In an unprecedented statement issued by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on Friday, it was announced that there would be a teleconference held on October 12 in an effort to “rebuild the Church in America from the ground up” after the charter of the Archdiocese was put into abeyance.
In the statement, entitled “The Mother Church Offers a New Vision to the Archdiocese of America,” the Synod noted that the administrative structures of the Archdiocese, i.e., the Holy Eparchial Synod, the Executive Committee, the Archdiocesan Council, the Clergy-Laity Assembly, as well as the respective structures of the Metropolises will continue to function as they are.
However, it stated that it desired to “strengthen the role of the largest Eparchy of the Mother Church with a new vision and a new Charter suitable for the evolving and changing modern pastoral needs of American society.”
Commenting on the decision, Archbishop Elpidophoros commented on the decision of the Holy and Sacred Synod, noted “We have just received a wonderful opportunity to rebuild the Church in America from the ground up.
“Over the past one hundred years, great hierarchs led the Archdiocese of America, of which the later Patriarch Athenagoras and Archbishop Michael stand out, who consolidated and strengthened our communities. Of course, Archbishop Iakovos was the one who, in his 37 years as Archbishop, transformed our Archdiocese, giving it a leading role in American society.
“Today we feel especially blessed, because with this decision, the Ecumenical Patriarchate gives us the great opportunity to envision and design our Church together in view of its 100th anniversary. All together, clergy and laity, we will participate in a joint committee with our Patriarchate, and we will develop and complete a new plan with new perspectives on Orthodoxy in America for the next 100 years.
“With the Ecumenical Patriarchate, we will establish a joint committee to study the current needs and the dynamics of our Archdiocese and prepare the plan for our new Charter.
“I consider this decision to be divinely inspired and auspicious, because it comes a few days before the name day of the ever-memorable Archbishop Iakovos, during which we recall the glorious past, and prepare for a new century with new visions to strengthen our ministry and renew Pan-Orthodox cooperation. We are all grateful to the leader of Orthodoxy and the Holy and Sacred Synod that is with him.”
The full text of the Patriarchal Communiqué can be read at the following link, here.