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Petition Asks for Split in Greek Orthodox Parish

Elaine Emmi
Interior of Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church

  A petition asking the Greek Orthodox Archbishop to split Salt Lake City’s two Greek Orthodox churches into separate parishes is being circulated among some church members.

There’s been an ongoing dispute among members of the parish for some time over control of money raised for church buildings as well as how many priests it should employ.  That led to a brief standoff last summer, when Metropolitan Isaiah, the bishop who oversees congregations in the Mountain West, suspended services for a time at both Holy Trinity Cathedral in Salt Lake City and Prophet Elias church in Holladay.

The worldwide head of the Greek Orthodox Church has asked Archbishop Demetrios, the head of the Archdiocese of America, to intervene and help resolve the conflict.

This week, a petition has been circulating among members of the Prophet Elias congregation, asking the archbishop to divide the parish.  The petition compares the situation to “an unholy plural marriage,” and says the two churches are “de facto separated.”

The head of the parish council, DimitriosTsagaris, met with the archbishop in New York earlier this month.  He told church members in a letter that the dysfunctional arrangement between the members and the local clergy cannot continue, and he’s also looking forward to guidance from the archbishop.

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