Clarification of the recent news of the GOC of America and the Reception of Archbishop Ambrose

The GOC of America, as we said above, recognizes the GOC of Greece under Archbishop Makarios and his Synod, and we have the deepest respect and love for them. However, since they have no official representation on the internet, and their exposure there is only through the unofficial "Omologitis" website, run by a team of young laymen, which has printed many inaccurate statements about Archbishop Gregory, a clarification is necessary.

1. In its news section, this website has repeatedly misrepresented Archbishop Gregory, stating that he traveled to Greece and petitioned the Synod to be received as part of their Church. This is inaccurate. Archbishop Gregory never petitioned to be received as a bishop of the Greek Church.

2. Since Archbishop Gregory was consecrated a bishop, he traveled to Greece on many occasions. He was welcomed as a true bishop by the GOC and concelebrated with their hierarchs in the divine services, received holy communion and even given a large vial of holy chrism from one of their bishops, which was consecrated in 2004 (it is this chrism, along with chrism from the Russian Church Abroad from before Met. Philaret, that Archbishop Gregory distributed to the clergy of the Congo and Uganda).

Archbishop Gregory has always maintained communion with the GOC of Greece since the 1960's, when the Russian Church Abroad gave them their hierarchy. When that Greek Church broke communion with the Russian Church Abroad in 1994 because of the latter's Cyprianite union, it broke communion only with those who were in communion and accepted the heretic Cyprian of Fili. Since Archbishop Gregory, (then Fr. Gregory) himself broke communion with the Russian Church Abroad and did not accept this union with heresy, therefore logically, the GOC did not consider him as separated from the Church. Thus according to logical Church procedure, when Fr. Gregory joined the GOC as a priest, he was received as part of their Church without any formal reception rite, because they were never separated with regard to the Faith. Our understanding is that the same existence of communion has lasted until now, because the GOC of Greece and the GOC of America have no canonical reason to be separated from each other. One is the continuation of the Greek Church and the other is the continuation of the Russian Church, and their Faith has never changed. Thus we maintain the unity of the Faith and sin not against our Savior's commandment.

Unfortunately in the past, the GOC of Greece ordained certain bishops (who have now fallen away from the Church) Niphon of Piraeos and his disciple Arethas of Crete, who have caused much dissension within the Synod with regard to Archbishop Gregory. Niphon added the United States and Canada as his 3rd and 4th dioceses to give him more territory than the Byzantine Empire which he then gave to be administered by one of his ill priestmonks! The confusion which he has caused, especially in this country within the lower clergy and lay people still exists.

3. The Agreement of the Reception of Archbishop Ambrose was only between Archbishop Gregory and Archbishop Makarios. Archbishop Gregory did not ask for a synodal decision, deeming it unnecessary, because no one was asking to be received into the Synod of the GOC of Greece. According to the tradition of the Church, two bishops have the authority to receive another bishop in his rank. Needless to say, all the pertinent documents concerning Archbishop Ambrose were mailed/faxed and received by Archbishop Makarios before any decision was made. His consent via the telephone with a translator, witnesses and the recording itself are proof enough to silence any detractors. Archbishop Gregory and Archbishop Makarios are not responsible in any way to the adverse reaction of any laypeople who wish to criticize the good order of the Church.

Although we have the omologitis web site as a recommended link on our websites, yet it is solely because this is the only internet exposure of the GOC of Greece.

In Buena Vista, Dec. 15/28 2007
Press Office of the Chancellery of the GOC of America

 

Valid CSS!Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional