Defrocked clergy


In his letter, one of the main areas where Christodoulos argues that our bishops have “infringed the formulation of the Fathers” is in the area of relations with non-Orthodox. This is of course a common argument used by Old Calendarists – accusing the canonical Church of being guilty of “Ecumenism” (which we discussed in our last post). They cite our use of the “New Calendar” as one such example.

The goal of this post is to simply hold up a mirror to Christodoulos’ accusation.

Christodoulos’ Ecumenist clergyman

Specifically, we remind our readers that in 2010, Mr George Athanasiadis distributed a letter to non-Orthodox offering to co-officiate at marriages in their churches. In other words, Mr Athanasiadis was offering (for a fee, presumably) to engage in precisely the kind of “ecumenist” behaviour (concelebrating with non-Orthodox) that Christodoulos is criticising. Why is this relevant? Because Mr Athanasiadis is Christodoulos’ current chancellor (see here)!!

Conclusion

Christodoulos justified his separation from the canonical Church on the grounds of its alleged Ecumenism. But if he really is serious about separating from clergy who engage in “ecumenism” (such as common prayer with the non-Orthodox), then he should start by separating himself from his own chancellor. The fact that he has not done so exposes his criticism of the canonical Church for the hypocrisy that it is, and again suggests that he is more interested in ambition than principle. We again pray that he soon sees the error of his ways and returns from schism to rejoin the Church in repentance.

Christodoulos claims that one of the main reasons he left the canonical Church was because we use the “heretical” New Calendar. This criticism is laughable, given that ever since leaving the canonical (New Calendar) Church in Greece and arriving in Australia, Christodoulos has operated under the New Calendar.

In his letter, Christodoulos attempts to justify this obvious hypocrisy by claiming that:

  • due to the “special ecclesiastical situation in Australia”,
  • he is using “much leniency and economy”, and that
  • “there will soon be a local church that will be using the Traditional calendar”.

The strength of this justification quickly evaporates when these points are examined. We address each one in turn.

Elder Paisios of Mount Athos – a contemporary elder (widely expected to be proclaimed a saint) who spoke out against Old Calendarist schismatics. Source: OrthodoxWiki

What is so special about the ecclesiastical situation here in Australia?

Christodoulos asserts that the ecclesiastical situation here in Australia is “special”, which is why the use of the New Calendar is justified. But we ask: what exactly is so special about the ecclesiastical situation in Australia, with respect to the calendar issue?

  • In Greece, the Orthodox Church of Greece uses the New Calendar while Mt Athos  (who are canonical, non-schismatic) and a handful of schismatic groups use the Old Calendar.
  • Here in Adelaide & Australia, most Orthodox (Greek, Antiochian, Romanian) use the New Calendar while the Russians & Serbs (who are canonical, non-schismatic) and a couple of minor schismatic groups use the Old Calendar.

So both here and in Greece, there is a mixture of calendar use, with the majority of Orthodox under the New Calendar, while a handful of smaller jurisdictions (some of them canonical Orthodox, some of them not) are using the Old Calendar. Thus as far as the issue of different calendars is concerned, the situation here in Adelaide or in Australia doesn’t really seem to be all that special after all.

Why the use of economy justified here, but not in Greece?

Christodoulos justifies the use of the New Calendar here in Australia as an exercise of “much leniency and economy”. For those who don’t know, “economy” in Orthodox theology is a “bending of the rules” – usually to be more lenient (but occasionally to be stricter when required) – for the benefit of the Church. Of course, in Orthodox Tradition we don’t exercise economy unless there is a good reason & the Church will benefit.

Christodoulos argues that the alleged “special ecclesiastical situation” here in Australia is a good enough reason for using economy. Of course, we already pointed out that the situation here isn’t that special, but ignoring that for a moment: why couldn’t such economy also be used in Greece? As we have noted elsewhere, schism is a terrible tragedy in the Church and must be avoided. In Greece, this single-minded insistence on using the Old Calendar by people such as Christodoulos has resulted in several schisms, and if they’d permitted the use of the New Calendar (through “much leniency and economy”) these schisms would have been prevented. Surely the prevention of such schisms should also be a good enough reason to be lenient?

