January 23, 2015
NFTU received the follow statement, translated into English, by Metropolitan Christophoros of Mesogaia. As many know, Metropolitan Christophoros separated from the Synod of Archbishop Makarios (sometimes called the “Lamian Synod”) when it entered into communion with HOCNA last year. Met. Christophoros and others protested about the union due to the HOCNA stance promoting the Name-Worship (Imiaslavist) heresy. Not long after, Met. Christophoros entered into communion with a Bulgarian bishop. The following statement was issued in response to accusations about his motives from the Imiaslavist (Name-Worshipping) online news agency, “Portal-Credo”.
Metropolitan of Mesogaia and Islands
Response to a vicious publication.
It has come to our knowledge that, a little while ago, the Russian Webpage of ecclesiastical news Portal-credo.ru has published an article concerning my humbleness and with particularly malicious comments.
I don’t know what prompted the editor of the article to concern herself with me, and with what information she drew up what she has written, which, besides her own assumptions that she mentions, doesn’t hide her biased position towards us.
So, I rush to declare to those who happened to read this article and were misled into the misinformation of this publication, that:
1. I was not expelled from the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, as the columnist writes in order to predispose negatively the readers against me, but I was given a regular leave with my priesthood unhampered (document with no. of Prot. 594/14-6-1975 by the Patr. of Jerusalem) and by coming to Greece I became a member of the Church of G.O.C. by his Holiness Archbishop Auxentios. Surely, after the end of my leave and being informed about my integration in the bosom of the G.O.C., the Patriarchate of Jerusalem unfrocked me, as it was expected.
2. My apoteichisis by the Synod of the Archbishop Makarios last year isn’t the result of insignificant reasons, which the columnist is seeking diligently to present. Only for history, I mention that, initially, I was the most fervent supporter of the union between the Synod of the Archbishop Makarios and HOCNA, until many accusations about matters of faith that were related to HOCNA forced me, as an Orthodox Bishop, to ask for a written mutual Confession of faith. Was this act of mine improper? Isn’t this what the tradition of our Church teaches us? Iv’e sent a brotherly letter to HOCNA referring to my concerns, and I also submitted a similar letter to the Synod, as I ought to do. Unfortunately, quite a stretch of time past (5 months) and there was no response from anyone, ignoring both a Bishop and a variety of reactions of monks (mainly from Agion Oros) but also of laymen in and out of Greece. So, I have decided for reasons of conscience to defrock from that Synodical schema, not being able to accept the unorthodox positions of HOCNA. What could be more honest or more sincere! Why should I be interested in the autonomy or autocephaly of HOCNA! Could it be that it was related to my province or my prothierarchy? If nothing else, the reason that the editor of the article expresses, is ridiculous.
3. The Eucharistic Communion I came to with the Metropolitan of Sardiki Mr. Christophoros (Sabev), does not constitute the creation of a Synod, but the combative cooperation of two autonomous Bishops who are inspired by the same Confession of faith and are characterized by their zeal towards Orthodoxy. Why does this bother the columnist? Is it bad to rally for the fight for faith?
4. I also don’t understand the agitation and fear of the columnist about the possibility of expansion of our cooperation to Russia, too. That is to say, there is room for everyone in Russia and there is no place for us? So, when we come to Russia, we will prove to the columnist that there is plenty of room for us.
Finally, I would like to tell the editor of this coarse and ill-mannered article, that the elementary journalistic deontology determines that when a columnist refers to a specific person, he ought to ask for information from the referred to the article or to verify the information he’s got. The journalistic ethics forces also the journalist to be fair and objective and not to be carried away by his personal beliefs, which many times happens to be opposite to his articles. What could we do, sister, not everyone is of your ecclesiastic convictions! You should accept that there are, too, different ecclesiastic positions from your. By expressing yourself with empathy and irony against those who don’t agree with you, you don’t offer anything good but you rather get exposed.
I end these few words with the hope that it won’t be necessary to return.
+The Metropolitan Christophoros of Mesogaia and Islands