The National Herald - October 7, 2010
Metropolitan Paisios Announces Resignation
from St. Irene Monastery
By Theodore Kalmoukos
BOSTON - Metropolitan Paisios of Tyana has resigned as abbot of the St. Irene Chrysovalantou Patriarchal and Stavropegial Monastery in Astoria, NY. He submitted his resignation in a letter to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew dated Tues. October 5, 2010. The Metropolitan cites health concerns as the reason for his resignation, and asks for permission to leave the United States. Nevertheless, The National Herald has been informed that the real reason for his resignation is due in part to recent publications in TNH's Greek sister edition regarding the monastery's breakaway dependency in Florida and its recently defrocked priest Theofanis Lemonakis. This issue first came to the forefront following a revealing interview with TNH given by Bishop Vikentios of Apameia on Sep. 9, 2010.
The Ecumenical Patriarch has referred Metropolitan Paisios' resignation to the Holy Synod in Constantinople, which will meet to discuss the issue on Tues. Nov. 2, 2010. In the meanwhile, Bishop Vikentios of Apameia, who is the monastery's Deputy Abbot, will assume the duties of the abbot.
Metropolitan Paisios announced his resignation to his close associates on Wednesday evening Oct 6, following a supplication service.
As previously reported by TNH, Rev. Lemonakis, who served under Metropolitan Paisios' jurisdiction in Florida while on loan from the Church of Crete, was defrocked by the Church of Crete after forming a breakaway church together with a group of 30-35 parishioners not far from the dependency where he once served.
Metropolitan Paisios was reportedly aggravated over Bishop Vikentios' comments to TNH during his interview regarding the Metropolitan's decision to assign Lemonakis to the dependency in Florida as well as a series of the Metropolitan's decisions regarding their Astoria-based Patriarchal Monastery and its dependencies located all across the United States.
Following this interview, the Ecumenical Patriarchate summoned both Metropolitan Paisios and Bishop Vikentios to the Phanar to explain the situation, but there are rumors of deeper reasons that compelled Metropolitan Paisios to resign from his post.
Neither Metropolitan Paisios or Bishop Vikentios had responded to TNH's calls at the time this article was published.
It should be noted that Metropolitan Paisios and Bishop Vikentios were initially clerics of the traditionalist Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece, which is not recognized by any of the canonical Orthodox Churches in the world.
Following a falling out with church leadership in Greece, the two men operated their monastery independently throughout much of the 1980's and 1990's.
During the late 1990's, Archbishop Spyridon of America helped forge an agreement between the two men and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Following their acceptance into the Patriarchate, they were reordained and assigned as patriarchal bishops to oversee the St. Irene Monastery and its dependencies in the United States.
[ Orthodox Truth | www.orthodox-truth.bugs3.com/art_2010_paisios.html - October 7, 2010 ]