The Greek Australian VEMA - August 6, 2003

Pastoral report and denouncement by Archbishop Stylianos
to the Sacred Centre of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

His All Holiness
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
and Members of the Holy Synod

Your All Holiness and Your Eminences, Brothers in Christ,

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and those who are great exercise authority over them.
Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires
to become great among you, let him be your servant.”

(The Lord, Mat. 20:25)

Therefore, in the Name of the Holy and Consubstantial and Life-giving and Undivided Trinity, I affirm the following on the basis of my Episcopal honour and conscience, having as my only motive the esteem and stability of the all-venerable Ecumenical Throne, yet no less the peace and unity of its faithful in every place.

Thus I state and at the same time denounce with fear of God that:

Through the isolated secretiveness of the sudden ‘election’ (on July 21, 2003) of the now lamentable former Assistant Bishop of mine Joseph of Arianzos as Metropolitan of New Zealand, you have of course knowingly committed a multiple injustice, both in relation to my inviolable rights within my Eparchy, and in relation to the peace and unity of the Clergy and Lay people who struggle fervently here.

And although I feel yet again terribly mistreated and betrayed, I still allowed, out of cordial and brotherly sentiment, a sufficient amount of time to pass since that which was dared on July 21, 2003, so as not to respond ‘in the heat of the moment’, thereby perhaps causing injustice of any kind to persons involved in any way or extent in this truly unprecedented ‘tragedy’. Through such a prudent, I believe, delay, there has arisen, apart from the necessary sobriety, the added moral gain in that the Extraordinary Meeting of the Archdiocesan Council, especially called for this purpose, has already taken place (4-8-2003). With the participation of its many members from all parts of Australia, the Council has used official evidence to give a clear picture of the criminal conduct over recent months of the fugitive and accused former Assistant Bishop of mine, now also theologically laughable as we shall see below.

It is highly indicative of his manifold guilt that, although canonically summoned (by my Pastoral Order of 21 July, 2003, as Chairman of the Council but also as the Archbishop to the mentioned Assistant Bishop), he did not give us any reply, not even a negative one! In what authority was all of this done?

With the profane audacity of his now fully revealed conspiratorial and foolish conduct, and moreover with the vain assurance that, through the apparently ‘unconditional’ yet unfortunate promise of ‘protection’ by the venerable Centre at the Patriarchate, he, miserable that he is (!), believed he could have secured his ‘impervious’ and steadfast position.

However, despite the unexpected and totally sudden occurrences in our affairs, I firmly believe that the ‘drama’ that was dared on July 21, 2003, was probably allowed as a concession of God(!)…so that we may all realize how ‘mutually destructive’ the course might be for the sacred Ship of the Church as navigated by the Phanar (Constantinople) mainly since 1995, so that by humbling ourselves we can open our eyes, even at the last minute.

To ‘open our eyes’ can only mean repentance that is expressed through actions:

To ‘reconstruct into more canonical order’ – as I had respectfully ‘suggested’ in writing and with forbearance from the very beginning – the inviolable Synodical structures and functions of the Great Church of Christ which are truly valid throughout the Orthodox world, for the benefit of our Church as a whole, as well as its constantly humbled and scandalized Clergy and Lay people, as we are already in the 21st century, when even in Turkey(!), the ‘arbitrary government of the Sultan’ is now unacceptably anachronistic and a punishable practice of the past.

How else could one explain this inconceivable and totally unprovoked ‘tempest’ from the venerable Phanar against the author, if not as a concession of God? What have each of you individually, or collectively, to accuse him of?

Have you considered, Your All Holiness, what we shall hand over to the younger Church ‘leaders’ of the People of God everywhere, as a God-pleasing example of the First- Throne Mother Church, even for its own stability in God amidst ‘wolves’, if we continue to permit the well-known intrigues of the few already rejected individuals within the unhesitating oligarchy surrounding you?
Could it be that the tragic words should come true of Metropolitan Meliton of Philadelphia (from a young age diabolical in dexterity and wickedness) which he had repeatedly mentioned to me in moments of supposed sincerity, when I had still naively believed him and had contributed in all possible ways for the benefit of the Throne? His ‘confession’ still rings in my ears as a macabre and completely abominable cynicism: “I know, Geronta, that we are unfortunately the grave-diggers of the Institution!”