Where is this new church using the Old Calendar?

Here we are, nearly three years after that letter was written, and Christodoulos is finally starting the new church in Adelaide that he wrote about. This church is still using the New Calendar, and not the Old Calendar like he claimed it would. On what basis does he justify this? It might make sense to continue using the New Calendar “by much leniency & economy” in an existing parish that is already accustomed to using the New Calendar, but it makes no sense at all for a parish that is starting from scratch! As noted above, Adelaide already has several Old Calendar parishes (both canonical Orthodox and schismatic), so it is obviously possible to run an Old Calendar parish here – there is no reason why Christodoulos couldn’t if he wanted to.

Conclusion

It would be beyond the scope of this post to go into a detailed defense of the use of the New Calendar and explain why its use is not heretical – for that, we defer to the words of our Father among the Saints, Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain, who commented on the “calendar issue”. But when it comes to Christodoulos and his criticisms, all we can see is hypocrisy and expedience over principle.

“Real” die-hard Old Calendarists won’t permit or tolerate the New Calendar under any circumstances (not even the alleged “special circumstances” here in Australia) as a matter of principle, because to their way of thinking the mere use of the New Calendar is a heresy. While we (along with Elder Paisios) believe that this is misguided, at least we can afford them some amount of respect for adhering to their principle.

Christodoulos, however, is a different story. On the one hand he (like other Old Calendarists) acts as if the mere use of the New Calendar makes one guilty of heresy, and yet now he seems to think he can use the New Calendar in his own church without falling into the heresy. He can’t have it both ways – either it is possible to use the New Calendar without being a heretic, or it is not. If the former, he was not justified in leaving his canonical jurisdiction in Greece in the first place; if the latter then he is not justified in using the New Calendar in his new jurisdiction. This double-standard exposes his hypocrisy and suggests that his actions are driven more by ambition than principle. We pray that he and his followers may be enlightened to end their schism and return to the true Church.

Dear readers,

As we learned in the earlier post, John Vasiliaris (aka Christodoulos) is a former priest of the Orthodox Church in Greece who left the Church to join a schismatic Old Calendarist pseudo-Orthodox faction. Of course, for anyone (and especially a clergyman) to leave the Church and join a schismatic group (or worse, to start a new one) is considered a terrible sin by the Orthodox Church. How then does Christodoulos (and other schismatics like him, such as Mr Kanavas) justify such a terrible sin?

In his letter to Bishop Nikandros, Christodoulos writes:

The Sacred Canons not only allow, but in fact require that the clergy in particular, and the faithful in general, cut themselves off from Bishops who violate, ignore and continually infringe the formulations of the Fathers on faith and doctrine.

Note that Christodoulos does not actually cite any of these canons (as this would invite scrutiny, which he is anxious to avoid), but we can have a pretty good guess at which canons he might be referring to. We will return to those canons shortly.

Christodoulos cutting himself off from the Church. He would have us believe that he has cut the tree off from his tiny branch, whereas it is obvious to all that his branch has been cut off from the tree. Source: Free Christian Illustrations

God is a God of order

The Church is not a place of anarchy & confusion – rather, as St Paul writes:

Let all things be done decently and in order. (1 Cor 14:40)

So when the question is raised about whether a bishop has violated the canons, then there is an orderly process by which he ought to be judged by the Church. In particular, the following principles apply:

  • He is innocent until proven guilty.
  • He cannot be officially judged by those under his authority, but must be judged by a higher authority.
  • Once an official judgement is reached on a case, it is binding on all members. People are not free to act according to their own judgement once an official judgement has been reached.
  • An official judgement can only be appealed to a higher-ranking authority.

