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The Bishop Who Consecrated Bishop Matthew of Bresthena Was An “Old Calendarist Ecumenist” Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias, who consecrated Bishop Matthew of Bresthena in 1935, did not have the Gkoutzidis‐style ecclesiology. On the contrary, Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias believed that all of the Patriarchates and Autocephalous Churches that continued to retain the Patristic Calendar were still canonical and Orthodox, even if they had not severed communion with the New Calendarists. Accordingly to this quite moderate ecclesiology, Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias published a Pastoral Encyclical in 1935, in which he writes that the very PURPOSE of the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece was to CO‐OPERATE with the Patriarchates and Autocephalous Churches that kept the Old Calendar! In the said Encyclical we read: “…Remaining faithful to the tradition of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, the ordinances of which our Church respects and unwaveringly retains, we shall collaborate [Greek: synergazometha] with the Orthodox Churches of Jerusalem, Antioch, Mt. Sinai, Mt. Athos, Russia, Poland, Serbia and the remaining Orthodox Churches that keep the Patristic Old Festal Calendar, not acquiescing to remain under the curses and anathemas of the Holy Fathers and the Orthodox Patriarchs, who in Ecumenical and Regional Councils, appointed what is befitting…” The original text in Greek reads: «...Ἐμμένοντες πιστοὶ εἰς τὰς παραδόσεις τῶν ἑπτὰ Οἰκουμενικῶν Συνόδων, τῶν ὁποῖων τὰς διατάξεις σέβεται καὶ διακρατεῖ ἀπαρασαλεύτως ἡ ἡμετέρα Ἐκκλησία [τῶν Γ.Ο.Χ. Ἑλλάδος], θὰ ΣΥΝΕΡΓΑΖΟΜΕΘΑ μετὰ τῶν ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΩΝ Ἐκκλησιῶν Ἱεροσολύμων, Ἀντιοχείας, Ὄρους Σινᾶ, Ἁγ. Ὅρους, Ρωσσίας, Πολωνίας, Σερβίας καὶ λοιπῶν ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΩΝ Ἐκκλησιῶν, αἴτηνες κρατοῦσι τὸ πάτριον παλαιὸν ἑορτολόγιον, μὴ στέργοντες νὰ διατελῶμεν ὑπὸ τὰς ἀρὰς καὶ τὰ ἀναθέματα τῶν Ἁγίων Πατέρων καὶ τῶν Ὀρθοδόξων Πατριαρχῶν, οἴτινες ἐν Οἰκουμενικαῖς καὶ Τοπικαῖς Συνόδοις ὡρισαν τὰ συμφέροντα...» Since Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias believed that the Patriarchates of Jerusalem, Antioch, Russia, Serbia, etc, were valid Orthodox Churches, and that the role of the G.O.C. was to collaborate with them, does this not make him an “Old Calendarist Ecumenist” according to the extremist Gkoutzidian ecclesiology? If so, then that would make Germanus a graceless heretic even at this time that he was consecrating Bishop Matthew. So then, with which grace did he perform the consecration? Behold the original document in Greek, as it was found in the archive of Bp. Kirykos Kontogiannis, and criminally hidden for all of these years:
HERESIES, SCHISMS AND UNCANONICAL ACTS REQUIRE A LIVING SYNODICAL JUDGMENT An Introduction to Councils and Canon Law The Orthodox Church, since the time of the Holy Apostles, has resolved quarrels or problems by convening Councils. Thus, when the issue arose regarding circumcision and the Laws of Moses, the Holy Apostles met in Jerusalem, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles (Chapter 15). The Holy Fathers thus imitated the Apostles by convening Councils, whether general, regional, provincial or diocesan, in order to resolve issues of practice. These Councils discussed and resolved matters of Faith, affirming Orthodoxy (correct doctrine) while condemning heresies (false teachings). The Councils also formulated ecclesiastical laws called Canons, which either define good conduct or prescribe the level of punishment for bad conduct. Some canons apply only to bishops, others to priests and deacons, and others to lower clergy and laymen. Many canons apply to all ranks of the clergy collectively. Several canons apply to the clergy and the laity alike. The level of authority that a Canon holds is discerned by the authority of the Council that affirmed the Canon. Some Canons are universal and binding on the entire Church, while others are only binding on a local scale. Also, a Canon is only an article of the law, and is not the execution of the law. For a Canon to be executed, the proper authority must put the Canon in force. The authority differs depending on the rank of the person accused. According to the Canons themselves, a bishop requires twelve bishops to be put on trial and for the canons to be applied towards his condemnation. A presbyter requires six bishops to be put on trial and condemned, and a deacon requires three bishops. The lower clergy and the laymen require at least one