Greek Archdiocese Charter Presto Chango

It appears as if the Greek Archdiocese changed their Charter within the last 10 days; certainly with respect to the section on the monasteries (and perhaps other sections, as well, since it is significantly shorter); now just a paragraph long.

The following is the section of the Charter devoted to the monasteries that is currently on the GOA website.

In the year of our Lord 2003, on the 18th day of the month of January,

Article 21 – Holy Monasteries

a. Monasteries and organized communities of monastics function according to the long established, canonical tradition and practice of the Church. As such, they are ecclesiastical institutions, functioning under the direct canonical jurisdiction and supervision of the Hierarch in whose ecclesiastical jurisdiction they are located.

b. Monasteries are founded by the local Hierarch, following approval of the Eparchial Synod. Canonically, their administration and financial affairs are the responsibility of the local Hierarch, whose name is to be commemorated during Divine Worship.

c. The Monasteries that operate in the United States of America continue the long established monastic life and witness. They function according to the prevailing Monastic Law and the letter and the spirit of the Regulations that define their operation.

d. Regulations for the establishment, organization and operation of Monasteries shall be promulgated by the Eparchial Synod and approved by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.


This is the section of the Charter devoted to the monasteries that I downloaded on 7/7/2022.  The first several pages are in Greek, followed by an English version, where the monasteries are discussed.

In the Patriarchate (Phanar), this 12th Day of February, 2005


The Metropolis to which the Monastery belongs shall not under any circumstances sell or otherwise dispose of the property of the Monastery, nor convert its edifices for any other use whatsoever.  Moreover, the Monastery may use the property that it administers for all necessary purposes, but it shall not under any circumstances sell or change its buildings. After its establishment, the Monastery remains forever indissoluble, and shall never be abolished or subjected to forcible conversion.


  1. a) The Monks/Nuns do not own or possess personal property (cf. Article 10.c of the present Regulations). However, the Monastery, as an ecclesiastical institution functioning within the Eucharistic Community over which the local Metropolitan presides, and as a legal entity from the standpoint of both ecclesiastical and civil law, retains the prerogative of owning and managing its own ecclesiastical property.

The Archdiocese amended its regulations in 2017, as well.

Frankly, it’s hard to keep this all straight.  Mrs. M


  1. Welp, looks like the Archdiocese has a solid grasp over the monastery properties. I take this to mean that the monasteries as physical entities will never be leaving the Archdiocese.

    The monastics within them and the laity who visit them may be a different story. Will they quietly protest in the event of outright heresy and schism and slowly over time accept them, which will absolutely happen, or, will they vacate.

    With all the shakeup in EP/GOARCH, the problem might actually solve itself. If the EP chooses to replace Elpi with a monk from one of the monasteries (which will never happen on the EP’s own accord) then that will go a long way in mending the GOA.

    • Johannes says

      It’s far from clear that the Archdiocese would win a lawsuit related to this, if one came up.

  2. Austin Martin says

    But who holds the axe? If the brotherhood owns the property itself, then they can legally do whatever they want. The EP and GOA has this idea that if you say something loud enough or sneak it into a document then it is so.

  3. Nektarios says

    I suspect this all is related to the non-consecration of the defrocked person who moved to the GOA, and the monastery in which he currently resides in SW Fla.
    I could be wrong…..

  4. Whiskey Six says

    Shocking Orthodox Churches changing rules and ignoring charters! That’s how y’all have Metropolitan Joseph in the Antiochian Archdiocese. Rules, charters are for the little people. They don’t apply to the hierarchy.

    • Antiochene Son says

      There’s nothing wrong with Metropolitan Joseph.

      Aside from the COVID mania that all the jurisdictions fell into—and M.J. reversed course faster and more forcefully than many, ordering parishes to disobey civil authorities by the fall of 2020—I can’t find much to criticize him for.

      • I am no longer in the Antiochian archdiocese. However I do still receive the Word magazine. I am always happy to read it, as the content has dramatically improved since Metropolitan Joseph took office. I have to agree with Antiochian Son. However much the metropolitan may have initially fallen for the covid measures, it is quite clear that he now sees them for what they were and appears to be determined not to allow a repeat – at least not on the government’s terms. Even apart from that he is obviously a godly hierarch who cares about all the right things for all the right reasons. He is a man who has shown himself to be worthy of his calling. Perfect? Perhaps not, but worthy nonetheless.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          I agree.

        • I too am in the Antiochian Archdiocese. Not that it matters what I think, but I have zero qualms with Metropolitan Joseph. I think he’s a good man and I’m grateful to be in the AA.

          I wonder though if Whiskey Six is referring to the events of “desert storm” a number of years ago, and the changes that then Metropolitan Phillip imposed on the Archdiocese.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Maybe, but he would be mistaken to implicate Metropolitan Joseph. Metropolitan Joseph had nothing to do with what lead up to “desert storm” or what came after it.

            • Very true Gail.
              So today I found a decade old thread on this site, that referenced some of the events surrounding Palm Desert Storm.
              If I understood it correctly, I just wanted to say Gail that all these years later, I was deeply bothered by what was done personally to you and for what you had to endure. Kudos and much respect to you Gail. You must be a woman of great faith.

