Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Messinia issued an opinion regarding the filling of the positions of Metropolitan for the Church of Greece that have recently been left vacant.
Metropolitan Chrysostomos wonders whether, on the basis of the new Charter of the Church, Titular Bishops and Titular Metropolitans have the right to be elected to the Holy Metropolis of the Church of Greece.
The Metropolitan of Messinia replies that, on the basis of “the rationale and wording of the provision of Article 25 (2) of the Charter, the answer is negative, since the provision refers to the Titular Bishops and Titular Metropolitans who have been ordained at the date of entry into force of the new Charter, that is 31 May 1977, and not later than that date.
This is why the elections for the Metropolis of Piraeus, Kefalonia, Lefkada, and Ithaca, in which the four aforementioned Titular Bishops took part, prior to 31-05-1977, were canonical, whereas the current Titular Bishops and Titular Metropolitans can not be elected exceptionally in the Holy Metropolis of the Church of Greece”.
It further clarifies that the Titular Metropolitans and Titular Bishops (of Koronia, Diavlia, Salona, Thavmako, and Tanagra), who were not elected to a legislated position of Titular Bishop or Titular Metropolitan, by law, cannot stand as a candidate.
As he points out, their election to a Holy Metropolis will involve the Church of Greece and the Holy Metropolis in which they will be elected, into a negative spiral of judicial actions and cancellations.
He concludes that the individual personalities of the Metropolitans or Bishops are not the problem, but the prestige of the decisions of the Church and the credibility of the archdiocese elections must be maintained.