bishop to place them on ecclesiastical trial or to punish them by applying the canons to them. But in the case of laymen, a single presbyter may execute the Canon if he has been granted the rank of pneumatikos, and therefore has the bishop’s authority to remit sins and apply penances. However, until this competent ecclesiastical authority has convened and officially applied the Canons to the individual of whatever rank, that individual is only “liable” to punishment, but has not yet been punished. For the Canons do not execute themselves, but they must be executed by the entity with authority to apply the Canons. The Canons themselves offer three forms of punishment, namely, deposition, excommunication and anathematization. Deposition is applied to clergy. Excommunication is applied to laity. Anathematization can be applied to either clergy or laity. Deposition does not remove the priestly rank, but is simply a prohibition from the clergyman to perform priestly functions. If the deposition is later revoked, the clergyman does not require reordination. In the same way, excommunication does not remove a layman’s baptism. It only prohibits the layman to commune. If the excommunication is later lifted, the layman does not require rebaptism. Anathematization causes the clergyman or layman to be cut off from the Church and assigned to the devil. But even anathematizations can be revoked if the clergyman or layman repents. There Is a Hierarchy of Authority in Canon Law The authority of one Canon over another is determined by the power of the Council the Canons were ratified by. For example, a canon ratified by an Ecumenical Council overruled any canon ratified by a local Council. The hierarchy of authority, from most binding Canons to least, is as follows: Apostolic Canons (Universal) refer to those compiled by the Holy Apostles and their immediate successors. These Canons were approved and confirmed by the First Ecumenical Council and again by the Quinisext Council. Not even an Ecumenical Council can overrule or overthrow an Apostolic Canon. There are only very few cases where Ecumenical Councils have amended the command of an Apostolic Canon by either strengthening or weakening it. But by no means were any Apostolic Canons overruled or abolished. For instance, the 1st Apostolic Canon which states that a bishop must be ordained by two or three other bishops. Several Canons of the Ecumenical Councils declare that even two bishops do not suffice, but that a bishop must be ordained by the consent of all the bishops in the province, and the ordination itself must take place by no less than three bishops. This does not abolish nor does it overrule the 1st Apostolic Canon, but rather it confirms and reinforces the “spirit of the law” behind that original Canon. Another example is the 5th Apostolic Canon which states that Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons are not permitted to put away their wives by force, on the pretext of reverence. Meanwhile, the 12th Canon of Quinisext advises a bishop (or presbyters who has been elected as a bishop) to first receive his wife’s consent to separate and for both of them to become celibate. This does not oppose the Apostolic Canon because it is not a separation by force but by consent. The 13th Canon of Quinisext confirms the 5th Apostolic Canon by prohibiting a presbyters or deacons to separate from his wife. Thus the 5th Apostolic Canon is not abolished, but amended by an Ecumenical Council for the good of the Church. After all, the laws exist to serve the Church and not to enslave the Church. In the same way, Christ declared: “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath (Mark 2:27).” Ecumenical Canons (Universal) are those pronounced by Imperial or Ecumenical Councils. These Councils received this name because they were convened by Roman Emperors who were regarded to rule the Ecumene (i.e., “the known world”). Ecumenical Councils all took place in or around Constantinople, also known as New Rome, the Reigning City, or the Universal City. The president was always the hierarch in attendance that happened to be the first‐among‐equals. Ecumenical Councils cannot abolish Apostolic Canons, nor can they abolish the Canons of previous Ecumenical Councils. But they can overrule Regional and Patristic Canons. Regional Canons (Universal) refer to those ratified by Regional Councils that were later confirmed by an Ecumenical Council. This approval gave these Regional Canons a universal authority, almost equal to Ecumenical Canons. These Canons are not only valid within the Regional Church in which the Council took place, but are valid for all Orthodox Christians. For