  5. What?? The Amendment provision of the 2003 Charter (which was suspended but now was reinstated) states that it can be “amended in its entirety or in part after a proposal of the Holy Eparchial Synod submitted to the Ecumenical Patriarchate following the appropriate procedure in the Archdiocesan Council and the Archdiocesan Clergy-Laity Congress, and after the approval of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to which the proposal has been submitted.” How can the 2003 Charter be amended in 2005 and 2017 without the Eparchial Synod, Archdiocesan Council and Clergy-Laity Congress knowing anything about it? As the little boy said to Shoeless Joe Jackson: “Say it ain’t so Joe!”

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Crazy, isn’t it?

      • Looks like you have conflated the Charter with the Regulations. The Regulations can be, and are routinely amended by the Administration Committee at Clergy-Laity Congresses. All Committees are controlled by insiders at the Archdiocese and are almost never attended by first-time Parish delegates who are kept busy going to seminars and $400/plate Grand Banquets to hear famous(?) singers from Greece put on a show and hear +Elpi exclaim: “The GOA is back! The Greeks are back!”

        All committee reports are rubber-stamped at the close of the Congress when most delegates have gone home.

        Crazy, isn’t it?

        • Gail Sheppard says

          I was looking for anything that had to do with the monasteries.

          I didn’t think there was a distinction between the Charter and the regulations. When you read words like: “Until the adoption and approval of Regulations under this Charter. . .” You kind of assume the regulations are under the Charter.

          It wasn’t my intention to conflate anything if I did. By the way, there is now a different charter on the website from the one the day I posted.

  6. Since you have been corrected, and it is obvious that the Charter of the GOA and the Uniform Parish Regulations are two distinct documents, would you consider deleting the misleading title and/or article? Please get your facts straight before you publicly make statements you present as facts. Thank you.

  7. George Michalopulos says

    Just so y’all know, it looks like the day after tomorrow (Thursday, the 20th), 79th St is going to announce that His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros’s tenure as primate of the GOA is over. He’ll probably be transferred to one of the many defunct “dioceses” that belong to “The New Rome.”

    • Thanks be to God if it does actually come to pass.

      I’m really glad all of this happened. Now I’m sure the Ecumenical Patriarchate is very well aware that whoever they chose to put in to replace Elpidohphoros will be very, very heavily scrutinized by not only the laity, but by the Assembly of Bishops as well. If the EP puts in another dude then their tenure in the AoB is probably over.

      • George Michalopulos says

        I’m going to be a little counter-intuitive here: it may be better to keep LP here. He’s been neutered and given the fact that he’s been left to hang out to dry, he might (just might) see the errors of Greco-supremacism.

        In other words, being chastened, he could go to the other non-GOA primates and say something like: “you know, maybe we all need to merge together into an authentic autocephalous American Orthodox Church.”

        Now, that’s probably not going to happen. In fact, I’d bet the rent against it. But we can be very sure that when Nikita comes here to take over what’s left of the GOA (or some other Phanariote), then that won’t happen either.

        Best thing? All the other primates who signed those letters just go off on their own and come to some type of agreement with the OCA to merge and eventually take back in ROCOR/MP. I can’t see the trajectory for the GOA being anything other than a decline. There’s no reason for the rest of us to hitch ourselves to that falling star.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          The problem with that, George, is he is always surprising us! He does things in secret not caring when it hits the fan.

          I mean, we didn’t see him honoring Bartholomew’s name day in an Episcopal church with a female bishop and a rainbow flag, did we? That was a shock. We didn’t expect him to be marching in a parade in the middle of what (he believed) was a legitimate pandemic. We didn’t see him suggesting communion for non-chrismated spouses in an effort to eventually marry two same-sex couples or a secret gay baptism. The guy doesn’t seem to care when he’s hung out to dry. He’s like the energizing bunny. He just keeps on clanging the wrong symbols and banging the wrong drums.

        • Today’s the day that Elpi may be KO’d. Let’s hope that rumor was true.

        • What union? We are united in one faith and one love in Christ. We don’t want the rot to spread to our other churches. Be watchful for the hour is at hand!

  8. Manos Palazos says

    Who are you kidding? Are you living in yiayialand? There is no such thing as Orthodox Church! See then see

    • Gail Sheppard says

      This is the second stupidest thing I’ve seen today. Of course, there is an Orthodox Church.

  9. Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

    Gail, the first link provided by “Manos Palazos” (a pseudonym, I suspect, by someone who is trying to punk us on monomakhos), which trumpets secularism in Greece, would be a poor excuse for “journalism” even in a high school newspaper. Readers of monomakhos need only go to The Ground Truth Project website listed above, click on “About” and then “Editorial Partners,” and discover the usual panoply of left-wing, secular, anti-Christian media. The second link by the punk-artist is a typical extreme Protestant screed against Orthodox Christianity. I regret wasting fifteen minutes of my life reading all that nonsense.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      This is a public blog. It comes with the territory. Most people take these opportunities to respond and educate others in the process. It’s quite cathartic.