Of course, none of this is rocket science – they are common-sense principles that apply in all free and just societies that have the rule of law (which of course includes the Church).

This is how the Church preserves good order when resolving issues relating to the Canons/laws of the Church. We are not permitted to cut ourselves off on a whim from bishops with whom we happen to disagree – this is the way of Protestantism (where every individual judges the matter for him/herself). Rather, we must follow the orderly process set out for us by the canons of the Church, and only after a bishop has officially been found guilty and cut off by the Synod are we (the clergy in particular and the faithful in general) then permitted (and indeed, obliged) to cut ourselves off from him.

Canons on judgements against bishops

Some of the canons that describe the above process can be found in the so-called 1st & 2nd Council, which was convened under the presidency of the Ecumenical Patriarch St Photios the Great in the 8th century. Of particular relevance to Christodoulos’ case is canons 13, 14 & 15, which are all very similar. The start of Canon 13 is as follows:

 13. The All-evil One having planted the seed of heretical tares in the Church of Christ, and seeing these being cut down to the roots with the sword of the Spirit, took a different course of trickery by attempting to divide the body of Christ by means of the madness of the schismatics. But, checking even this plot of his, the holy Council has decreed that henceforth if any Presbyter or Deacon, on the alleged ground that his own bishop has been condemned for certain crimes, before a conciliar or synodal hearing and investigation has been made, should dare to secede from his communion, and fail to mention his name in the sacred prayers of the liturgical services in accordance with the custom handed down in the Church, he shall be subject to prompt deposition from office and shall be stripped of every prelatic honor…

Canons 14 & 15 are similar, but instead of dealing with the case of a presbyter (ie, priest) and his bishop, they respectively deal with the cases of a bishop and his metropolitan, or a clergyman separating from his Patriarch respectively.

The bold portion is the important point here, affirming what we discussed above – basically, that the bishop must be considered innocent until proven guilty, and that his guilt must be established by a proper hearing. This is of course where Christodoulos’ excuse for leaving his bishop (and the Orthodox Church) falls short – he has seceded from his bishop without any trial having taken place. Instead, he has taken matters into his own hands and appointed himself as judge over his own bishop.

The exception of canon 15

Canon 15 does make an exception that allows the faithful to separate from their bishop before going to trial, but only under a specific set of circumstances:

  1. They may only split before trial if the the bishop is guilty of the highest offence – that is, openly professing a heresy that has been explicitly condemned by one of the Holy Synods. They cannot split for any other less serious violation of the canons until the bishop has been tried.
  2. The exception only seems to apply to those directly under a Patriarch. This exception does not apply to a priest against his local bishop, or a bishop against his metropolitan, and does not give a person carte blanche to separate from all bishops.
  3. The understanding is that any split under these circumstances is provisional until the bishop’s case has been addressed by his Synod. Once the Synod has made a decision, their decision is binding on all clergy and laity (though the decision may also be appealed to a higher Synod). If the Synod decides that the Patriarch is not professing heresy, then those under him are no longer permitted to separate from him.

Of course, while Christodoulos (and other schismatic Old Calendarists like him) try to justify their schism on the basis that the Ecumenical Patriarch or the Archbishop of Greece are supposedly guilty of the heresy of “ecumenism”, they don’t actually meet the 2nd and 3rd criteria. In particular, this exception clause doesn’t give them the right to separate from all bishops, as if they were all guilty of heresy (as Christodoulos has done). This is rather like arguing that he has cut the tree (representing all of the Orthodox bishops in the world) off from the branch (ie, him and his faction) when it is obvious that the reality is the other way around.

Conclusion

The most deceptive kinds of arguments are those that are partly true, and Christodoulos’ argument is of such a kind. It is true that we (the clergy in particular and the faithful in general) are obliged to cut ourselves off from bishops who violate, ignore and continually infringe the formulations of the Fathers on faith and doctrine. The key point that Christodoulos glosses over is that it is not up to each individual to pass judgement against our bishops – this is the job of our Synods. When the Synod decides that a bishop ought to be cut off, only then are we (the clergy in particular and the faithful in general) obliged to cut ourselves off. But until such a synodal decision has been made, we are obliged to remain faithful to our bishop.

