December 2013


His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and All Greece – the real Archbishop of Athens. Beware of impostors. Source: Church of Greece

Dear readers,

It seems that Christodoulos, Mr Athanasiadis and their friends of the so-called “Holy Orthodox Metropolis of Australia & Oceania” have been busy over the Christmas break. Perhaps motivated by jealousy of the attention that GOCSA’s scandals have been attracting, not to be outdone they have decided to have a go at their own.

According to their news page (see 20/12/2013), they are undertaking an expansion of their presence here in Australia, having increased the number of member parishes in the “Holy Metropolis” by a whopping 50% in this Christmas period! This sounds impressive… until one realises it means they’ve increased their number of parishes from two to three!

Their newly established parish is a “monastery” here in Adelaide (of no fixed address as yet) dedicated to St John the Forerunner & Baptist. It seems they are planning to celebrate their inaugural feast day on the Synaxis of  the Forerunner (7th of January) 2014 at a local venue.

By setting up yet another competing “Orthodox” jurisdiction for Adelaide’s Orthodox of Greek descent (in direct competition with both the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and GOCSA), they are further cementing the schism that began back in the beginning of 2012. Perhaps there is a bit of spite going on here over the way Christodoulos was unceremoniously dumped by GOCSA (for reasons that still remain a mystery to us). It seems that Christodoulos and friends still haven’t learned the point of the simple message that we posted at Christmas (one Christ – one Church) – or perhaps they think that the Holy Virgin gave birth to the Word of God as triplets on that blessed day?

Of course, the so-called “Holy Orthodox Metropolis of Australia and Oceania” is neither Holy, nor Orthodox, nor a Metropolis, nor is it of Oceania (in fact, with only three parishes and in only three States it barely even qualifies as “of Australia”). Their head (“Archbishop” Seraphim) claims to be the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece while living on the tiny island of Salamina – when (as we pointed out a couple of months ago) the real Archbishop of Athens is His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos and he actually lives in Athens. Seraphim was of course deposed by the Church of Greece (in 1984), as reported by Neos Kosmos, and so any “services” celebrated under him are no more legitimate or canonical than those of GOCSA (which is to say, neither of them are legitimate or canonical Orthodox jurisdictions). We advise all of our readers to stay well clear on the 7th of January (and indeed every day).

Such is Christodoulos’ Christmas gift to the Greeks of Adelaide – an amusing little sideshow. Or rather, it would be amusing if it weren’t so serious & so sad.

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The Nativity of Christ. Source: Orthodox Church in America

Your birth, Christ our God,
dawned upon the world as the light of the knowledge.
for then those who worshiped the stars were taught by a star
to reverence you, the Sun of righteousness,
and to know you are the dawn from on high.
Lord, glory to you!

Christ is born! Glorify Him! As we celebrate the Feast of the Nativity (According to the Flesh) of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ, let us remember that when He took on flesh, He only assumed one Body. So must the Church also be one. Let us pray that that day will come soon to our city.

We pray that all of our readers have had a blessed and safe time this Christmas.

Dear readers,

On the basis of the correspondence sent to Mr Nigel Hunt of the Advertiser by Mr Petros Haros (that is, the fake “Archbishop Petros”), the concerns of those people who approached the State Supreme Court to halt the fake “ordination” of Mr Kanavas appears to have been entirely warranted. An ever-darkening cloud continues to hang over the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia (GOCSA). Many Greek Orthodox Christians within the Canonical Orthodox Church are sincerely concerned for the faithful in GOCSA and these circumstances. There is no triumphalism. We are praying in Christ for these Greek Christian faithful, as we would for our own brothers and sisters, for their return home to their Canonical Orthodox Church, as have almost all of the former GOCSA “priests” including Fr Nicholas Despinoudis and Fr John Pokkias.

St Dionysios of Zakynthos, whom we commemorated yesterday (17th of December). Source: Orthodox Church in America.