Yet regardless of all these dreadful things:

Have we still not realized, Your All Holiness, that my humble person in the first instance, having faced grave danger recently on account of my health, as well as Metropolitan John of Pergamon who unrepentantly and out of self-interest always advises improperly from the sidelines, as well as you personally no less, all find ourselves, after many hardships, beyond 60 years of age, and are now in the final straight of our passing “from the more sorrowful to that which is more joyful”?

In what state will we present our soul to God, Your All Holiness, if we do not overturn in time the certain disaster that is now before us due to recent provocations, which have exposed us in the eyes of all Greeks and all Orthodox?

‘Let us stand well’, Your All Holiness!
Let us stand honourably, Brothers!
Let us all stand with fear of God!

On many occasions I had respectfully reminded you with forbearance that ‘God cannot be mocked’! But in vain!

In order to assist unselfishly and honourably in the present, as I have always done until now, the Holy and Great Church of Christ which has reared me since I was a child – as it has each of you more so – I shall recommend herewith what urgently needs to be done:

Without the slightest delay, we are all obliged not only to formally save face, but also to safeguard the essence and the peace and the unity of the Church, especially that of our unacceptably tormented community here – due to old schisms and continual charlatanism – before which you in the Phanar today unfortunately so easily close your eyes and ears!

I hope and trust that this responsible Pastoral Report of mine, which is offered with complete sincerity and unwavering dedication to the Ecumenical Throne and to the People of God, will be appreciated properly and accepted appropriately.

In any event, I shall never commit ‘Matricide’!

At the same time, however, under no circumstances will I leave unprotected from ‘violation’ and gradual ‘destruction’ (AS YOU HAVE DONE IN THE UNITED STATES SINCE 1995!) this exemplary, by the grace of God, Eparchy of the Patriarchate which we have organized with enormous efforts, as everybody knows, together with the heroic people of God here in Australia.

For these reasons:

I. Do not think even for a moment, I ask you, that I, together with my trustworthy Clergy and Lay co-workers, do not know precisely ‘who’ it is and ‘for what reasons’ a particular individual ‘pulls the strings’ from the sidelines in the audacious conspiratorial actions between the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Magriotis and the grandiose ‘leaders’ of the Schismatic groups – now completely diminished and extremely politically aligned to the Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) and the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), while bearing the known historic ‘seals’ – who are of course not even accepted from afar by the majority of the people of God here.

At any rate, they have triumphantly proven, both in theory and in practice, that they no longer have anything in common with the ‘faithful’, and especially with the ‘Orthodox’!

In other words, it is not only their outrageous and ungodly ‘Constitutions’, which you had referred to us some time ago. It is also their continual displays of atheism and public debauchery during the most sacred days of Holy Lent, under the ‘noble’ (!) co-ordination of Mr Magriotis’ Council for Hellenes Abroad (SAE) and the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad.

Consequently, it would be more desirable for Your All Holiness to try instead, together with Mr Magriotis who is so eager to serve the Church (!), to reclaim the historical Churches of Galatas within your own Archdiocese, which were grabbed by Papa-Efthim, rather than the former garages supposedly turned into Church buildings by those from Lakemba, Sydney, who buy and sell Christ.

It is therefore clear, most clear, that following the successful visit of the President of the Hellenic Republic Mr Stefanopoulos to Australia, Mr Magriotis and Mr Dollis and the mentioned ‘leaders’ of the Schism in Sydney, literally used every effort to sabotage the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, in order to impose through all possible means the famous SAE (Oceania region) which you had originally described as a “disastrous plan” (please make the effort to read your Patriarchal letter of 12-7-1994 addressed to me!).
Although we had stopped (through the magnificent 9th Clergy-Laity Congress) the ‘operatic’ attempts of Mr Magriotis – in systematic and secretive co-operation with the ‘bad demon of the Church’, Met. Meliton of Philadelphia – to lead the Ecumenical Patriarchate into making an unheard of and peculiar ‘intervention’ in the Apostolically established rights of the Archbishop in this furthest Eparchy of the Patriarchate, we know very well that these matters will not easily come to an end.