this reason the Canons of these approved Regional Councils cannot be abolished, but must be treated as those of Ecumenical Councils. Patristic Canons (Universal) refer to the Canons of individual Holy Fathers that were confirmed by an Ecumenical Council. Their authority is only lesser than the Apostolic Canons, Ecumenical Canons and Universal Regional Canons. But because they were approved by an Ecumenical Council, these Patristic Canons binding on all Orthodox Christians. Pan‐Orthodox Canons (Universal) refer to those ratified by Pan‐ Orthodox Councils. Since Constantinople had fallen to the Ottomans in 1453, there could no longer be Imperial or Ecumenical Councils, since there was no longer a ruling Emperor of the Ecumene (the Roman or Byzantine Empire). But the Ottoman Sultan appointed the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople as both the political and religious leader of the enslaved Roman Nation (all Orthodox Christians within the Roman Empire, regardless of language or ethnic origin). In this capacity, having replaced the Roman Emperor as leader of the Roman Orthodox Christians, the Ecumenical Patriarch took the responsibility of convening General Councils which were not called Ecumenical Councils (since there was no longer an Ecumene), but instead were called Pan‐Orthodox Councils. Since the Ecumenical Patriarch was also the first‐among‐equals of Orthodox hierarchs, he would also preside over these Councils. Thus he became both the convener and the president. The Primates of the other Patriarchates and Autocephalous Churches were also invited, along with their Synods of Bishops. If the Ecumenical Patriarch was absent or the one accused, the Patriarch of Alexandria would preside over the Synod. If he too could not attend in person, then the Patriarchs of Antioch or Jerusalem would preside. If no Patriarchs could attend, but only send their representatives, these representatives would not preside over the Council. Instead, whichever bishop present who held the highest see would preside. In several chronologies, the Pan‐Orthodox Councils are referred to as Ecumenical. In any case, the Canons pertaining to these Councils are regarded to be universally binding for all Orthodox Christians. National Canons (Local) are those valid only within a particular National Church. The Canons of these National Councils are only accepted if they are in agreement with the Canons ratified by the above Apostolic, Ecumenical, Regional, Patristic and Pan‐Orthodox Councils. Provincial Canons are those ratified by Councils called by a Metropolitan and his suffragan bishops. They are only binding within that Metropolis. Prefectural Canons are those ratified by Councils called by a single bishop and his subordinate clergy. They are only valid within that Diocese. Parochial Canons are the by‐laws of a local Parish or Mission, which are chartered and endorsed by the Rector or Founder of a Parish and the Parish Council. These by‐laws are only applicable within that Parish. Monastic Canons are the rules of a local Monastery or Monastic Order, which are chartered by the Abbot or Founder of the Skete or Monastery. These by‐laws are only applicable within that Monastery. Sometimes Canons are only recommendations explaining how clergy and laity are to conduct themselves. Other times they are actually penalties to be executed upon laity and clergy for their misdeeds. But the penalties contained within Canons are simply recommendations and not the actual executions of the penalties themselves. The recommendation of the law is one thing and the execution of the law is another. Canon Law Can Only Be Executed By Those With Authority For the execution of the law to take place it requires a competent authority to execute the law. A competent authority is reckoned by the principle of “the greater judges the lesser.” Thus, there are Canons that explain who has the authority to judge individuals according to the Canons. A layman can only be judged, excommunicated or anathematized by his own bishop, or by his own priest, provided the priest has the permission of his own bishop (i.e., a priest who is a pneumatikos). This law is ratified by the 6th Canon of Carthage, which has been made universal by the authority of the Sixth Ecumenical Council. The Canon states: “The application of chrism and the consecration of virgin girls shall not be done by Presbyters; nor shall it be permissible for a Presbyter to reconcile anyone at a public liturgy. This is the decision of all of us.” St. Nicodemus’ interprets the Canon as follows: “The present Canon prohibits a priest from doing three things… and remission of the penalty for a sin