Christodoulos has violated these canons and the good order of the Church by bypassing the Synod and acting on his own judgement, and therefore he stands condemned by these canons. And most importantly, this is not a private judgement by the authors of this blog – it is a decision of a properly-constituted Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Thus, in obedience to the Synod’s judgement, we (the clergy in particular and the faithful in general) are obliged to cut ourselves off from Christodoulos and all those who associate with him. We pray that he may come to repentance and rejoin the Orthodox Church that he has forsaken.

Christodoulos’ statement to describe our venerable bishop, Nikandros of Dorylaeon, the assistant bishop in Adelaide to His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos, is rather a confession that describes him and Prokopios.

This blog page has attempted to inform our faithful that Christodoulos, Prokopios and all false clergy aligned with schism are indeed sinful children of a sinful mother.

We pray for them and wish them a blessed repentance.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on Me. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on Your Servant.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on Me. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on Your Servant.

“He can no longer have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his mother.”

This was written by Saint Cyprian of Carthage in the third century AD (died 258). Here is the quotation in context:

“The spouse of Christ cannot be adulterous; she is uncorrupted and pure. She knows one home; she guards with chaste modesty the sanctity of one couch. She keeps us for God. She appoints the sons whom she has born for the kingdom. Whoever is separated from the Church and is joined to an adulteress, is separated from the promises of the Church; nor can he who forsakes the Church of Christ attain to the rewards of Christ. He is a stranger; he is profane; he is an enemy. He can no longer have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his mother.” (Treatise on the Unity of the Church 6)

The Prodigal Son, Luke 15:11-32

Christodoulos

John, aka Efstratios, aka Christodoulos Vasilaris

Dear readers,

Given that Christodoulos has come back to town, it is timely to revisit him. In particular, there is a letter he wrote to His Grace Bishop Nikandros in March 2011 which reveals a lot about his character.

Background of the letter

Christodoulos (aka John/Efstratios Vasilaris) was (for a brief time) the bishop of GOCSA (the so-called Autocephalic Greek Orthodox Church of Australia and America), and assistant bishop to “Archbishop” Auxentios’ Old-Calendarist schismatic group in Greece (the so-called “Genuine Orthodox Christians-GOC”) . He arrived in Adelaide at the beginning of March 2011 after their former “bishop” (Iakovos Giannakis) split with their “Archbishop” (Auxentios of GOC) and went back to Greece to start his own synod. (See Neos Kosmos for more info about Christodoulos’ history.)

When Christodoulos arrived, His Grace Bishop Nikandros (acting in accordance with his duty as the canonical hierarch of the Orthodox Church in South Australia) invited him to appear before him. Christodoulos responded with a strongly-worded letter dated 17th of March 2011 (included below in both its original Greek and an English translation).

Content of the letter

You can read the full content of the letter here in Greek, as well as a translation here in English. Of all the points and comments that he makes in this letter, the one that got the biggest response was the following comment:

The church you [Bishop Nikandros] belong to is the sinful daughter of a sinful mother…

The “sinful daughter” that he was referring to was the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, and her “sinful mother” was the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Obviously, this was a great insult to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and to her daughter Church, the Archdiocese of Australia.

As for the rest of the letter, here is a summary Christodoulos’ points:

Each of these claims is either misleading, hypocritical, outright wrong, or sometimes all three! But rather than bloat this post by addressing them all now, we will defer that discussion to separate posts at a later date. (Edit: links have been added to those posts now that they have been written.) 

Fallout from the letter

Prior to entering into schism, Christodoulos had been a canonical priest-monk. As a result of his actions for entering into schism and for the insult to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and its canonical Australian branch contained in this letter, he was (unsurprisingly) deposed from the priesthood and returned to the status of a simple monk by the Church of Greece in May 2011.