Following that notorious ‘Synodical’(?) four-page letter, concerning the Parish-Community of Oakleigh(!) by which you hastily tried to ‘teach’ your Hierarch, now grey-haired through long struggles related to his pastoral responsibilities, together with other similarly unacceptable provocations, we have unfortunately reached the point beyond which we can go no further in this manner:

The ‘election’ of the fugitive and accused former Assistant Bishop of mine as Metropolitan of New Zealand without my knowledge or permission, whose Nomocanonical Report to the 9th Clergy-Laity Congress it appears that neither you within the Patriarchate have read, nor he himself remembers any longer, essentially constitutes my ‘assassination’, which I did not cause, and shall not tolerate. I demand restoration through proper repentance and related ‘catharsis’ of those who are mainly responsible, something which I am entitled to in many ways and which I will strive for through every means of divine and secular law.

II. To make it even clearer just how exposed you have become ‘Synodically’ on account of this unprecedented injustice, I am compelled to present several simple questions. In particular:

a) What is the difference between the case of my former Assistant Bishop, Serafim Mentzelopoulos of Christianopolis, who also deceived us while staying here briefly, and that of the greater deception, ingratitude and betrayal of Assistant Bishop Joseph Harkiolakis of Arianzos?

Why did you advise the mentioned Mentzelopoulos – and rightly so – to submit his request for permission to leave our Archdiocese in writing, and hierarchically through his Archbishop? To his credit, he did so, formally at least humbling himself and personally bringing his request for resignation to my office in Sydney, where I exercised the strictest critique towards him in the presence also of my other Assistant Bishop, Vicar-General Seraphim of Apollonias.

In stating this, we are of course overlooking – for the time being(!) - the unacceptable neglect shown by you on this occasion also to my fully substantiated Report/Proposal concerning Assistant Bishop Serafim of Christianopolis who was under my jurisdiction, and for whom I proposed a suspension of at least one year, because he had deceptively gained the most sacred Episcopal office here! To what benefit, then, was the Report/Proposal of the responsible Archbishop?

Curiously, you did not even try to reprimand or impose a simple censure upon him! Instead there were only big promises and a rewarding ‘flattering’ letter, which he has shamelessly shown.

b) Is it possible under any circumstances for the Guardian Church, which is first in honour, to pardon, encourage or (even worse!) reward Assistant Bishops who are swindlers and deserters, thus gravely scandalizing the faithful who believed in them, causing the greatest disappointment and unjust ridicule for their Archbishop who treated them magnanimously and with Christian forbearance?

Please tell me, Brothers, how our faithful will trust such ‘Assistants’ in the future who, having evolved with hypocrisy into exploiters and rebels, are then rewarded by the venerable Phanar, instead of being disciplined? Is this how the Ecumenical Patriarchate wants its ‘Assistants’ to be?

c) Have you honestly questioned, even for a moment, what could have possibly intervened, in order for my Assistant Bishop Joseph, who for an entire 16 years, apart from being from my own birthplace, presented himself as the most dedicated of all – to the point of using his gift for speaking to include servile praises on festive occasions – to then suddenly turn around as a demonized apostate and become ungratefully hostile?

The ‘key’ to his complete ‘transfiguration’ is unfortunately his boundless and hasty Ambition, like that of Lucifer, expressed unhealthily even since 1994, but in a particularly unbearable way during his last two years in Melbourne.
Precisely this obvious and diabolical weakness was exploited by the ruthlessly cunning Meliton of Philadelphia, conspiring with who knows how many others besides Mr Magriotis, in order to supposedly offer you his ‘good services’, as if catching in a net the now foolish, but previously very crafty, Assistant Bishop Joseph of Arianzos.