This dark cloud has hung over the Greek Community in Adelaide since the late 1950s, when the then GOCSA Committee defied the then Metropolitan and later Archbishop Ezekiel, Primate of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople’s Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, and chose schism from the entire world-wide Canonical Orthodox Church, instead of choosing to follow the path of patience, obedience and humility in Christ, prayer, faith and hope and the use of Canonical processes within Holy Tradition that were and are available for their perceived grievances to be addressed. The Greek Orthodox faithful that were forced to depart GOCSA by that Committee’s action, again built up the Canonical Archdiocesan Church in Adelaide.

This schism has continued to divide some families and has resulted in the loss of many (especially younger) Greek-Australians to the Orthodox Church and Faith – the same Church and Faith that sustained the Greeks, the Serbians, and the Bulgarians, through centuries of Turkish rule and enslavement, the same faith that sustained the Russians, Ukrainians and Georgians through the years of Mongol and Communist Rules and the same faith in the Holy Spirit that sustained the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church through 2000 years of persecution. The Lord said: “I will build My Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven…” (Matt 16:18/Orthodox Study Bible).

Those who left the Church, perhaps searching for the Lord, may not have experienced or witnessed sincere Orthodox Christian Faith and life, but possible only saw worldly attitudes, cultural politicking, and misplaced emphases that insulted true Orthodox Christian Faith. Perhaps these people perceived that the Church was only a bastion of Greek culture and ethnicity, rather than a place in which, the Faithful worshipped Christ and which preached Faith in Christ and His Holy Church. The saying: “to be Orthodox one does not have to be Greek, but to be Greek, (or Serbian, Bulgarian, Russian or Ukrainian) one has to be Orthodox” has probably caused much heartache for those for whom the Faith is a stumbling block. This is not the place to discuss socio-cultural theory and the core values of our culture in which the Orthodox Church protected our cultural heritages and identity, whether you are Greek, Serbian, Russian etc. But if you wish to understand and see and hear what is the very core of our Greek Byzantine culture then look first at the significance, beauty and joy of Holy Pascha, and the Resurrection of Our God, Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Lord is at the heart of our Orthodox culture, not a “Greekness” without Christ.

GOCSA has effectively reduced its “churches” to a sideline social activity or an addendum to its community services. If the Orthodox faith is an inconvenience, and GOCSA would rather be rid of it, then convert your “churches” into bingo halls, Greek cultural palaces and cafes and leave the descriptor Orthodox and Christian out of your name. Look at the GOCSA website site Our Churches/Religion Information which for years has carried the following: “Sorry. This page is closed for maintenance.” Maintenance indeed! Every other page seems to be working well with the GOCSA website!

The matter regarding the so-called mutual “defrockings” or “depositions” between Mr Panagiotis (aka Prokopios) Kanavas and Mr Petros Haros, is now a point of mirth. The levels of stupidity have now reached new heights or should we say depths! Who first deposed whom, is of very little consequence. Both are fake “bishops”. The incredible irony is, of course, that both are judging each other using the one and same Canon Law by which they themselves were deposed by the Canonical Orthodox Church (see here for Mr Kanavas and here for Mr Haros). They have with all due “righteousness”, “integrity” and “indignation” shown an incredible dedication to upholding and using the Canons of the same Orthodox Church that deposed them, to depose each other, while completely denigrating the Canonical Church.