to a penitent, and thereafter through communion of the Mysteries the reconciliation of him with God, to whom he had become an enemy through sin, making him stand with the faithful, and celebrating the Liturgy openly… For these three functions have to be exercised by a bishop…. By permission of the bishop even a presbyter can reconcile penitents, though. And read Ap. c. XXXIX, and c. XIX of the First EC. C.” Thus the only authority competent to judge a layman is a bishop or a presbyter who has the permission of his bishop to do so. However, those who are among the low rank of clergy (readers, subdeacons, etc) require their own local bishop to try them, because a presbyter cannot depose them. A deacon can only be judged by his own local bishop together with three other bishops, and a presbyter can only be judged by his own local bishop together with six other bishops. The 28th Canon of Carthage thus states: “If Presbyters or Deacons be accused, the legal number of Bishops selected from the nearby locality, whom the accused demand, shall be empaneled — that is, in the case of a Presbyter six, of a Deacon three, together with the Bishop of the accused — to investigate their causes; the same form being observed in respect of days, and of postponements, and of examinations, and of persons, as between accusers and accused. As for the rest of the Clerics, the local Bishop alone shall hear and conclude their causes.” Thus, one bishop is insufficient to submit a priest or deacon to trial or deposition. This can only be done by a Synod of Bishops with enough bishops present to validly apply the canons. The amount of bishops necessary to judge and depose a priest are seven (one local plus six others), and for a deacon the minimum amount of bishops is four (one local plus three others). A bishop must be judged by his own metropolitan together with at least twelve other bishops. If the province does not have twelve bishops, they must invite bishops from other provinces to take part in the trial and deposition. Thus the 12th Canon of Carthage states: “If any Bishop fall liable to any charges, which is to be deprecated, and an emergency arises due to the fact that not many can convene, lest he be left exposed to such charges, these may be heard by twelve Bishops, or in the case of a Presbyter, by six Bishops besides his own; or in the case of a Deacon, by three.” Notice that the amount of twelve bishops is the minimum requirement and not the maximum. The maximum is for all the bishops, even if they are over one hundred in number, to convene for the sake of deposing a bishop. But if this cannot take place, twelve bishops assisting
Project Canterbury The Episcopal and Greek Churches Report of an Unofficial Conference on Unity Between Members of the Episcopal Church in America and His Grace, Meletios Metaxakis, Metropolitan of Athens, And His Advisers. October 26, 1918. New York: Department of Missions, 1920 PREFACE THE desire for closer communion between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the various branches of the Anglican Church is by no means confined to the Anglican Communion. Many interesting efforts have been made during the past two centuries, a resume of which may be found in the recent publication of the Department of Missions of the Episcopal Church entitled Historical Contact Between the Anglican and Eastern Orthodox Churches. The most significant approaches of recent times have been those between the Anglican and the Russian and the Greek Churches; and of late the Syrian Church of India which claims foundation by the Apostle Saint Thomas. Evdokim, the last Archbishop sent to America by the Holy Governing Synod of Russia in the year 1915, brought with him instructions that he should work for a closer understanding with the Episcopal Church in America. As a result, a series of conferences were held in the Spring of 1916. At these conferences the question of Anglican Orders, the Apostolical Canons and the Seventh Oecumenical Council were discussed. The Russians were willing to accept the conclusions of Professor Sokoloff, as set forth in his thesis for the degree of Doctor of Divinity, approved by the Holy Governing Synod of Russia. In this thesis he proved the historical continuity of Anglican Orders, and the intention to conform to the practice of the ancient Church. He expressed some suspicion concerning the belief of part of the Anglican Church in the nature of the sacraments, but maintained that this could not be of sufficient magnitude to prevent the free operation of the Holy Spirit. The Russian members of the conference, while accepting this conclusion, pointed out that further steps toward inter‐communion could only be made by an oecumenical council. The following is quoted from the above‐mentioned publication: The Apostolical Canons were considered one by one. With explanations on both sides, the two Churches were found to be in substantial agreement. In connection with canon forty‐six, the Archbishop stated that the Russian Church would accept any Anglican Baptism or any other Catholic Baptism. Difficulties concerning the frequent so‐called ʺperiods of fastingʺ were removed by rendering the word ʺfastingʺ as ʺabstinence.