Recently, supporters of Metropolitan Elpidophoros started to campaign for him as a next Primiate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOArch). Original article by Robert Lewis was republished by several Turkish –American websites just on the eve of 44th Clergy-Laity Congress.
This happens amid fierce fighting between those who want current Archbishop Demetrios to leave and those who blame Phanar (Ecumenical Patriarchate’s headquarters) for instigating and fuelling a ‘crisis’ in the Archdiocese. I’ve already written on the plot against His Eminence Demetrios. Not only Greek Orthodox hierarchs but influential laics, businessmen and politicians, demanded his resignation. Now it seems that Metropolitan Elpidophoros may be behind this, because he is well interested in supplanting the Archbishop.
It’s not the first time when the Archbishop leaves under the pressure of public opinion in the GOArch. His Eminence Demetrios may fail to resist it too. So, Metropolitan Elpidophoros is praised as a crisis manager who will change the situation in Americal Greek Orthodoxy for the better.
How will he do it?
First of all, he’ll take draconian measures to maintain full obedience to the Ecumenical Patriarch. Metropolises will tighten their belts. Objectors will be called enemies of His All-Holiness, Patriarchate, Hellenism in general and even Christ himself.
He is a ‘war’ hierarch who will stop any discussion of such issues as autocephaly for Orthodox Church in America. He’ll dislodge all dissidents who stand for the rise of American Orthodoxy, tradition of consiliarity, development of local and parish initiatives with the envolment of believers, against the tyranny and neo-papism of Phanar. On the contrary, as an expert in Arabic, Metropolitan Elpidophoros will try to take control over pariches of other Churches, those of Antiochian patriarchate in the first place.
Then he’ll change the Charter of the GOArch and restore the power of Archbishop as a representative of Ecumenical Patriarch over metropolitans. And that power would be unlimited. Instead of Archbishop’s spiritual authority growing from rich gifts of Holy Spirit, dictate would be the nature and basis of Elpidophoros’s ruling.
Metropolitan Elpidophoros will be a strong executive, the Manager indeed, but not a spiritual leader as His Beatitude Demetrios. He will take care of finances etc., negotiate with non-Orthodox religious majority, progressive liberal scholars and activists, politicians and sponsors. But will His Eminence care of strenghtening and promotion of Orthodox Christian teaching and spirituality?
What will be next?
Ecumenical Patriarch can see the future that awaits him in what is going on with Archbishop Demetrios. If Metropolitan of Bursa dare to scheme against Geron Archbishop Demetrios, an Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarch, and succeed in that, he obviously won’t stop to do the same against His Holiness Bartholomew himself.
Taking into account wide connections of Elpidophoros with businessmen, authorities, and reportedly – with special services, both in Turkey and the USA, he will be able to accomplish that easily. After spiritual seizure of Constantinople, Elpidophoros will oppress other Autocephalous Orthodox Churches with his papist theology.