Mr Haros volunteered that he “ordained” Mr Prokopios without the accepted checks, credentialing and examination used by the Canonical Church, which he implies are the standards he upholds. What does that say about his devotion to upholding Holy Tradition and Canon Law with his all his mind, strength and being as is expected of a Bishop. Indeed, one would be almost certainly deposed for ordaining a Bishop in this manner, unless one was suffering a neurocognitive impairment. Who has heard of ordaining a man whom he did not know at all, on the hearsay of another person whom he also apparently did not know well enough? No preliminary “Synodal” recommendations, assessments, discussions and interviews. No reports from any Spiritual Father or Confessor. No assessment of performance and suitability. No checks. No documentation. No background check. No police check. No personal communication or meeting. Nothing!! Absolutely nothing!! All Mr Haros reports was the recommendation of a member of the GOCSA Committee. Who has ever heard of this? People in the secular world of companies & employment even do more due diligence than this when hiring a new employee, or appointing a new director to a company. Is the Bishop’s standing so devoid of any respect, so absolutely cheap, and such a joke, that it didn’t matter, even pretentiously for appearance’s sake, to look as if you had done something…anything… in the way of due diligence (even if you fabricated the evidence)? Why cry foul now when you decided to ordain in this manner contrary to the Holy Tradition, which you say that you uphold? After all, as a “Bishop” (and especially an “Archbishop”) the buck stops with you! Why hurry to ordain? What was the urgency or incentive to ordain? Or perhaps, this was a result of not being able to play the façade of being a (fake) “Archbishop”, or are there other reasons? And then we hear his story that he was later threatened with legal action by Mr Kanavas. If this is true where is the proof? Where is the resulting legal action either here or in Greece? Of course, in Greece, if you are not recognised as a Church in any case, the courts would essentially be trying to sort out a squabble between two men who are deluded enough to think they both are Bishops, and who have both deposed each other, via their fake Synods. If any of this is remotely true, then one worries even more about GOCSA.

Both Mr Haros and Mr Kanavas have weaved stories and misrepresentations to each other and to those that have trusted them. The antics of the so-called Holy Orthodox Metropolis of Australia and Oceania (HOMAO) (another uncanonical and schismatic group consisting of 3 deposed clergy in Australia), is as essentially pathetic as the story of the so-called Former Exarchate of Alexandria (Haros Synod) and the now Former Exarchate of Alexandria (“Prokopios” Synod) both claiming to control the so-called Autocephalic Greek Orthodox Church of American and Canada (AGOCAC) and the Autocephalic Greek Orthodox Church of America and Australia (AGOCAA). The relationship breakdown between the Federation of Greek Orthodox Communities of Australia (FOGOCA) and the so-called “priests” in HOMAO has been documented.

Mr Kanavas, if you are Canonically ordained, please show the relevant documents so that they can be seen and crosschecked with their relevant Synod, because all relevant Canonical Church Synods claim that you are deposed. If the letters of the relevant Autocephalous Churches documenting your deposition are fabrications, then what have you done about it (as it would appear that an incredible injustice has been done to you)? What has been the legal follow-up? Please show the letters of communication between yourself and the Patriarchate of Jerusalem addressing this matter. After all, if this is such a great misunderstanding or mistake, or the Patriarchate of Jerusalem are lying; then all is very, very wrong, and would require follow-up within the appropriate channels and appeals.

Likewise if you have a tertiary qualification or completed courses then please present the relevant degrees and documentation. If you have lost them, then do you have your University Student Numbers, or any other correspondence or documentation with the relevant University of Academic Institutions, which can be presented as showing that you completed a degree or diploma, or perhaps a course of study, or were admitted for study to a University before perhaps deferring or withdrawing or whatever? Have you documentation or correspondence showing your concern about the University’s lack of responsibility and apparent negligence concerning their lack of knowledge of your attendance. Surely you must have some documentation of something? If all this is lacking then what has been your course of action about having your grievance addressed by the relevant University or Academic Institution?

Are you not concerned that Mr Haros has made these claims? They are easily sorted out by simply showing the credentialing paperwork that you have obviously sent to him for the purposes of being “ordained” a “Bishop”, as well as referees reports including that of your spiritual father(s) and confessor and your declaration that there is nothing, absolutely nothing precluding you from the bishopric.

Of course all this shows the incredible façade being played out by Mr Kanavas, Mr Haros and their cohorts. Mr Kanavas is a fake “Bishop”, “Metropolitan”, and “Exarch”, and GOCSA and all of its “clergy” are uncanonical. GOCSA is at the cross-roads. They need to know when to cut their losses and stop throwing “good money” after bad.