ʺ Both Anglicans and Russians agreed that only two fast‐days were enjoined on their members‐‐ Ash‐Wednesday and Good Friday. The Seventh Oecumenical Council was fully discussed. Satisfactory explanations were given by both sides, but no final decision was reached. Before the conference could be reconvened, the Archbishop was summoned to a General Conference of the Orthodox Church at Moscow. During the past year the Syrian Church and the Anglican Church in India have been giving very full and careful consideration to the question of Reunion and it is hoped that some working basis may be speedily established. As a preliminary to this present conference, the writer addressed, with the approval of the members of the conference representing the Episcopal Church, a letter to the Metropolitan which became the basis of discussion. This letter has been published as one of the pamphlets of this series under the title, An Anglican Programme for Reunion. These conferences were followed by a series of other conferences in England which took up the thoughts contained in the American programme, as is shown in the following quotation from the preface to the above‐mentioned letter: At the first conference the American position was reviewed and it was mutually agreed that the present aim of such conference was not for union in the sense of ʺcorporate solidarityʺ based on the restoration of intercommunion, but through clear understanding of each otherʹs position. The general understanding was that there was no real bar to communion between the two Churches and it was desirable that it should be permitted, but that such permission could only be given through the action of a General Council. The third of these series of conferences was held at Oxford. About forty representatives of the Anglican Church attended. The questions of Baptism and Confirmation were considered by this conference. It was shown that, until the eighteenth century, re‐baptism of non‐Orthodox was never practiced. It was then introduced as a protest against the custom in the Latin Church of baptizing, not only living Orthodox, but in many cases, even the dead. Under order of Patriarch Joachim III, it has become the Greek custom not to re‐baptize Anglicans who have been baptized by English priests. In the matter of Confirmation it was shown that in the cases of the Orthodox, the custom of anointing with oil, called Holy Chrism, differs to some extent from our Confirmation. It is regarded as a seal of orthodoxy and should not be viewed as repetition of Confirmation. Even in the Orthodox Church lapsed communicants must receive Chrism again before restoration. The fourth conference was held in the Jerusalem Chapel of Westminster Abbey, under the presidency of the Bishop of Winchester. This discussion was confined to the consideration of the Seventh Oecumenical Council. It is not felt by the Greeks that the number of differences on this point touch doctrinal or even disciplinary principles. The Metropolitan stated that there was no difficulty tin the subject. From what he had seen of Anglican Churches, he was assured as to our practice. He further stated that he was strongly opposed to the practice of ascribing certain virtues and power to particular icons, and that he himself had written strongly against this practice, and that the Holy Synod of Greece had issued directions against it.ʺ Those brought in contact with the Metropolitan of Athens, and those who followed the work of the Commission on Faith and Order can testify to the evident desire of the authorities of the East for closer union with the Anglican Church as soon as conditions permit. This report is submitted because there is much loose thinking and careless utterance on every side concerning the position of the Orthodox Church and the relation of the Episcopal Church to her sister Churches of the East. It seems not merely wise, but necessary, to place before Church people a document showing how the minds of leading thinkers of both Episcopal and Orthodox Churches are approaching this most momentous problem of Intercommunion and Church Unity. THE CONFERENCE BY common