The Mother Church of Constantinople, in its love and care for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, has initiated a review of the Charter of our Sacred Archdiocese.
With the growth over the last 100 years of the largest eparchy of the Ecumenical Throne and with the passing of each era, it becomes necessary to contemplate the manner in which our Archdiocese can best fulfill its mission of spreading the Gospel of Christ through its various ministries, so that we may enjoy a vibrant, unified, Christ-centered Archdiocese as we head into its second century of existence in America.
There are three primary objectives when considering revisions to the current Charter:
No matter where we live— or where we move— clear institutional guidelines, curricula, and metrics will empower regional and parish leaders with the tools, collaborative network, and support they need to serve their faithful, while allowing for creativity in meeting the unique contexts, challenges and gifts of their localities. At the same time, dynamic national ministries and programs will call in all faithful to articulate and build up our values in the matters that affect every one of us, like clergy protections, the education of our seminarians, religious education, and more.
Canonicity isn’t just a technicality— it sets the practical foundations for us to live the truth of our faith more fully. It prepares us to confront the challenges and opportunities we face in a rapidly changing world, especially as they relate to engaging with young people, mitigating contemporary risks, developing social ministries, and reaching out to people of all backgrounds. Though the Metropolis system under our current Charter has yielded a number of blessings, its structure is inconsistent with the traditional canonical structure of an eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
From the replication of ministries to the unnecessary duplication of services– and their duplicative costs— parishes and faithful are facing a crushing, and unnecessary, financial burden. Coupled with a lack of consistent transparency and adequate oversight, our Church structure under the current Charter has also resulted in uneven services across the country and heightened risks for everyone. As stewards of the contributions of the devout faithful, there are crucial changes that must be considered to ensure the financial security, integrity, and flourishing of our Archdiocese in the twenty-first century and beyond.