But surprisingly (and amusingly), Christodoulos’ own synod (the so-called Genuine Orthodox Christians-GOC  headed by Auxentios) also took offense at the insult to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and they too decided to depose him from the GOC “bishopric” they had assigned to him! Details about all this can be read in this Neos Kosmos article dated 1st of June 2011.

Of course, Christodoulos and GOCSA simply ignored both of these depositions and consequently split from Auxentios’ synod, going their own way and once again becoming an orphaned pseudo-Orthodox jurisdiction. As a result, all of GOCSA’s clergy (including Mr Kanavas, who was a “priest” with GOCSA at the time) were deposed. (Thus it was with a sense of deja-vu that we saw the same pattern followed again when Mr Kanavas was deposed (for the third time) back in November last year, which Mr Kanavas & GOCSA have again ignored.)

Later in 2011 Christodoulos was sacked by GOCSA, for reasons that have not been made clear publically. The Greek Communities of Clayton (headed by Mr George Athanasiadis) and Wollongong (Mr Savvas Pizanias) both refused to acknowledge his sacking. Instead they split from GOCSA to form the so-called “Holy Orthodox Metropolis of Australia and Oceania” (HOMOAO), retaining Christodoulos as their head. GOCSA remained in the so-called “Autocephalic Greek Orthodox Church of Australia and America” (of which they now comprise the clear bulk). Thus begun  a fresh schism within the schismatic community.

As an old Orthodox saying goes, “schism begets schism”. Sadly the above is typical of the kind of soap opera that naturally unfolds when people try to break the unity of the Church and go off their own way.

Conclusion

Christodoulos’ excuses for leaving the canonical Church and for establishing his own rival jurisdiction are wafer-thin. He preys on the uninformed, well-intentioned Orthodox faithful whom he tries to impress & bamboozle using vague references to important-sounding, “churchy” things like “Sacred Canons” and ecclesiastical order to justify his actions, knowing that most of these people are not well-informed enough about these things to know how he has misused them. We hope (with the help of God) to rectify that situation in our future posts by explaining exactly how and why Christodoulos is wrong, with proper references to actual canons. And as always, we hope that by providing such references, people will be able to verify what we say for themselves, rather than simply being expected to take our word for it.

Hello all, while we are still getting to know Yiannis Conidaris allow us to introduce you to Mr Nikolaos Fourtounis.

Mr Nikolaos Fourtounis was “ordained” by a Greek Old Calandarist (GOC) faction in September 2013 for their church in Melbourne called St. Gregorios. Today according to the “important announcement” below he is with Prokopios. Why? Well that is not important to us; suffice to say that these types of people have a way of attracting each other. Generally speaking they are as untrustworthy to our faithful as they are of each other and look to schism to satisfy their insatiable greed and disguise their passions. There is no ending in sight for them since truth and the existence of God have been effortlessly blocked from their world view. As long as they get what they want they will always be around; take this away from them and they are gone like a flash. To question, challenge and resist them means that you are no longer one of their victims. Only in this way can all GOCSA constituents and all the Orthodox faithful be liberated from their sway and corruption.

croydon-fb-fourtounis

Now to Prokopios’ contradictory announcement. According to Prokopios, Nikolaos’ ordination by Bishop Photios of GOC is valid but the church that he was assigned to by GOC is a “schismatic non canonical church”. Do you mean to say Mr Kanavas that anyone who serves in your “churches” is canonical whereas everything that they did before took place in a “schismatic non canonical church”? Or are you saying that you are part of the GOC synod in Greece and therefore recognize each others ordinations? But how can this be? GOCSA never have and never will have anything to do with the schismatic Greek Old Calandarists. GOCSA and GOC are two mutually independent schismatic groups that are cut off from the world wide communion of the Orthodox Church. The simple truth is that if someone officiates in a non-canonical church (like Nikolaos did in Melbourne) this is because (1) their ordination is non-canonical or (2) they left a canonical church and joined a non-canonical church. Mr Kanavas has had the rare occurrence of being in both predicaments.