agreement, representatives of the Greek Orthodox Church and delegates from the American Branch of the Anglican and Eastern Association and of the Christian Unity Foundation of the Episcopal Church, met in the Bible Room of the Library of the General Theological Seminary, Saturday, October 26, 1918, at ten oʹclock. There were present as representing the Greek Orthodox Church: His Grace, the Most Reverend Meletios Metaxakis, Metropolitan of Greece; the Very Reverend Chrysostomos Papadopoulos, D.D., Professor of the University of Athens and Director of the Theological Seminary ʺRizariosʺ; Hamilcar Alivisatos, D.D., Director of the Ecclesiastical Department of the Ministry of Religion and Education, Athens, and Mr. Tsolainos, who acted as interpreter. The Episcopal Church was represented by the Right Reverend Frederick Courtney; the Right Reverend Frederick J. Kinsman, Bishop of Delaware; the Right Reverend James H. Darlington, D.D., Bishop of Harrisburg; the Very Reverend Hughell Fosbroke, Dean of the General Theological Seminary; the Reverend Francis J. Hall, D.D., Professor of Dogmatic Theology in the General Theological Seminary; the Reverend Rockland T. Homans, the Reverend William Chauncey Emhardt, Secretary of the American Branch of the Anglican and Eastern Association and of the Christian Unity Foundation; Robert H. Gardiner, Esquire, Secretary of the Commission for a World Conference on Faith and Order; and Seraphim G. Canoutas, Esquire. The Right Reverend Edward M. Parker, D.D., Bishop of New Hampshire, telegraphed his inability to be present. His Grace the Metropolitan presided over the Greek delegation and Dr. Alivisatos acted as secretary. The Right Reverend Frederick Courtney presided over the American delegation and the Reverend W. C. Emhardt acted as secretary. Bishop Courtney opened the conference with prayer and made the following remarks: ʺOur brethren of the Greek Church, as well as the Anglican, have received copies of the letter to His Grace which our secretary has drawn up; and which lies before us this morning. It is clear to all those who have taken active part in efforts to draw together, that it is of no use any longer to congratulate each other upon points on which we agree, so long as we hold back those things on which we differ. The points on which we agree are not those which have caused the separation, but the things concerning which we differ. So long as we assume that the conditions which separate us now are the same as those which have held us apart, we are in line for removing those things which separate us. We are making the valleys to be filled and the mountains to be brought low and making possible a revival of the spirit of unity. It is in the hope of effecting this that we are gathered together. Doctrinal differences underlie the things that differentiate us from each other. The proper way to begin this conference would be to ask the Greeks what they think of some of the propositions laid down in the letter, beginning first with the question of the Validity of Anglican Orders, and then proceeding to the ʺFilioque Clauseʺ in the Creed and other topics suggested. ʺWill His Grace kindly state what is his view concerning the Validity of Anglican Orders?ʺ The Metropolitan: ʺI am greatly moved indeed, and it is with feelings of great emotion that I come to this conference around the table with such learned theologians of the Episcopal Church. Because it is the first time I have been given the opportunity to express, not only my personal desire, but the desire of my Church, that we may all be one. I understand that this conference is unofficial. Neither our Episcopal brethren, nor the Orthodox, officially represent their Churches. The fact, however, that we have come together in the spirit of prayer and love to discuss these questions, is a clear and eloquent proof that we are on the desired road to unity. I would wish, that in discussing these questions of ecclesiastical importance in the presence of such theological experts, that I were as well equipped for the undertaking as you are. Unfortunately, however, from the day that I graduated from the Theological Seminary at Jerusalem, I have been absorbed in the great question of the day, which has been the salvation of Christians from the sword of the invader of the Orient. ʺUnfortunately, because we have been confronted in the Near East with this problem of paramount importance, we leaders have not had the opportunity to think of these equally important questions. The occupants of three of the ancient thrones of Christendom, the Patriarch of Constantinople, the Patriarch of Antioch and the Patriarch of Jerusalem, have been constantly