Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has a very important and hard few days ahead, as the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate will hold a three-day meeting at the Phanar in Constantinople starting on Thursday, May 9, where the Patriarch is expected to complete the procedures concerning the Churches of America, Australia, and Great Britain.
According to Romfea.news, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will be accepting the resignation of Archbishop Demetrios of America, to elect his successor, and prepare the ground for the other two Churches, by promoting administrative divisions and electing new archpriests.
Archbishop Demetrios of America submitted his resignation in writing to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on Saturday, May 4, 2019. According to an official Communique of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Patriarch will present the Archbishop’s resignation at the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Phanar on Thursday, May 9.
According to Romfea, the most predominant successor is Metropolitan Elpidoforos of Prousa and Abbot of the Holy Trinity Patriarchal Monastery in Halki. “Other candidates include Metropolitan Cleopas of Sweden (born in Boston), who was elected in this position five years ago, and, least likely to to be elected, Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago, who serves as a pastor at the particular Metropolis for less than a year. The expatriates in America await that the election of the new Bishop of America shall bring a sense of renewal at the significant center of Orthodoxy in the Western world. The enthronement of the new Archbishop is expected to take place in New York in June, in the presence of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew,” reports the publication.
The second most powerful eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Archdiocese of Australia, is another challenge for Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. “The recent passing of Archbishop Stylianos of Australia, allows Bartholomew to make some bold changes. At the particular Holy Synod of May, it will be decided whether the Archdiocese of Australia will be divided – which is the most probable scenario. The leadership of the Archdiocese of more than one million Orthodox Christians in this huge country is an issue of concern for the Ecumenical Patriarch. Bartholomew stated that they would examine closely all possibilities. According to information, a division is the most probable decision, so as to avoid the creation of a powerful center, as in the case of Archbishop Stylianos,” stated the publication.
Romfea.news also added that if the Archdiocese is not divided, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France is also rumored to be a candidate as the new Archbishop of Australia.
According to the report in Romfea.news the “most probable scenario, in this case, is one and only: the division of this important Archdiocese that constitutes the point of reference that unites hundreds of thousands of Greek Orthodox Christians in Great Britain.” It could be divided into two parts: one Metropolis for Ireland, and the Archdiocese of Thyateira for the rest of Great Britain. Those considered as possible successors of Archbishop Gregory, whose enthronement took place 31 years ago at the significant Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain, are Metropolitan Nikitas of the Dardanelles, who comes from Florida, USA, and the Bishop Makarios of Christoupolis, who comes from Crete.