Monday, October 21, 2013
Reply to Fr. Basil
From: Fr P.
Subject: Fr Basil's False Assertions
Date: September 13, 2012 12:49:37 PM EDT
Reply of Metropolitan Moses to Fr. Basil's false assertions:
We were ordained as bishops of the Church of Greece. That is our canonical Mother Church. The priests were ordained by bishops of the Church of Greece.
When we went under the omophorion of Archbishop Auxentius the Church in Greece was in schism. The legitimate way of describing this schism is GOC-Auxentius and GOC-Chrysostomos Kiousis.
Archbishop Auxentius did not grant any official status of autonomy to the Church in North America.
Everyone in Greece knows that Maximos of Cephalonia ordained Tsakos, the homosexual. Maximos denied this and lied to his Holy Synod and vowed on his panagia, the symbol of his episcopate. For this Maximos was defrocked and excommunicated.
Archbishop Auxentius was summoned to spiritual court three times to defend himself regarding the ordination of Tsakos and he refused to appear. Archbishop Auxentius was defrocked for ignoring the authority of the Holy Synod.
I ask Fr. Basil, do the canons give the authority to a Holy Synod to defrock an Archbishop who ignores the canons? It is my understanding that an Archbishop of a Holy Synod is not an unassailable personality that is above the canonical order of the Church. Perhaps Fr. Basil has a different understanding.
At the time of Archbishop Auxentius' defrockment, Metropolitan Chrysostomos Kiousis had withdrawn from participating in the actions of the Holy Synod. He did not participate in the defrocking of Archbishop Auxentius. He was later asked to lead the GOC and accepted.
At the time of the schism in 1985 only 4 bishops went with Archbishop Auxentius, one of which was Maximos. The 17 other bishops did not follow Archbishop Auxentius. ( A rational person would ask, why did Archbishop Auxentius have so few who remained with him?) Metropolitan Maximos, the ordainer of Tsakos did follow Archbishop Auxentius.
Metropolitan Maximos, the ordainer of Tsakos was the second ordaining bishop of Metropolitan Ephraim, with Archbishop Auxentius. All of the GOC-HOCNA ordinations are from Metropolitan Ephraim's ordination.
Archbishop Auxentius reposed in 1994. Maximos was made the Archbishop and subsequently "ordained" men "bishops," with the help of Demetrios Bifas, a man from Alexandria who was not a bishop of any Church and some say he was not even a priest.
The Holy Synod consisting of Metropolitan Ephraim, Metropolitan Makarios and Metropolitan Athanasios of Larissa summoned Archbishop Maximos to spiritual court in order to investigate and try the case. After Archbishop Maximos was summoned three times and he refused to appear before this Holy Synod, they defrocked him.
I ask Fr. Basil, did this action of defrocking Archbishop Maximos automatically make Metropolitan Ephraim, Metropolitan Makarios and Metropolitan Athanasios of Larissa schismatics or did they actually have the authority to form a spiritual court to judge Maximos?
All of the ordinations in HOCNA come from the ordination of Metropolitan Ephraim, who was ordained by Maximos. The reason why chierothesia was performed over Bishop Sergios and me was "so as to remove all doubt."
We were told that if Metropolitan Ephraim's ordination was by the hand of Archbishop Auxentius and Metropolitan Athanasios of Larissa, things would have been otherwise.
I was never told by any of the bishops in Greece that we were viewed as "graceless schismatics." We were treated as separated brethren who were encouraged to return to unity. I have been treated as a brother bishop during the whole process of my joining the GOC and to this day. There is a camaraderie among the bishops of our Church that has been a source of consolation to me.
The canonical penalties, etc. have been removed form Archbishop Auxentius and his name is in the dyptics of the GOC. I commemorate him at every liturgy.
The canonical penalties against Maximos have not been lifted either by the GOC in Greece or the synod of Metropolitan Ephraim. I was very willing to have the prayer read over me, especially because I knew I was not given the whole history of the Auxentius synod or Maximos before I was ordained.
Fr. Basil speaks in ignorance. He stays in his room at the monastery and constructs a theoretical world that does not exist in reality. In his world the Church has ceased to exist in Greece. His writings on this issue have a veneer of rationality and he uses the word "canonical," when in fact he seems to have an obsession with the personality of the reposed Archbishop Auxentius and a great dislike of being Greek or perhaps of things Greek.
The GOC-Chrysosotmos Kiousis and the GOC-Auxentius both had the same culture and spirituality when we joined Archbishop Auxentius. The only difference was that Archbishop Chrysotomos Kiousis reestablished canonical order and his Holy Synod was actually functioning as a Holy Synod. Archbishop Auxentius was a notoriously bad administrator. I was in Aegina on 7 September and I visited the hermitage of the Elder Ieronymos. While I was there, Mother Eupraxia was talking about the past and, without my prompting, said that the Elder Ieronymos said that "Archbishop Auxentius had the face of a saint, but did not know how to lead." I know that this is a quote from a man who reposed in 1966, but it is the type of quote that one would remember, at least the substance of what was said.
I could point out that Archbishop Auxentius ignored his Holy Synod, when he unilaterally and uncanonicaly "established" the autonomous Metropolis of Portugal, Spain and Western Europe. This group, now called the Milan Synod has a sorry history of serving with anyone and has been a source of confusion to many. I saw a letter from the early 1980's addressed to Archbishop Auxentius, signed by Metropolitan Akakios, Metropolitan Gabriel and Metropolitan Chrysostomos, imploring Archbishop Auxentius to work with and through the Holy Synod and stop by passing them, making unilateral decisions.
Archbishop Chrysostomos provided stability to the Church. The Holy Synod functions as a Holy Synod. The GOC is the largest and only legitimate Old Calendar Group in Greece. I think that the clergy who are moving away from HOCNA should look to the example of Metropolitan Athanasios of Larissa, who united himself to the GOC in 2008 and ended the schism in Greece, rather than a monk who resides in the United States and ponders the fate of Churches from his library.