ARCHDIOCESAN COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY APPROVES RESOLUTION ABOUT ST. GEORGE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH IN LYNN, MASSACHUSETTS
BOSTON – The Archdiocesan Council of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, during its regularly scheduled spring meeting today affirmed the uniform application of the Archdiocesan Regulations and Clergy Laity Congress decisions to all parishes including St. George Greek Orthodox Church of Lynn, Massachusetts and unanimously approved the following resolution:
A matter of grave concern affecting the harmony of our Holy Archdiocese has arisen. As a result of this situation, on May 5 and 6, 2011, the Archdiocesan Council took an unprecedented action by discussing the unfortunate developments at St. George Greek Orthodox Church of Lynn, Massachusetts. As a direct consequence of the parish leadership’s open defiance of the Canonical order and ecclesiastical authority of our Holy Church, the Regulations of the Archdiocese and the decisions of the Clergy Laity Congresses, the Archdiocesan Council adopts this statement affirming the decision of our Holy Eparchial Synod and the actions of His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston.
This situation first arose out of the parish leadership’s categorical refusal to fulfill the community’s allocation under the Archdiocesan Regulations, despite the fact that the parish’s audited financial statements clearly demonstrate an ability to fully meet its commitments and even though the parish was given several years of partial financial relief. Parish leadership has ignored the clear and appropriate direction of its Metropolitan, the letter of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios communicating the decision of the Holy Eparchial Synod and the communications of the Finance Committee of the Archdiocesan Council, which repeatedly urged the parish to conform to the Archdiocesan Regulations and Clergy Laity Congress decisions.
Parish leadership was given multiple opportunities to resolve this issue in a fair and pastoral manner. The priest and parish council president met, over a three-year period, with representatives of the Metropolis and Finance Committee of the Archdiocesan Council. Last December, the priest and entire parish council met with Metropolitan Methodios, the Metropolis Finance Committee and the Chair of the national Finance Committee. Still, the parish has refused to meet the obligations required of every parish of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, as determined by the Clergy Laity Congresses. Even more disturbing, the priest and parish council convened a general assembly which voted not to fulfill the parish’s allocation, in clear violation of the Archdiocesan Regulations.
The parish’s actions have necessitated this statement by the Archdiocesan Council urging the community to conform to the same standards that apply to all parishes of the Archdiocese. If, within ten days, the parish does not conform to these standards, restoring Christian peace within the community, the Archdiocesan Council fully supports the imposition of all necessary canonical and administrative sanctions. Failure of the community to comply would lead it into schism, separating those involved from the body of the Church and the sacramental life of the Church.
The Archdiocesan Council also fully supports all actions of His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston in enforcing the Archdiocesan Regulations and Clergy Laity Congress decisions.