Istanbul, October 9, 2020
Met. Methodios of Boston (left), Met. Evangelos of New Jersey (right). Photo: pappaspost.com
On the third day of its current session yesterday, the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople made several major decisions regarding its Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
The Chief Secretariat of the Holy Synod reports the Synod’s decisions:
“It placed into abeyance the force of the Charter of the Holy Archdiocese of America, with the objective of constituting a joint Committee of representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Archdiocese for the composition of a new Charter.
“It placed His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston under a penance of suspension until the Feast of Christmas, on account that he had fallen into canonical transgressions.
“It transferred His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey to the Holy Metropolis of Sardes and appointed as Patriarchal Vicar in the vacant Eparchy of New Jersey, Archbishop Elpidophoros of America.”
Regarding the plans to draw up a new charter for the Greek Archdiocese, many outlets and social media users have speculated that the plan is to reduce the status of the metropolitans of the GOA from diocesan hierarchs to auxiliary bishops under Archbishop Elpidophoros, who would become the ruling hierarch for the entire country.
Metropolitan Methodios has found himself in the news lately, as the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office instructed him to direct his priests to cease serving Holy Communion from a single chalice with a single spoon after a supposed COVID outbreak was found at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Portsmouth last month.
“This practice of using a single, shared chalice and spoon does not comply with Paragraph 15 of the Guidance and therefore, is a violation of Emergency Order 52,” the letter reads. The Metropolis responded that none of the infected had actually received Communion around the time of infection, and that “the Attorney General’s letter raises important issues of Church-State relations.”
Because of this recent trouble, again, many have speculated that this is why Met. Methodios has been placed under suspension.
However, the Synod’s communique specifies that he was suspended for “canonical transgressions,” and OrthoChristian has learned from informed sources that the Metropolitan’s canonical violation was to convene a meeting of the Eparchial Synod to discuss the Archdiocese’s troubled pension fund without the approval of Archbishop Elpidophoros.
Met. Evangelos served in America for 17 years before his election yesterday to the ancient See of Sardis, located in modern Western Turkey.