Effective 12:01am EDT on Friday, Archbishop Demetrios is Former of America, in accordance with the decision of the Holy Synodo of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. It is not known yet whether the Holy Synod will move ahead with the election of his successor, on Saturday, or it will respect the Charter and the Uniform Regulations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
On Thursday, the Archdiocesan Council unanimously approved a letter asking the Ecumenical Patriarchate to proceed with the election of the new Archbishop in accordance with the Uniform Regulations of the Archdiocese of America. The story was first reported by www.greeknewsonline, late on Thursday. A similar letter was signed by the present members of the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese.
In a statement issued Friday morning, the Archdiocesan Council of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, which was meeting for its regular Spring meeting in Atlanta, May 9-10, 2019, informs that it received on Thursday a request from the Ecumenical Patriarchate asking for the Council’s opinion according to article 13 of the Charter to be submitted Friday 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.
Similarly, the Archdiocesan Council supported a lengthy resolution of similar substance unanimously passed by the Administration Committee.
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
Relative Regulations and Charter Articles to the Election of Archbishop
Prepare the Advisory Opinion which consists of the names recommended by the Synod and the Archdiocesan Council in a form and format for submission to the Holy Synod (“Summary Report”). The list of candidates should include no fewer than five (5) names, listed in alphabetical order.
2. A special delegation shall be designated to submit the Advisory Opinion to the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in person. The delegation shall be comprised of the following:
a. Three (3) members of the Synod designated by it but not a member of the Synod or other person who may himself be designated as a candidate in the Advisory Opinion;
b. The Vice President of the Council and two (2) additional members of the Council designated by the Executive Committee; and
c. The Secretary of the Consultation Committee.
3. The delegation shall report to the Council in writing on the substance of its discussions with the Ecumenical Patriarchate within ten (10) days of their conclusion.
ON THE VICAR
In the event of a vacancy in the office of the Archbishop, the member of the Eparchial Synod first in order of seniority of episcopal ordination, or–if he is impaired–the next in rank, becomes the locum tenens by designation of the Ecumenical Patriarch, until the election of the new Archbishop.
PROGRESS IN FINANCES
The report of the Financial Committee showed considerable progress in the financial situation of the Archdiocese. According to the report:
• Audited 2017 financial results showed an excess of revenue over expenses of $1,000,000 of which $350,000 was unrestricted. Positive results achieved due to significant expense cuts and tight financial controls put in place in the summer/fall of 2017.
• Liquidity remained an issue in 2017; bank financing in 2018 eliminated the liquidity issues and allowed for all restricted funds and funds due to St. Nicholas to be restored.
• Preliminary unaudited 2018 financial results show an excess of revenue over expenses of $4,100,000 of which $3,500,000 is unrestricted.
2018 financial results achieved through continued tight financial controls, revenues exceeding budgeted amounts and unfilled budgeted positions.
• Internally generated cash flow has allowed the Archdiocese to advance $2,800,000 to St. Nicholas to pay in full all outstanding vendors in 2018.
• In 2019, borrowings under the line of credit were repaid and the mortgage is being paid as scheduled.
• Continued financial challenges exist with respect to HCHC and the pension plan.