We ask Mr Prokopios Kanavas to cease insulting the intelligence of the Greek Orthodox faithful in Adelaide, especially the poor GOCSA faithful who are exposed to his convoluted lies.

Saint Athanasios

Recently on January the 17th it was the feast day of St. Anthony and on January the 18th the feast day of St Athanasios. We noticed that Prokopios and all of the GOCSA churches held under Prokopios’ captivity honored the memories of St Anthony and St. Athanasios with a church service. It is timely then that we remind Prokopios what St. Athanasius said about schism and heresy in his book on the life of St. Anthony.

In things having to do with belief, he [Saint Anthony] was truly wonderful and orthodox. Perceiving their wickedness and apostasy from the outset, he never held communion with the Meletian schismatics. And neither toward the Manicheans nor toward any other heretics did he profess friendship, except to the extent of urging change to right belief, for he held and taught that friendship and association with them led to injury and destruction of the soul.  So in the same way he abhorred the heresy of the Arians, and he ordered everyone neither to go near them nor to share their erroneous beliefs. Once when some of the Ariomaniacs came to him, sounding them out and learning that they were impious, he chased them from the mountain, saying that their doctrines were worse than serpents poison. (Source: Athanasius – The life of Antony and the Letter to Marcellinus, Paulist Press, 1980, p81-82)

In the Orthodox Church we honor our saints by imitating them. ΤΙΜΗ ΑΓΙΟΥ, ΜΙΜΗΣΗ ΑΓΙΟΥ.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Who the heck are Meletios and Volodymyr?

Meletios and Voldymyr are two so-called bishops of the so-called “Autocephalic Greek Orthodox Church of American and Canada – Former Exarchate of the Patriarchate of Alexandria“. Meletios is one of the “bishops” who physically came to Adelaide to partake in the “ordination” of Mr Kanavas. Volodymyr is one of the names that appears on Mr Kanavas’ pseudo-defrockment notice for Petros Haros which we discussed in more detail here (it appears Volodymyr’s since had a change of heart).

Let’s go to Meletios:

In August of 2013, Mr Kanavas continued with his perversion of Orthodox Christianity and was so called “ordained” as a “bishop”. At his ordination was a gentleman by the name of Meletios the so called “Metropolitan of Achaia and all of the Peloponnese” who came especially from Greece to take part in this Modern Greek tragedy.

In the letter below we hear Meletios request from the president of GOCSA Mr John Lesses that Mr Prokopios Kanavas stop his “lies, threats, reviles” and “pseudo-defrockments” against Petros Haros and Meletios. It is Petros Haros and Meletios who ordained Prokopios. How is it though, that within three months Prokopios divorces himself from them? Truly a case of corruption begetting corruption.

MeletiosLet’s move on to Volodymyr who is a bit more interesting.

Volodymyr claims that Prokopios was the secretary of Petros Haros’ synod in April 2013 a fact unbeknown to GOCSA and to Haros himself! In any case Prokopios took advantage of the fact that Volodymyr does not speak Greek but only conversational English and that Haros does not speak Ukrainian or English. Prokopios played the role of the interlocutor which meant that according to the language deficiencies of Haros and Volodymyr, he could orchestrate a dialogue that was vested in his own interests and ultimately not coherent with reality. The end result:

  1. Prokopios is seen as a hero because he inducts Volodymyr into what Volodymr believes is a canonical Orthodox Church.
  2. Haros sets up a franchise in the Ukraine all through the efforts of Prokopios.