St Dionysios of Zakynthos forgiving the murderer of his brother. May we all have this capacity to forgive. Source: Antiochian Village.

The Good News

The Good News is that the Orthodox Church, specifically, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia welcomes its children home to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Have courage, as did your former “clergy”. The Faithful of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia will continue in Christ, with sincerity, and without triumphalism, to pray for those in GOCSA, and those who have left the Canonical Orthodox Church altogether, to come to Christ in humility and love. We pray that St Dionysios, whom we commemorated yesterday (as every year) on the 17th of December, pray for GOCSA and all of our people. St Dionysios the Archbishop of Aegina is an incredible example of forgiveness, mercy, and love.

God is love, and if we live in God, we live in His Love. The Orthodox Christian faithful are baptised in Christ in His One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, our Holy Orthodox Church, Our Mother in which we are led in faith and Theosis, through the Prayers of The Holy Theotokos and all the Saints, no matter the sins, failings, mistakes, shortcomings of all within the Church whether Patriarchs or lay. We do this with boldness in faith, because as St John the Theologian writes in his First Epistle: “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgement; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because he first loved us. If someone says I love God and hates his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother (1 John 16-21 Orthodox Study Bible).

God bless you and our people through the Prayers of the Holy Theotokos and Saint Dionysios of Zakynthos.

Dear readers,

There is a well-known saying that goes “you can fool some people all of the time, and all people some of the time, but you can’t fool all people all of the time” (and small variations thereof). This statement is true and applies especially to con-artists and compulsive liars – eventually their lies catch up with them and they are found out. Sadly, as recent revelations have again confirmed, such is the case with our “venerable Metropolitan” Mr Kanavas.

In the light of these recent revelations, and in honour of the George Street Greek Festival (which is being held this weekend), we thought it might be interesting & timely to revisit an old post that we captured by Mr Kanavas way back in November 2011, when our Facebook page was still running. On this occasion we criticised GOCSA (and particularly the parish of “St Nicholas”) for planning to serve meat at their inaugural George Street Festival, when the festival was being held during a fast when meat & dairy are not permitted (an error they have repeated this year). In response, Mr Kanavas hit back with criticisms against the Monastery of St Nectarios and the Parish of St Nicholas, Wallaroo:

Mr Kanavas claims (in 2011) that he has been a priest for 13 years

Mr Kanavas claims (in 2011) that he has been a priest for 13 years (and no, St Nicholas @ Wallaroo did not offer meat during the Christmas fast).

Mr Kanavas’ unfounded counter-criticisms

Although it is not the main thrust of our post, nevertheless it behooves us to briefly mention that all of his counter-criticisms are completely misguided:

  • It is not unheard of for monasteries to be in cities (eg, the famous  Monastery of Stoudios in Constantinople, not to mention Mr Kanavas’ own former brotherhood when he was in Jerusalem!)
  • Monasteries often relax (but not break) a fast by allowing fish if it coincides with the feast day of their patron saint.
  • Finally, the Parish of St Nicholas at Wallaroo disappointed Mr Kanavas’ expectations by adhering to the Christmas Fast during their celebrations (fish was served, but no meat or dairy).

When did Mr Kanavas become a priest?

But now to our main reason for bringing up this old post: Mr Kanavas’ age. There is clearly a degree of confusion about how old Mr Kanavas is. As Mr Haros pointed out in his letter, this question matters because there is a certain minimum age before a person is permitted to become a bishop.

The above post from Facebook really throws a spanner in the works. Note that Mr Kanavas claimed to have been a priest for 13 years! If this were true, that would mean that he has been a priest for 15 years now (the comment being two years ago). So how old was he at the time he was ordained a priest???

  • If he is 35 now (old enough to be a bishop), he was a tender 20 years of age or younger when he was ordained a priest!
  • If he is 27 or 28 (as suggested by Mr Hunt & Mr Haros respectively), then that would make him just 12 or 13 years of age when he was ordained a priest!

Whichever way you look at it, this is impossibly young for him to have been ordained a priest. Clearly he was exaggerating severely when he claimed to have been a priest for 13 years.

Has Mr Kanavas been reporting the length of his “priesthood” in dog years? Image source: Dog Years.

And when did he become a deacon?

Complicating the matter further is the fact that we know that he was still a deacon in Jerusalem in June 2008, when he was deposed by the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. After that he spent a year in military service in Greece, so the earliest he could have been pseudo-ordained to the priesthood would have been in 2009. And yet, a mere two years later in 2011, he claimed to have been a priest (not merely a deacon) for a full 13 years!

Perhaps in the parallel universe where Mr Kanavas lives time passes much more quickly, so that two of our normal Earth-years are equivalent to 13 of his… Or perhaps he’s using dog-years???

Conclusion

While the above was written for a bit of a laugh and the subject matter may seem trivial, nevertheless there is an important message to take home from this (which has only been reinforced by recent events) – Mr Kanavas is loose with the truth (to put it kindly). Whether it be passing off others’ sermons has his own, to lying about his age, to lying about his tertiary qualificationsanything he says (even on apparently trivial things) must be taken with a pinch of salt.

Dear readers,

We have come into possession of a complaint letter written by Mr Periklis (aka Petros) Haros in which he outlines the complaints against Mr Kanavas that led firstly to his suspension & then his deposition. While there is no date on the letter, the content implies that it was written after the suspension but before the deposition (because he mentions the former as a past event, but not the latter). At any rate, the letter seems to have been signed by Mr Haros (signature matches the last one we received) and includes his phone number, which means that it is almost certainly legit (if anyone is skeptical they can call the phone number and ask).

The letter was addressed to Mr Nigel Hunt of the Advertiser/Sunday Mail newspaper, who has been covering the unfolding scandal over the last few years, though to the best of our knowledge Mr Hunt has not as yet published this material.

What’s news & what’s not

Much of what is included in this letter is not news to us, nor will it be news to our regular readers, as we have reported on it before (in particular in this post). This includes the facts that:

  • Mr Kanavas lied about his tertiary qualifications, his age and his ordination status.
  • Mr Haros foolishly accepted Mr Kanavas at his word on all of the above without doing due diligence.
  • Mr Kanavas responded to Haros’ requests for proof of the above with threats of legal action.

None of this is news. However, what we learn from this letter which was previously unknown is:

  • Mr Haros seems to admit to his foolishness. In hindsight he is supportive of those members of GOCSA & the Greek community who protested against Mr Kanavas’ ordination, and actually seems to be a bit apologetic at what he has done.
  • Mr Haros claims that he was put under “immense pressure” to ordain Mr Kanavas.
  • Mr Haros is also highly critical of Mr John Lesses (current President of the GOCSA executive) for his role in the above – claiming that Mr Lesses also (along with Mr Kanavas) pressured him into ordaining Mr Kanavas before receiving official confirmation believing that Mr Kanavas had the necessary qualifications.

This last point is an important observation – it suggests that Mr Kanavas was not acting alone, but that his deceptive actions had the support of highest level of the GOCSA executive – namely, the President Mr John Lesses. We plan to return to this observation at a later date as the subject of another post.

You can read the complaint letter here.

It seems our “venerable Metropolitan” Mr Kanvas has been busy searching the internet for preparing his first encyclical for the Feast of the Nativity in 2013:

You can find it posted it on You Tube here.

In all fairness, we must admit that this is a beautiful Christmas message. However, we much prefer the unedited original, by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America in 2010. The full text of this encyclical is included below, with the boldface indicating those portions that Mr Kanavas has plagiarised:

On this glorious Feast of the Nativity of Christ we celebrate a truly wondrous event in which God, in His infinite and marvelous grace, became man bringing us enduring permanent hope, newness of life, and eternal salvation.  The holy birth in Bethlehem of our Savior occurred at a specific time, but His Incarnation and its significance for our redemption are timeless. The Son of God, the Lord of Glory and King of kings who upholds the universe by His word of power, became man so that we human beings might be redeemed, renewed, united with Him, and become fellow citizens with the Saints and members of God’s household. 

