties to the U.S. government, this is quite interesting.
Thus, it is interesting to note the meeting of Metropolitan Ioannis with U.S. officials, considering that the Metropolitan was the only known hierarch of the Church of Greece to serve with the Ukrainian schismatics not once, but twice, as there are many hierarchs in Greece, and Langadas is not a particularly famous metropolis.
The Greek Church has yet to make a decision on the issue, but is reportedly under major political, economic, and diplomatic pressure to recognize the schismatics.
The Ukrainian Church crisis, and anyone related to it, has seemingly attracted the attention of both ecclesiastical and political powers from around the world.