Gregory of Agrigentum & Amphilochios of Iconium
Nov. 23/Dec.6, 2013
To all the clergy and laity of the Holy Metropolis of America
Beloved Children in the Lord,
Grace and peace be unto you from God, and prayer and blessing from us.
Glory be to God Who recently deemed me worthy to visit our fatherland of Greece for the first time in eight years and to be present at various ecclesiastical events there, such as the transfer of the remains of our ever-memorable elders and predecessors Metropolitan Petros of Astoria and Archimandrite Niphon Astyfides, and the celebration of the memory of St. Pachomios of Chios († 1905).
While in Greece I also took part in the convocation of the Holy Synod of the G.O.C. of Greece under the presidency of His Beatitude Archbishop Kallinikos of Athens and all-Greece. During the meeting of the Holy Synod on October 10/23, 2013, I once again expressed my inability to smoothly exercise my pastoral responsibilities in the Holy Metropolis of America given the unfavorable condition of my health, being plagued by illness due to a stroke I suffered eight years ago, I asked that my resignation from the administration of the Holy Metropolis of America be accepted. The Holy Synod accepted my resignation and on November 6/19, 2013, appointed His Beatitude Archbishop Kallinikos to be the Locum Tenens of the Holy Metropolis of America. Archbishop Kallinikos, as Locum Tenens, shall administer the Metropolis until the election of a new Metropolitan; he posses all of the rights and responsibilities of the ruling Metropolitan during the interim, and as such he is commemorated in the Divine Services.
My resignation takes effect, and simultaneously His Beatitude becomes the Locum Tenens, when the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece issues an encyclical concerning this.
My decision to resign from the administration of the Holy Metropolis of America was not one I took lightly, but it has become abundantly clear to me that being loaded down with jurisdictional responsibilities was extremely burdensome to me. I felt that the Metropolis of America could be better administered by His Beatitude and the Holy Synod around him.
In resigning from the position of Metropolitan of America, I have not ceased to be a hierarch of the Church, I have simply ceased to exercise administrative functions within the Metropolis. I have not abandoned you, rather, I have handed the reins of the Holy Metropolis of America to those better equipped to administer it.
I am still with you and I call upon you to support His Beatitude, Archbishop Kallinikos, and those hierarchs whom he has appointed to assist him in the administration of the Metropolis, just as you have faithfully supported me all these years.
Exhorting you in the Holy Spirit to remain steadfast in Orthodoxy, I ask you to pray for me, that being delivered from the onerous burden of pastoral responsibilities I will able to find the peace of soul which I so desire. Pray that my resignation may be for the salvation of my soul and for the benefit of the Holy Metropolis of America.
Your fervent intercessor before the Lord,
† Metropolitan Pavlos of America
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