THE HOLY SYNOD
Of the Church of the T.O.C. of Greece

In Athens, the 28th of November, 2007  (Eccl. Calendar)

COMMUNIQUE


The Holy Synod of the Hierarchy of the True Orthodox Church of Greece, meeting in regularly scheduled Meeting, today the 28th of November of the present year, under the Presidency of His Beatitude Nicholas, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, and there being present all of her Members, that is, the Most Reverend Metropolitans 1) Pachomios of Argolis, 2) Galaction of Peristerion, 3) Tarasios of Verroia and Naousa, 4) Andreas of Theva and Levadeia, 5) Panteleimon of Pireaus and the Islands, 6) Ignatios of Larisa and Tyrnavo, and 7) the Most Rev. Bishop Chrysostomos of Phillipi, who was justifiably absent because of illness but represented by the V. Rev. Hieromonk Neophytos Tsakiroglou.  In addition, there were present by invitation the Bishops of the Autocephalos Church of the Paternal Traditions of Cyprus the Most Rev. Metropolitan Sevastianos of Kition and the Most Rev. Bishop Lazaros of Amathous; present also was the Very Reverend Protopresbyter Fr. Demetrios Tsarkatzoglou, adjudicating the accusation of Cacodoxy and Schism against the former Bishop of Mesogaia and Lavriotiki Kirikos.

As is known, the above mentioned accused Bishop separated himself from June of 2005 by his own decision from the Body of the Hierarchy as a result and consequence of his tactic of refusal to accept for some time now of the Decisions of the Sacred Synod, especially those which touched upon his person and matters of Faith.

Then, by its Decision, Prot. No. 3219/17.6.2005, the Sacred Synod declared the above mentioned Bishop removed from his throne and imposed upon him, by lenient decision seeking his correction, the penalty of suspension and informed him that in the case of his inaction within two months there would be initiated the canonical ecclesiastical procedure for the imposition of Deposition as foreseen by the XIV Canon of the so-called First-and-Second Synod.

Two years have passed from that time, during which the Sacred Synod, which was not obligated to do so under the aforementioned Decision, invited the accused three times to appear before it to explain himself, as is evidenced by its Documents: 3235/31.3.2006, 3239/26.4.2006 and 3244/13.10.2006; but he refused to accept this responsibility, rather satisfied himself sending to the Sacred Synod his own irrelevant documents.

Taking into account the above mentioned Bishop's persistent support of the Trinitological and Ecclesiological innovation concerning the "communion of the three Divine Persons" as "the first eternal Church," a heresy which is a Papal teaching widely supported in the field of new calendarist-ecumenism, and which he preached "with bared head" during the last eight years, despite the repeated brotherly admonitions and exhortations of the Sacred Synod, quarreling spitefully and without repentance against the Church which is the "pillar and foundation of truth," (I Tim. 3:15); as well as his persisting in Schism, failing to hear the voice of the Church, through the Holy Fathers, especially that of our Father among the Saints John, the luminary of Demascus, who said, "Wherefore, brethren, let us stand aright in the rock of Faith and the Tradition of the Church, not removing boundaries which were placed by our holy Fathers, giving no place to those who wish to innovate and tear down the edifice of God's Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.  For if permission is given to anyone who would do so in even the least matter, the entire body of the Church will be demolished." (Expos. of the Orth. Faith, Migne 94, c722A; Migne 94, c1365 CD); and that of our Father among the Saints Athanasios the Great commenting on the words of the Lord in the Holy Gospel: "…if thine eye offends thee pluck it out…" (Matt. 18:9), and saying: "Traveling the inerrant and life-bearing path, we pluck out that eye which offends: not the physical one, but the noetic one.  Wherefore if the Bishop or the Presbyter, who are the eyes of the Church behave badly, scandalizing the people, they must be plucked out.  For it is more profitable to gather together without them in a house of prayer than to be cast into the lake of fire with Annas and Caiafas….that the Church be gathered together unscandalized."  (Migne, 27, 1369C); the Holy Synod

DECIDED

by its Document Prot. No. 3282/28.11.2007 the DEPOSITION of BISHOP KIRIKOS KONTOGIANNIS from the Episcopal rank, the stripping from him of any priestly function, and his return to the order of the monastics, unable anymore to perform any priestly function whatsoever.

With much sorrow the Sacred Synod announces the above to the Sacred Clergy, the Monastic Orders and to the Pious Laity of the True Orthodox Church, COMMANDING to all the faithful that they have no communion with the former Bishop and present monk Kirikos Kontogiannis.

It expresses its sorrow reminding anyone who might thoughtlessly or superficially or arrogantly or in any other manner be in communion with the schism and apostasy of the former Bishop and now monk Kirikos Kontogiannis the words of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostomos who said, "There are many who rejoice in evil and who fragment the Body of Christ even more than the soldiers cut It with the spear or the Judeans with the nails.  That (that is, the evil done by those who cut and crucified the Lord) is less than this (the evil of schism and the scattering of the ecclesiastical community)! (Third Commentary on Colossians, Migne, 62, 322, EPE 22, 142).

Addressing the faithful children of the True Orthodox Church, the Holy Synod reminds them by emphasizing that "the most catastrophic thing of all is the disruption of the Church" (First Commetary of St. John Chrysostomos on I Cor., Migne 61, 11; EPE 18, 14); and that "dividing the Church is no less an evil than falling into heresy." Eleventh Commentary on Ephesians, Migne 62,87; EPE 20, 712).

Wherefore, " Let us stand aright; let us stand with fear; let us ATTEND" remaining true to the teaching of the Church and in obedience to Her Canonical Shepherds, struggling for the Faith once delivered to the Saints unto our last breath; of which may we be accounted worthy by Divine Grace.  Amen.


The original decree [Prot. No. 3282/28.11.2007] was signed by
the following members of the Holy Synod:

His Beatitude Nicholas,
Archbishop of Athens and All Greece

Their Eminences, the Metropolitans:
Pachomios of Argolis
Andreas of Theva and Levadeia
Panteleimon of Pireaus and the Islands
Ignatios of Larisa and Tyrnavo
+~+~+~+~+~+~+

The Most Rev. Bishop:
Chrysostomos of Phillipi
(He was justifiably absent because of illness )
was represented by
The V. Rev. Hieromonk Neophytos Tsakiroglou

Also present, by invitation, were
the Bishops of the Autocephalos Church
of the Paternal Traditions of Cyprus:
His Emenince, Metropolitan Sevastianos of Kition
The Most Rev. Bishop Lazaros of Amathous

Present also was the Very Reverend Protopresbyter Fr. Demetrios Tsarkatzoglou, adjudicating the accusation of Cacodoxy and Schism against the former Bishop of Mesogaia and Lavriotiki, Kirikos.

NOTE: All protocols and decrees are
signed by the Holy Synod. Public communiques, such as this one, are not; however, the signers have been added in order to avoid any confusion about who signed the decree and who did not.