State of Indiana Passes Archon Resolution

STATE OF INDIANA BECOMES 45TH STATE TO FULLY PASS THE ARCHON RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE OF CONSTANTINOPLE

GREEK ORTHODOX OF CHICAGO AND DETROIT METROPOLISES COMPLETE JOINT EFFORT FOR PASSAGE OF ARCHON RESOLUTION

CHICAGO, IL: The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago and the Metropolis of Detroit, currently both under the leadership of Metropolitan Nicholas, together with Order of Saint Andrew (Archon) Regional Commanders Gus M. Pablecas, John G. Manos, and Lazaros Kircos, are proud to announce that today representatives of both Metropolis' had a meeting with Lt Governor Suzanne Crouch to receive word that Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb endorses the action taken by the Indiana Senate with resolution SR2 and the House of Representatives resolution HR28, both of which are the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle’s Religious Freedom Resolution for the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Indiana is now the 45th State to fully pass Religious Freedom resolutions in support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

This meeting concludes the highly successful joint effort to gain passage in Indiana of the Archon Resolution which was announced in the fall of 2016. By Spring of 2017, the Indiana Senate responded with passage of SR2 following several media presentations at Greek Orthodox parishes in Northern Indiana. Thanks to the support of Indiana Representative Robert Morris and hard work of Fort Wayne Archon Chris Rongos, the Indiana House of Representatives followed with passage of HR28 on February 28, 2018. The full joint effort to gain passage of the Archon Resolution in Indiana was overseen by the Metropolis of Chicago Department of Media Relations.

In 2006, the Order of Saint Andrew (Archons) initiated the Religious Freedom Resolution project. The goal of this project, which represents one component of the overall, multi-faceted Religious Freedom Initiative, is the adoption of Religious Freedom Resolutions in support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in each individual state within the United States. The project has been overseen nationally by Archon Stephen Georgeson. To date, 45 of the 50 states have passed resolutions as part of this national effort.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is the spiritual center of over 330 million Orthodox Christians worldwide, making Orthodoxy the second largest tradition within Christianity. Based in Istanbul (formerly, Constantinople), Turkey, since the founding of the church by the Apostle Andrew, elder brother of Apostle Peter and first of the disciples of Christ, today the Ecumenical Patriarchate faces dangers that, if left unchecked, could bring an end to this historic religious institution. The five key issues the Resolution calls attention to are:

1)     Government Interference in Election of Ecumenical Patriarchate - The Turkish government insists on approving the selection of the Ecumenical Patriarch and insists that the Patriarch must be a Turkish citizen.

2)     Non-recognition of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew as the worldwide spiritual leader of the Orthodox and treating him as simply a local priest.

3)     Re-opening of the Theological School of Halki, closed by the Turkish government since 1971 and where many past Patriarchs have been trained.

4)     No Legal Identity for Ecumenical Patriarchate - inhibiting the Patriarchate from taking any formal actions in Turkey in its own name and forcing the Patriarchate to use surrogates for owning property and other administrative affairs , and

5)     Confiscation of Property - without a legal identity, the Turkish government claims property owned by the Patriarchate for centuries has been abandoned, and then confiscates the property.

The Metropolis of Chicago oversees all Greek Orthodox Parishes within Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota as well as eastern Missouri and northwestern Indiana. The Metropolis of Detroit is under the leadership of Metropolitan Nicholas and oversees all Greek Orthodox Parishes in Michigan, Arkansas and Kentucky, as well as eastern and southern Indiana, western Ohio, western Tennessee and upstate New York.

***Attached Photo L-R: Indiana AHEPA Member Matthew Kochevar, Metropolis of Chicago Media Relations Director John Ackerman, Fr William Bartz, Charles Kallas, Archon Chris Rongos, Indiana Lt Governor Suzanne Crouch, Indiana State Representative Robert Morris, Metropolis of Detroit Chancellor Fr Dean Hountalas, Fr Andrew Walsh, Fr Lucas Christensen, Indiana AHEPA Member Nick Kavadas, and Archon Frank Lagouros ***