And it is without doubt that, if you had cared to read even fleetingly the two letters of exhortation of 17-4-2003 and 26-5-2003 (each only two pages long!) to my then Assistant, written with clear leniency and fatherly concern, which we hurriedly sent you via the G. Vicar-General Theoliptos of Ikonium and the Undersecretary Elpidoforos, Your All Holiness would not have dared to do the unthinkable.

Furthermore, if you had also read, even in passing, the supposed response of my Assistant Bishop Joseph to my frightful grievances, which he expressed in 17 pages of verbosity, you would have easily noted three issues, which today expose you before your enormous responsibilities within the entire Church:

Firstly: That the Bishop of Arianzos, by diabolically and deliberately misinterpreting the Holy Canons (Canon VIII of the 1st Ecumenical Synod and XII of the 4th Ecumenical Synod), identifies today’s Assistant Bishops with the Ruling Bishops of the first centuries (!) in an attempt to portray me as a deficient theologian, as a falsifier, and as one who is inconsistent and irreverent, because I dared “appoint two Bishops in the same city”!

Hypocritically, he writes that all the problems have no relation with my other Assistant Bishop in Melbourne, about whom he declares unashamedly, despite all the facts that have been absolutely substantiated: “I state to you once again with an entirely clear conscience that I deeply respect the holy Brother, both publicly and in private. He has shown me much love since my arrival in Australia and for this I am deeply grateful to him. He, too, laid his right hand on my head during the hour of my ordination to the Episcopate and I do not forget this”. He then inserts the climax of his Luciferous disposition in order to avoid any collaboration with the Bishop of Dervis: “Not only that I might not appear as the “Assistant of your Assistant” but that we might not also contravene the Holy Canons which prohibit the co-existence of two Bishops in one city (VIII of the 1st and XII of the 4th Ecumenical Synod)”. (Surely you would have reminded him that, in London, the Ecumenical Throne avails itself of an Assistant Bishop in almost every central Church!).

Secondly: Demonstrating a Luciferous arrogance towards my humble person, not only does he slander me as unjust, recanting, inconsistent, and as erring in theology, but he also accuses me of envying him because he has twice attained a Doctorate! However, he makes absolutely no mention of his attempt, together with non-Orthodox who proselytize our youth in the populous Greek-Australian community of Melbourne, to establish an “INDEPENDENT INSTITUTE FOR ORTHODOX STUDIES” so that, quite effortlessly, he might be able to be called a Professor, because I did not accept to permit him to teach our students at St. Andrew’s Theological College in Sydney, thereby running the risk of converting them to hypocritical adherents of the mentality expounded by Metropolitan Kantiotis of Florina in Greece.

Thirdly: He was found to have committed ungodly perjury associated with lowly and secretive requests both on Professor M. Orfanos as well as on the only staff member of our Adelaide office who, without my knowledge and permission, ‘should have’ followed him to Melbourne. And this impiously, without showing any consideration for his future successor in Adelaide - which he struggled through all means to leave. The subsequent Bishop would have been deprived of the mentioned invaluable and truly singular staff member, who permanently resides in Adelaide with his Australian wife and their children, born in the same city.

Were I to enumerate further deceitful and contemptible acts of the Assistant Bishop in question, who greatly deceived the piety and kindness of our faithful, as well as my own long-suffering, I would have to write an entire volume.

I restrict myself to the above so that, at last, you might have a complete picture of what a ‘gem’ you took from here with such totally unnecessary commotion! For, do not doubt for a moment that I would have released him without another word, had you even rudimentarily respected my canonical rights here with regard to the said Assistant Bishop who bolted from Australia, swept away fatefully by the pathos of his ambition.
Now, because I know that you have already mostly destroyed whatever Ecclesiological Essays or other bothersome Reports I have sent you regarding the prevailing attitude (in Constantinople) concerning administration, so that they might be considered non-existent – as I was informed in due course by a signed letter of that most sly Meliton – I am, as a result, compelled to unequivocally declare the following:

Do not doubt that all my Ecclesiological and absolutely substantiated and signed Reports to the venerable Centre – in the form of Memoranda, Submissions, Essays, Protesting Reports or other vital Questionings, all exist in a Special File in the Archives of our Archdiocese and will be published in due course (the timing will depend entirely upon you).

