St. Katherine is honored to have numerous members who are Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate honors individuals for their outstanding service to the Orthodox Church by bestowing a Patriarchal title, or “offikion,” upon them by His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Collectively, these honorees comprise The Order of St. Andrew the Apostle. Those upon whom this title of the Mother Church has been conferred are known as “Archons of the Great Church of Christ,” and the titles are personally conferred by the Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios.
The Order’s fundamental goal and mission is to promote the religious freedom, well-being and advancement of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which is headquartered in Istanbul,Turkey.
The 5 issues of concern:
1. Government Interference in Patriarchal Elections –
The Turkish government imposes restrictions on the election of the Ecumenical Patriarch and Hierarchs who vote for him by requiring that they must be Turkish citizens.
2. Non-Recognition of “Ecumenical” Status –
The Turkish government does not recognize the “Ecumenical” status of the Patriarch and Patriarchate
3. No Legal Identity –
The Ecumenical Patriarchate has no legal identity or bona fide legal personality in Turkey
4. Closing of Seminary and Inability to Train New Clergy –
The Ecumenical Patriarchate is unable to train new clergy in Turkey and its theological school was forcibly closed down by the Turkish Government
5. Confiscation of Property –
The Turkish Government has confiscated thousands of properties from the Ecumenical Patriarchate
What is an Archon?
An Archon is recognized by His All Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch, for his outstanding service to the Church, and is a well-known distinguished, and well-respected leader of the Greek Orthodox Community (at large).
It is by the grace of God that an Archon has been able to achieve such greatness and to offer his good works and deeds of faith. Further, it is the sworn oath of all Archons to defend and promote the Greek Orthodox faith and tradition. His special concern and interest is to serve as a bulwark to protect and promote the Holy Patriarchate and its mission. He is also concerned with the human race’s inalienable rights wherever and whenever they are violated – and the well-being and general welfare of the Church.