On the Death of Bishop Chrysostomos of Sydney (1929-2010)

(source: synodinresistance.org, Hat Tip to A.C. for all the assistance! Click the Title link for the .pdf from the site with larger images and more photographs not available here)

HOLY DIOCESE OF SYDNEY AND NEW SOUTH WALES

         His Eminence, Bishop Chrysostomos of Sydney and New South Wales Reposes in the Lord

ON TUESDAY afternoon, September 22/October 5, 2010, His Eminence, Bishop Chrysostomos of Sydney and New South Wales, who resided in Greece in recent years because of his advanced age and poor health, reposed in the Lord, at 81 years of age, in Kalamata.

    His funeral was served on the afternoon of the following day, Wednesday, at the newly built Church of the Theotokos the Healer in the village of Asprochoma, near Kalamata. Participating in the service were His Grace, Bishop Cyprian of Oreoi, Acting President of the Holy Synod, His Grace, Bishop Klemes of Gardikion, Archimandrite Father Athanasios, the Reverend Fathers Apostolos Kagioglou, George Jan, and Chariton Mrazek, together with Hierodeacon Father
Joseph. At the conclusion of the service, the two Bishops addressed a few words to the congregation about His Eminence, with special emphasis on his hidden virtues and his exemplary preparation for a peaceful “Christian ending” to his life.

    The Bishop’s remains were afterwards transported to the Holy Heychasterion of the Theotokos, She Who is Quick to Hear, in Petalidi, Messenia, where he was buried in a grave which he had himself prepared in the Chapel of St. John Chrysostomos.

     His Eminence, Bishop Chrysostomos of Sydney and New South Wales, whose name in the world was Nicholas Alemangos, was born in 1929, in Petalidi. He became a monk at the young age of fourteen at the Panagoulaki Skete in Kalamata. He was soon sent to the Holy Mountain of Athos, where he lived as an ascetic in one of the desert Huts under the jurisdiction of the Skete of St. Anne, where he trained under the direction of an Elder and where he learned Iconography. In due time, he was enrolled at the famous Athonias School in Karyes, the administrative seat of the Holy Mountain. During his attendance, he was a brother of the Esphigmenou Monastery.

    The celebration of the thousand-year anniversary of Mt. Athos, in 1963, brought His Eminence into contact with Œcumenical Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople, at whose request he went to the Imperial City (Constantinople) to study theology at the Theological School at Chalki. However, because the Turkish authorities would not allow him to register as a student at the school, since he was a Greek from outside Turkey, he was forced to return to Greece,  where, after his entrance examinations, he was admitted to the Theological Faculty of the University of Thessaloniki. He graduated from the university with “high-
 est honors” in 1969.

     Earlier, in 1967, he had been ordained a Priest and, following the completion of his studies, was sent to Australia to serve the Exarchate of the Œcumenical Patriarchate in that country, under the Greek Archbishop Ezekiel.

     The public and formal joint prayer of Archbishop Ezekiel with the  Pope, in December of 1970, despite the Archbishop’s assurances to Father Chrysostomos, then an Archimandrite, that this would not occur, led  to the latter’s public disavowal of this action and his canonical walling- off from his Bishop for reasons of Faith.

     He was subsequently recruited by the Federation of Greek Communities [communities of Orthodox Greeks who had been, off and on for years, at odds with the official Church in Australia, resulting, in the early 1960s, in an open split with the Archdiocese], wherein he was consecrated a Bishop, in 1971, by Archbishop Spyridon (Ermogenous) of the “Autocephalous Orthodox Church of the Greek Communities of Australia” and Bishops of the Free Serbian Church and the Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. From that point on, he applied himself to founding Churches and schools and taught the Greek language and religion to the children of the Greek immigrant population.

     With the passage of only a few years, his increasingly conscious conviction of the unsound, as well as uncanonical, status and stand of “autocephality” led Bishop Chrysostomos to distance himself from the autocephalous Greek communities and to retreat into ecclesiastical isolation. He continued, at this point, his spiritual and pedagogical service to his own spiritual children, with his See at the Church of the Holy Unmercenaries in Sydney.

    In September of 1993, Bishop Chrysostomos appealed for entry into our Synod in Resistance, and his request was accepted. He was named the Most Reverend Bishop of Sydney and New South Wales and appointed Synodal Exarch in Australia. His official enthronement, by Metropolitan Cyprian, President of the Holy Synod, took place on June 30, 1994 (Old Style), in Sydney.

    His Eminence, Bishop Chrysostomos of Sydney was distinguished for his eloquence and his notable proficiency in homiletics, for his gentle sweetness, and for his love of services and the Church. He showed profound regard and sincere reverence towards the person of our Most Reverend Metropolitan, as well as great love to the brotherhood of the Monastery of Sts. Cyprian and Justina. He built parishes and monastic institutions in Australia and in Greece, in addition to a Metochion (dependency), the Holy Hesychasterion of the Theotokos, She Who is Quick to Hear, on his family estate in Petalidi, where he stayed, after his health  began to decline, until his repose, and where he was buried. Also, on his own initiative, he established the parish Church of the Theotokos the Healer in Asprochoma.

     May the memory of the blessed Hierarch Chrysostomos be everlastng and eternal.

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