1.      Volodymyr realizes (for the time being) that he was set up by Mr Prokopios Kanavas and details this in the letter written below (see the original in Ukrainian here). Of course Volodymyr is yet to wake up and accept that he is receiving the just deserts of his own uncanonical actions. To his credit Volodymyr admits the following:

  1. Mr Prokopios Kanavas is uncanonical and that he deceived Volodymyr into thinking that Prokopios was canonical.
  2.  Volodymyr did not sign any letter defrocking Petros Haros.
  3. Volodymyr apologies to the only canonical bishop in Adelaide, His Grace Bishop Nikandros of Dorylaeon and asks for his forgiveness.

The Letter from Volodomyr:

14th December, 2013

God bless all of us, dear bishops, fathers, brothers in Christ Jesus!

I, bishop of Pereyaslav and Bohuslav, Volodymyr (Vilde) from Ukraine am writing to you. I had a phone conversation with Father Silouan, also I have received letters from Bishop Nikandros from Australia about the conflict between the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the so called Autocephalic Greek Orthodox Church of America and Canada. I understand your concern; please forgive me I could not give the necessary answer to you for a long time. In Ukraine at the moment there is a very tense social and political situation and, unfortunately, I could not give my attention to your letters. Please forgive me once more.

I have read all the materials, which Father Silouan from Adelaide kindly sent to me. I am not indifferent about the current situation affecting the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia. I do not wish to participate in any divisions and misunderstandings because of Prokopios’ acts. I wish for the Greek Orthodox Church of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to be undivided and united. The thing is that when I was asked to be included into Petro Haros’ Synod, I thought that his synod called the “Autocephalic Greek Orthodox Church of America and Canada” (former exarchate of Alexandria’s Patriarchate) which was led by Archbishop Dionysus Makrogambrakis was indeed canonical.  But Father Silouan explained to me, that Petros Haros’ documents of canonicity were fraudulently obtained. Consequently, Peter Haros and Prokopios do not belong to the canonical church (Patriarchate of Alexandria) of which they proclaim. 

Also, from the documents that Father Silouan sent to me I found out that Prokopios was defrocked from the Jerusalem Patriarchate as a deacon, and that Petros Haros was involved in suspicious and so called non-traditional healing practices. In any case their structure is not canonical and is not recognised by any of the World’s Orthodox churches. Also I discovered that Petros Haros and Procopios Kanavas were involved in several other scandals and caused division amongst the Greek Orthodox Communities of South Australia.

I would like to mention that I do not wish to belong any further to the structure which are led by Petros Haros and Prokopios Kanavas. For the last 2 months I did not sign their letters and petitions.

Also I want to mention that I recognise the authority of the Constantinople Patriarchate and respect their decisions. I do not wish to have conflict with the Ecumenical Patriarchate or to have any misunderstandings with your bishops. I greatly appreciate that Bishop Nikandros of Australia addressed me multiple times with archpastoral love and care, highlighting my mistake. I owe many thanks to Bishop Nikandros and pray for his health and wellbeing.

Keeping in mind everything written above, I repent of my own mistakes and officially declare my exit from the Synod of Haros and Kanavas and beg you to help me to be united with the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

I wish to belong to the great Church of Constantinople and wish to hear the conditions on which I can be accepted as an active bishop of the Ecumenical Patriachate. I am inspired and filled with hope by the fact that the Estonian Metropolitinate and the Ukrainian Autocephalic Church in America where included into the Ecumenical Patriarchia. I humbly beg for the same mercy to be granted to me and am ready to listen to your conditions.

I kneel before the Ecumenical order of the Constantinopolitan Church.

I hope for your mercy and understanding. I ask for your holy prayers for myself.

Volodymyr (Wilde) – The Bishop of Pereyaslav and Bohuslav.

Where to from here:

Prayer, patience and perseverance are needed by all devout Orthodox Christians. May this be expressed through our personal prayer life, our reading of the Holy Scriptures and our sincere worship in Church. If we all did this there would be no schism.

A final thought:

If schismatics like Meletios and Volodymyr denounce the schism in Adelaide how much more so should we the faithful of the canonical Greek Orthodox Church in Adelaide.

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