Originally as Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the
South I had scheduled a Special Assembly this month (July) in order for a candidate to
be selected and proposed to us for canonical election to fill the vacancy of
the archpastor of this widowed diocese.
Two candidates to date were probably going to appear
on the ballot and one name would be sent to us. Both are controversial in
different ways. One Bishop Mark Maymon within
the diocese due to some unfortunate incidences and the other outside of the
diocese Fr Gerasim Eliel that several of you have indicated have serious
questions or concerns.
The problem is that one of them has never met any of
us. Although there was a rudimentary vetting of Fr. Grasim a number of years
ago but the make up of the Synod at that time was different than today and several
of you have expressed serious concerns and have questions that they would like
to have answered should his name be placed before us.
Therefore I am postponing the special assembly and
suggest that Fr Gerasim be invited to the Fall session of the Holy Synod so
that he may be properly vetted by the current members of the whole Synod and
answer any questions and address any concerns you may have.
In all fairness to us and to the Diocese of the
South, we cannot expect the Synod to elect someone they do not know and further,
should the special election take place now, and the name be unacceptable to the
majority of the Synod members, this would then place us in the precarious
position of “appointing” an arch pastor who either may or may not be known to
the diocese. In effect the diocese would have forfeited there election process. This is something that cannot and should
not occur as we, both the synod and the diocese choose a successor to
Archbishop Dmitri, of Blessed memory.
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