Greek Synod rejects explanations from hierarchs who criticized serving Pascha early, launches investigation with possible canonical sanctions

Athens, August 27, 2021     

The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece met yesterday and Wednesday, resolving to open an official investigation against two metropolitans who openly criticized the Synod’s decision to celebrate Pascha several hours early back in April due to the state-imposed curfew.

His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira and His Eminence Metropolitan Kosmas of Aeitolia appeared before the Synod to offer explanations for their words and actions, but the hierarchs of the Synod were dissatisfied with their resoluteness in their stance.

The matter was thus referred to investigators, pursuant to the Synod’s statues “On Ecclesiastical Courts and the Procedure Before Them,” reports Romfea.

At its session in May, the Synod asked its Committee for Doctrinal and Canonical Issues to gather files on the metropolitans and submit suggestions on how to proceed concerning a letter they wrote and other actions by which they “expressed insubordination and disrespect for the unanimous decision of the collegiate governing body of the Church of Greece regarding the extraordinary procedure for the celebration of the holy services due to health restrictions.”

Following the recommendations of the Synodal Committee, Mets. Seraphim and Kosmas were called to speak before the Synod this week, but “after hearing them, it considered the explanations provided insufficient,” and called upon them to renew their episcopal vows and to give their assurance in terms of compliance with Synodal decisions, according to the Holy Synod’s press release.

Given that the hierarchs rejected this proposal, the matter was turned over to Synod-appointed investigators, with the possibility of a Synodal court hearing and canonical sanctions.

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Matthew8/28/2021 4:23 am
For the sake of clarity, it would be useful to draw a distinction between the Holy Synod, which would include all the bishops of Greece, and the Standing Holy Synod, consisting only of the primate and but 12 bishops. I believe it is the latter which rescheduled Pascha, endorsed the vaccine, and is now looking to sanction these two esteemed metropolitans.
Mikhail8/27/2021 8:07 pm
It is the synod itself that should be sanctioned.
Herman8/27/2021 4:56 pm
I'm having a hard time getting the story straight. I'm reading conflicting information in the various articles I found about this. Did the Metropolitans actually disobey the Synod and celebrate Pascha at the correct traditional time, on Sunday, or did the obey the Synod and celebrate liturgy a few hours early as they were told to? Did they disobey, or did they merely criticize the decision of the Synod? What are they being "investigated" for - criticism of the decision, or disobedience?
Peter8/27/2021 3:34 pm
If they are sanctioned then they should petition the Church of Russia to receive them
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