Dear all,

When we started our blog, we said that it was our stated goal was to bear witness to the truth about the schism here in Adelaide. While we stand by everything that we have said so far, some have criticised this for being completely negative and not offering a positive solution to the problem. While we have made some references to the fact that positive solutions exist on our Facebook page, until now we have not blogged about it nor have we explained the positive solution in detail. This post aims to change that – to emphasise the fact that we do not only want to be negative, but that we also are genuine when we say that we want unity. So here goes.

As we have mentioned on our Facebook page, the Archdiocese has plenty of experience in healing schism for any schismatic community that is willing. There have been several examples of schism being healed in Hobart, Melbourne in Sydney. The examples provide us with a template that can be used as the basis for unity here in Adelaide too.

Specifically, we’re going to look at the Memorandum of understanding between the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW, which was signed by both parties in the offices of the Archdiocese in May 25th of this year (2011). The text was published in the Archdiocese’s bilingual newpaper the Vema in the June edition; unfortunately it does not appear to be available online yet which is why we have included the scanned copy of it linked to it above.

Important highlights from this memorandum:

1. Community’s assets to remain undisturbed

Save as provided for in this Memorandum of Understanding, it has been expressly agreed by the Archdiocese that the administrative and financial independence of the Community will be preserved at all times and that the real estate owned by the Community referred to in this Memorandum of Understanding, and all the Community’s other assets, both moveable and immoveable, shall remain within its [ie the Community’s] sole ownership, custody and control.

In plain English: GOCNSW will retain ownership of everything that it currently owns.

6. Regularisation of sacraments (weddings & baptisms) by Archdiocese

It is agreed that, subject to the amendments referred to in clause 1 coming into effect, the Archdiocese shall, as soon as practicable thereafter, make a formal announcement through its traditional channels to the effect that it offers to recognise any invalid sacraments (weddings and baptisms) conducted by uncanonical priests under the auspices of the Community prior to this Memorandum of Understanding coming into effect. To this end, the Archdiocese’s announcement shall, among other things, invite those seeking to regularise any uncanonical sacraments to contact the Archdiocese for that regularisation to occur by way of formal chrismation and the issue in each case of an Archdiocesan certificate without fee.

In plain English: any sacraments that need to be performed will have their certificates issued for free! (Incidentally, this is already the case in South Australia for any GOCSA-baptised person who wishes to join the Archdiocese.)

So there you have it. When GOCNSW rejoined the Archdiocese, they did not have to pay for their sacraments to be regularised, and they get to keep ownership of the property & bank accounts. So financially, the Archdiocese does not stand to gain much from this union at all.

This just goes to reinforce what we’ve been trying to highlight all along: the Archdiocese does not want your property, and it does not want your money. It wants one thing and one thing only: your souls. It wants to bring them back into the safety of the Orthodox Church, to be ministered by real priests and served real Mysteries (Sacraments) and nourished with the real Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. If this is what you want too, then spread the word! Link to this blog, send people to the Facebook page. Let’s squash these damaging and false rumours once and for all, and hopefully there’ll be nothing left to get in the way of unity!