Special “Episcopal training” in the Ecumenical Patriarchate?

Sources close to the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the “First Among Equals”, the Patriarchate of Constantinople and “New Rome”, etc., have suggested that the Synod under Patriarch Bartholomew may form a new special training institution within Hagia Sophia where the candidates for the episcopacy will be more adequate candidates after unknown training directly under the supervision of Patriarch Bartholomew. This is not the first time sources within and outside of Greece and Abroad have murmured that the Patriarchate may feel their candidates for the episcopacy are less than qualified for the episcopacy.

To the rest of the world, this may seem a bit redundant. If the Ecumenical Patriarchate views a person or people worthy of being consecrated to the episcopacy, what further training is needed to fulfill their duties as bishop? We are at a loss. The “job” of the bishop within the Orthodox Church is outlined by the holy Fathers, Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Sacred Canons and the Holy Saints. What more is possibly needed? May we suggest “Chastity, Humility, and Patience”? Surely bishops need these traits to guide their flock and keep them away from the Evil One. But alas, let us remember the deposed Patriarch Meletios IV (Metaxakis) whom reigned terror in the Orthodox Church as Ecumenical Patriarch, Archbishop of Athens, and finally the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa.

In the words of the late Patriarch Athenagoras, quote, “Chastity, Humility, and Patience are good, but only for monastics.” (Pastoral Letter to Archbishop Iakovos, Primate of the Greek Archdiocese of America, October, 1960)

(Post edited by Hieromonk Charalampos)