Patriarch Bartholomew Places Metropolitan Methodios of Boston on Suspension Until Christmas

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I. File photo

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the leader of all the Greek Orthodox faithful in the world, on Thursday placed the Metropolitan of Boston, Methodios, on “a penance of suspension” until Christmas for what he called “falling into canonical transgressions.”

The shocking news came in an announcement sent out on Thursday afternoon after the Holy and Sacred Synod had examined reports from Archbishop Elpidophoros, the head of all the Greek Orthodox in the Americas.

Metropolitan Methodios of Boston. Credit: GOARCH.org

Methodios’ diocese includes the state of New Hampshire, where a controversy had flared recently regarding the giving of Communion using a communal spoon and chalice despite the Patriarchate stipulating that local churches should abide by local coronavirus rules.

The Attorney General had warned the New Hampshire church, St. Nicholas in Portsmouth, that it should stop using a communal chalice and spoon after three parishioners had tested positive for the coronavirus.

It has been disclosed since that time that none of the infected parishioners had in fact received Communion.

Today’s statement, issued by the Chief Secretariat of the Synod, also said that it had “placed into abeyance the force of the Charter of the Holy Archdiocese of America, with the objective of constituting a joint Committee of representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Archdiocese for the composition of a new Charter.”

The Holy and Sacred Synod also stated that it had transferred His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey to the Holy Metropolis of Sardes and appointed Archbishop Elpidophoros of America as Patriarchal Vicar in the vacant Eparchy of New Jersey.

This is a developing story