confronted with the question of how to save their own fold from extermination. These patriarchates represent a great number of Orthodox and their influence would be of prime importance in any deliberation. But they have not had time to send their bishops to a round‐table conference to deliberate on the questions of doctrine. A general synod, such as is so profitably held in your Church when you come together every three years, would have the same result, if we could hold the same sort of synod in the Near East. A conference similar to the one held by your Church was planned by the Patriarch of Constantinople in September, 1911, but he did not take place, owing to command of the Sultan that the bishops who attended would be subject to penalty of death. ʺIn 1906, when the Olympic games took place in Athens, the Metropolitan of Drama, now of Smyrna, passed through Athens. That was sufficient to cause an imperative demand of the Patriarch of Constantinople that the Metropolitan be punished, and in consequence he was transferred from Drama to Smyrna. From these facts you can see under what conditions the evolution of the Greek Church has been taking place. ʺAs I have stated in former conversations with my brethren of the Episcopal Church, we hope that, by the Grace of God, freedom and liberty will come to our race, and our bishops will be free to attend such conferences as we desire. I assure you that a great spirit of revival will be inaugurated and give proof of the revival of Grecian life of former times. ʺThe question of the freedom of the territory to be occupied in the Near East is not merely a question of the liberty of the people and the individual, but also
THE EASTERN - GREEK ORTHODOX BIBLE :
The Second Public Communication of the Holy Synod of the G.O.C. in 1935 Recognizes the Patriarchates of Jerusalem, Antioch, Serbia, etc In the below Encyclical by the three GOC hierarchs, the statement is made that the reason why the New Calendarists are schismatic is because they separated themselves liturgically from the Churches of Jerusalem, Antioch, Serbia, etc, who chose to remain with the old calendar. In saying this, it means that the three hierarch still considered the above Old Calendarist Patriarchates to be part of the Church. Far removed is this from the false theory of Bp. Kirykos who claims that the Old Calendarist Patriarchates all fell in 1924 even if they retained the old calendar. Bp. Kirykos refers to anything opposing such a belief as “Old Calendarist Ecumenism.” But if this is the case, then Bp. Kirykos himself has his consecration from the hands of Bishop Matthew, who had no problem receiving consecration from the hands of these three hierarchs, despite their clearly open “Old Calendarist Ecumenism” exemplified in the below Encyclical they published in May, 1935, as their official communication to the Orthodox people. PASTORAL ENCYCLICAL of the Most Eminent Metropolitans of the Autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church, Germanus of Demetrias, Chrysostom formerly of Florina, and Chrysostom of Zacynth .
ENCYCLICAL OF METROPOLITAN GERMANUS OF DEMETRIAS, PUBLISHED AND DISTRIBUTED IN MAY 1935 The following flyer was published and distributed throughout the Metropolis of Demetrias in May, 1935, after Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias and two other hierarchs had officially returned to the old calendar. The section has been emphasized in bold print where Metropolitan Germanus describes that he and his fellow hierarchs have the purpose of collaborating with the Old Calendarist Patriarchates and Autocephalous Churches. This proves that although the three hierarchs did denounce the State Church of Greece as schismatic, they did not regard the Churches of Jerusalem, Antioch, Mt. Sinai, Mt. Athos, Russia, Poland, Serbia, etc, to be schismatic, but on the contrary, they viewed them as “collaborators.” Bishop Matthew accepted consecration at their hands despite this, and he was also fully aware of the fulfilment of this obligation when the Holy GOC Synod (to which Bishop Matthew belonged) decided to send Metropolitan Chrysostom of Florina to Jerusalem and Antioch for this very purpose in 1936. Is this not “Old Calendarist Ecumenism” as described in the mind of Bp. Kirykos Kontogiannis? The below document was taken from Bp. Kirykos’ own archive at Koropi. This document has been hidden in this archive for several decades. It cannot be said that Bp. Kirykos is unaware of it, because together with the original document there was also a photocopy of the same document, upon which the controversial statement is underlined with a pen. Whose pen might that be? For it to be