Ordained by a New Calendar Bishop?
Part of my ongoing Correspondence series, featuring replies to people who contacted me and asked questions.
Based on your research, Is it true that one of the ordaining bishops of Metropolitan Petros was with the “New Calendar but under the ROCOR” like I have read?
You’re getting things mixed up a bit—Metropolitan Petros was ordained by ROCOR Bishop Seraphim of Caracas and Archbishop Leonty of Chile.
The ordination you are referring to is that of Archbishop Akakios, who was ordained for Greece while traveling to America (the only way he could get out of Greece was because he was going for cancer treatment, I believe, as Old Calendarists were forbidden to travel internationally at that time). Archbishop Seraphim of Chicago agreed to do the consecration, but they needed a place to do it and a second bishop, so Bishop Theofil (Ionescu) agreed to help.
Bishop Theofil (Ionescu) had left the Romanian Patriarchate because of Sergianism, and applied to ROCOR, which accepted him, on the condition that he return to the Old Calendar. They gave him some time to do this, since there were pastoral concerns. Archbishop Akakios did not know that Bishop Theofil was on the New Calendar, until he arrived at the cathedral and saw Christmas decorations up. He protested, and the situation was explained to him. Archbishop Seraphim was the primary consecrator anyway since he was the senior hierarch, so the “succession” comes from him, but he read a forgiveness prayer over Bishop Theofil first to calm Archbishop Akakios’s conscience.
After the ordination, Archbishop Leonty of Chile met Archbishop Akakios in Greece, where he helped him ordain the rest of the GOC bishops of the restored Synod.
Our argument is that the unilaterial adoption of the New Calendar is a schismatic act, and that the underlying reasons were ecumenistic, but we do not make the argument that the New Calendar per se is heretical—except perhaps for the most extreme among the Matthewites. As such, the ROCOR allowing it out of economy in the case of a bishop fleeing heresy, who needs time to acclamate his flock, is not the same thing as a bishop switching to the New Calendar himself in order to be in sync with the world. When Bishop Kyrill of the Bulgarians under ROCOR did just this in the 1970s, ROCOR told him to go back to the Old Calendar, “or else.” When he did not comply, they cut him off from communion, at which point he went to the OCA.
Anastasios Hudson is an Orthodox Christian author, speaker, and web developer living in Reston, Virginia. He is the author of Metropolitan Petros of Astoria: A Microcosm of the Old Calendar Movement in America (2014). Your purchase of this book, which is available at the low price of 7.99 (print) and 4.99 (eBook) will help him support his family! His personal website is AnastasiosHudson.com and his Facebook page is located here.