And because they are not libels concerning ‘the sexual idiosyncrasies of person A or B’ but are instead documents that are clearly full of anguish which seek only the true interests of the Mother Church, they have already been given the title ‘Documents of Pain’.

As a result, in order to resolve the unacceptable problem created with my former Assistant Bishop who has committed manifold offences here in Australia and has been unacceptably covered by the venerable Centre, I suggest the following as the only solution to this drama:

On the pretext that you were not aware of such corrosive and damaging actions perpetrated up until the final moment of his departure by night in order to venture to the Phanar unsuspectedly, you will order him to return immediately and be tried here by a body of Fellow-Bishops, thus recognizing, albeit belatedly, my just postulate.

And this, in the – certainly dubious - event that his responsible and immediate Shepherd might somehow not be considered entitled to impose upon him any penalty!

The suggested Body of Fellow-Bishops may indeed convene as a Spiritual Court comprised not only of my other Assistant Bishops here, but also of Orthodox Bishops of other jurisdictions belonging to the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Churches of Australia (SCCOCA) who are Sovereign Hierarchs, and even with the dispatch of two Synodical Hierarchs from the venerable Centre who will act as his ‘Advocates’, given that you elected him unanimously!

I am prepared for the Spiritual Court in question to be conducted not only in the presence of Lecturers in the relevant subjects of our Theological College, but even, should you so wish, in a public Meeting so that all may know through irrefutable and relevant local witnesses, precisely who my former Assistant Bishop of Arianzos is and what his actions were here.

Your All Holiness, if within three days from the receipt of this present letter I do not receive an official Patriarchal Letter, accepting or rejecting my most justified postulate, I will be obliged to publicize this letter, not only to all Hierarchs of the Throne around the world, but also generally to the public domain. And in such a situation, do not think that there will be a repetition of what occurred with Archbishop Methodios of Thyateira!

The well-paid counsels of Metropolitan John of Pergamon and of Vlasios Feidas, or of anyone else, are not able, even in the slightest, to judge the character and eternal validity of the Holy Canons through which all manner of conspiracy or human arrogance was countered, thus sustaining our Martyric Orthodoxy, and especially the sacred Ecumenical Throne.

Unfortunately, all that was published by the ‘decapitated’ former Archbishop Methodios of Thyateira in his recent book exposes us irreversibly, especially during the present tragic hour of the most acute confrontation with Archbishop Christodoulos of Greece.

And I say that the official documents published by the mistreated Methodios in photocopy irreversibly expose us, because we are all informed and aware now that the individuals who are creating such problems in the Church today, were the very same instigators back then, despite the fact that the Holy Synod had much material, based on the audacity of Methodios’ conduct, to indict and try him.

As a final observation, I state from now that I will not accept the excuse that the Synod will not be meeting until August 15, so as to answer responsibly and straightforwardly in a confidential Patriarchal letter. I know how the Synod functions from some years ago, for which reason I ask you to consider, with fear of God, how critical this moment is.

We are in a period of prayer and fasting from the Transfiguration of our Lord up until the Dormition of the Theotokos. I fervently hope that both these sacred boundaries strengthen you accordingly to rise to these responsibilities. I will unceasingly commemorate your name, as I have a totally different understanding than you concerning the sacredness of such commemoration (cf. ‘A Two-Way Pathogeny’ in THE VEMA of the Church, August 2002), for which reason ‘I shall not repay in the same way’. However, I shall also not cease to denounce the captivity of the Hierarchs of the Throne abroad, who alone can give true life and glory to the greatly oppressed venerable Centre at Phanar.

Submitting all the above with much sorrow, following the Resolutions of the Extraordinary Archdiocesan Council meeting called for this purpose and which are soon to be published, I await a responsible reply as mentioned, and remain

In Sydney 6th August 2003
Feast of the Holy Transfiguration

[ The Greek Australian VEMA - September 2003 - pp. 13/29 - 15/31 ]
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