underlined it means it was not only read but attention was also drawn towards it. So the question remains: Why has Bp. Kirykos failed to publish such an important document? What could be his excuse other than the fact that he hides such documents on purpose in order to get away with falsifying GOC history to suite his fanatic one‐sided positions? A true Orthodox bishop does not hide the truth from his flock by choosing to reveal only the documents that suit him. A true Orthodox bishop reveals the truth, be it in his favour or not. Thus, Bp. Kirykos proves to be a false bishop. His own archive betrays him. The original document in Greek is available as a scanned image, while the below is an English translation: HELLENIC REPUBLIC METROPOLITAN OF DEMETRIAS Pious priests, honourable wardens of the Churches, and remaining blessed Christians of our most holy Metropolis. A qualification sine qua non for every pastor is to have love towards our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ. “Do you love me?” our Saviour asked Peter, “Tend my sheep.” Love and faith towards the Saviour and towards the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church that He founded, is what we bishops confess officially before God and men when we take up the hierarchical dignity, certifying that we desire, by divine succour and confidence, to unwaveringly retain the faith of Christ and the holy traditions completely spotless. Upon reaching a thirty‐year period of shepherding the God‐saved eparchy of Demetrias, we retained, with fear of God, the holy traditions, protecting the flock of Christ from every opposing attack, becoming a faithful witness of the divine and holy canons and traditions of our Church. Unfortunately, men speaking perversely received the succession of the Holy Church of Greece, and, perverting the truth, they substituted it with falsehood and deceit, disregarded the Holy Canons and the Holy Traditions, causing obvious spiritual damage. Our objections were in vain. Our protests were to no avail. Not considering even one of all of these [objections and protests], they disregarded the Festal Calendar [Greek: Heortologion] of our Church, which is inextricably linked to the Paschal Rule [Paschalios Canon], the Sunday Cycle [Kyriakodromion], the fast of the Holy Apostles, and the worship in general, introducing instead of the Orthodox Festal Calendar (Julian), the Gregorian (Frankish) calendar. We, due to love for the Church, for twelve entire years did not cease to advise and admonish the innovators, pointing out the downhill direction the Church had taken leading to the future severing of the unity of the One Holy Church of Christ, and the arising discords, attitudes and riots, but unfortunately we were not listened to. With great sorrow and contrition of heart we were compelled, together with other hierarchs, to overthrow and expel the Gregorian calendar, keeping it only for the daily life and political necessities of the Christians, while embracing the Festal Calendar of our Church, based on the Julian Calendar which was adopted for use by our Church at the Ecumenical Council of Nicea. Remaining faithful to the tradition of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, the ordinances of which our Church respects and unwaveringly retains, we shall collaborate [Greek: synergazometha] with the Orthodox Churches of Jerusalem, Antioch, Mt. Sinai, Mt. Athos, Russia, Poland, Serbia and the remaining Orthodox Churches that keep the Patristic Old Festal Calendar, not acquiescing to remain under the curses and anathemas of the Holy Fathers and the Orthodox Patriarchs, who in Ecumenical and Regional Councils, appointed what is befitting. We are convinced that you shall follow us to the fields of evangelical grace, just as the shepherd treads before the sheep and the sheep follow him, and do not follow, but rather flee, from anything alien. For about 150 years, emperors, hierarchs and mighty men upon the earth were expelling the holy icons from the churches, but the Faith of the Christians proved to be victorious, triumphantly restoring [the icons] to the churches, because “this is the victory that has conquered the world, namely, our Faith.” Whenever the people felt their faith being disgraced, they supported and retained [their faith] unscathed and unfalsified throughout the centuries. Therefore stand fast and hold the Orthodox Traditions, keep the Patristic Festal Calendar, namely, the Julian. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may deprive you of your crown, namely, Orthodoxy. In Athens, May, 1935. Your fervent supplicant to Christ, + Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias