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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