The magnitude and the depth of the event of the Nativity of Christ are impossible to grasp, but yet its message is clear and true.  It is a message of grace, hope, and salvation to all humanity and all of the created order.  It is a message which we both celebrate and share on this sacred day, an invitation to “come and see” what our loving Creator and God has done for us.

On the night of the Nativity, the angels appeared in the glory of God and announced the birth of Christ to the shepherds.  In response they said, “Let us go…and see this thing that has happened.”  Accepting the invitation to participate in this glorious event, they came and saw the newborn Christ, and becoming amazed by what God had done for our salvation, went away glorifying and praising Him for all that they had seen and heard (Luke 2:8-20).

Following the Nativity, wise men in the East saw a mysterious star and following it came seeking the King who was born in Judea.  Upon learning of the place of the birth of the Lord, they came and saw the Christ child, offered Him gifts, and worshipped Him.  Responding to the invitation presented to them in the sign of the star, they came and encountered the One who would be a great ruler of His people as foretold by the prophets (Matthew 2:1-12).

As the shepherds and wise men received the invitation to “come and see” the superb miracle of the Incarnation of God, so too we are invited on this great feast to come and encounter Christ, and to see the great and marvelous work He has done for us and our salvation.  On this day we come and see the brilliant light of truth and life shining through the darkness and despair of our world.  We hear a message of hope and grace that causes us to cease all other thoughts and activities and direct our hearts and minds to the One who has come to bring us peace and assurance.  We come to Christ and see justice, holiness, and love and realize the necessity of these for true and abundant life.

We are also called to share our joy in Christ and to offer this invitation to everyone.  We are the bearers of the good news of what God has done for us in defeating sin and death.  We are the messengers shouting to the world as did the angels, “Glory to God in the highest!”  We are, as the star of the East did to the Magi, to lead all who are searching to come and see Christ, to come and see the One who brings life and hope, peace and joy into every heart that receives Him.  We are the people who are called to gather all God’s people to His home, to an encounter with our Lord Jesus Christ.

On this blessed Christmas Feast of joy and love, I offer to you and your families my wishes for a beautiful day of worship and fellowship filled with peace and the presence of God.  May we offer together our gratitude to our Lord for what He has done for us through His glorious Incarnation.  May we also offer an invitation to all to come and see the glory of the Lord. 

Once again, Mr Kanavas is guilty of shamelessly plagiarising someone else’s work without attribution. We wonder if it is a coincidence that he left out the paragraphs where His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios spoke of “truth”…

On the other hand, we do sincerely wish all our readers (both those who love us and those who hate us) God’s blessings in accordance with these inspiring words of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios. May the “brilliant light of truth and life” shine through the “darkness and despair” of the schism here in Adelaide. May the “message of hope and grace” also give us hope that the schism will soon be ended, that the people of GOCSA will be returned to the Church, that they may partake of the “true and abundant life” that can only come from being united with His Church. Let us pray that it won’t be long before we are all celebrating the Feast of the Nativity together in the Orthodox Church.

As we mentioned two weeks ago, we found out that Mr Kanavas’ deposition by Mr Haros’ “synod” is official, having taken place in a meeting of Mr Haros’ “synod” on the 26th of November. It seems the official notice has been posted on the news page of the website of the so-called Orthodox Metropolis of Australia and Oceania (the rival schismatic communities of Clayton, Vic and Woollongong, NSW who split from the rest of the Federation at the beginning of 2012). For the so-called Metropolis to publicise Mr Kanavas’ deposition in this manner is a breathtaking display of hypocrisy, given their own uncanonical status & the fact that all of their clergy have been deposed (sometimes more than once!), but that’s a story for another day…

You can find the official deposition notice at the end of this post. This notice has the seals and signatures of Petros Haros “of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania”, Meletios “of Achaia” and John “of Evia”. Additionally, all three of these have stamped & signed the deposition notice by John “of St Catherine’s (Brazil)” which we originally posted on the 10th of November (the one with the Google translate translation from Portugese into English).

Reasons for deposition

The reasons given for the deposition are:

  1. Seceding from the “Holy Synod”
  2.  Contempt for ecclesiatical authority
  3. Trying to steal bishops from the “Holy Synod” with threatening phone calls
  4. Withholding the necessary documents for promotion to the Episcopacy
  5. Completing of the “Holy Consecration” in the Chapel of the Nursing home of the community of Adelaide, the Holy Unmercenaries on 1st of November 2013 without the knowledge and permission of the “synod”. He used “Holy Relics” and “Holy Chrism (Myrrh)” necessary for the “Consecration” of unknown origin and authenticity.
  6. Gravely scandalising the conscience of Christians. That being officially Bishop of the “Autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church of the Diaspora” (“Former Exarchate of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in America and Canada”) and serving in the Holy Metropolis of Adelaide in Australia, on the 17th of October 2013 he sent the following secession to Archbishop Petros: <letter follows>

The letter that follows was the same letter that Mr Kanavas posted on Facebook on 2nd of November, so it seems that Mr Haros is corroborating the 17th of October date that Mr Kanavas claimed in that post. This confirms (contrary to our earlier suspicions) that Mr Kanavas did not back-date the “suspension” letter when he posted it on the 2nd of November – that he really did “suspend” Haros on the 17th of October (or rather, he tried to suspend Haros). However, while he may be cleared of that particular “charge”, this still leaves other difficulties for Mr Kanavas (as we mentioned in the earlier post), which we discuss now.

More questions still to be asked

  1. Why the delay in publicising such an important decision? This is clearly a dereliction of duty.
  2. He put the names of other “bishops” against the suspension notice but without their seals or signatures. How do we know that this wasn’t Mr Kanavas acting by himself?
  3. If Mr Kanavas has seceded from Haros’ synod, then who is now Mr Kanavas’ (and GOCSA’s) “archbishop”? Which synod is he now a part of?
  4. If Mr Kanavas really has seceded from Haros’ synod, then Mr Kanavas doesn’t have the authority to suspend Haros (only the members of Haros’ synod or a higher synod can do that). Mr Kanavas can’t have it both ways – he can’t secede from Haros’ synod and suspend/depose him.
  5. If the man who ordained him really is so corrupt that he had to suspend him after barely two months, what does that say about Mr Kanavas’ judge of character/diligence?
  6. It is curious that apparently Mr Haros is so corrupt that Mr Kanavas had to suspend him & leave his synod, yet apparently not corrupt enough that Mr Kanavas’ own ordination is rendered invalid.

This also raises interesting questions for the GOCSA executive, who were selling this union with Haros to members as if it were going to finally make them a legitimate, canonical Orthodox church. Now that they are no longer part of Haros’ synod, how can they still pretend to be canonical?

Conclusion

Brothers and sisters, as we have stated repeatedly, these events are a source of sorrow to us. However, while these scandals are ongoing, serious questions like these need to be asked if we are to ever put the scandals behind us. The GOCSA executive in particular owe their members (ie, those whom they were elected to represent) an explanation as to:

  • why they have been kicked out of three synods in as many years?
  • to which synod (if any) do they now belong? and
  • why do they continue to support a “cleric” as their head who has been deposed three times?

The deposition letter follows below:

Prokopios Kanavas' defrockment, page 1 of 3

Prokopios Kanavas’ defrockment, page 1 of 3. Source: the so-called “Orthodox Metropolis of Australia and Oceania”

Prokopios Kanavas' defrockment, page 2 of 3

Prokopios Kanavas’ defrockment, page 2 of 3. Source: the so-called “Orthodox Metropolis of Australia and Oceania”

Prokopios Kanavas' defrockment, page 3 of 3

Prokopios Kanavas’ defrockment, page 3 of 3. Source: the so-called “Orthodox Metropolis of Australia and Oceania”