[quote]No man takes this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. (Heb 5:4)[/quote]

My beloved fathers, the wholly revered and totally blessed metropolitans and bishops, members of the holy synod; I beg your indulgence to offer these simple words:

According to the Biblical teachings, it is clear that there is no need to invoke the exception mentioned in canon 14 that is attributed to our fathers the apostles, and accordingly, choosing one of our fathers the metropolitans or bishops as a Patriarch, since the work of the Holy Spirit is the foundation in overseeing the affairs of the church, and not human experience or human wisdom. For in spite of there being “many wise men after the flesh, many mighty, and many noble…God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are.” (1 Cor 1:26-28) God had entrusted fishermen to be fishers of men for the kingdom of heaven (Mark 1:17).

The Lord commanded His disciples saying: “Take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.” (Matt 10:19) And promised to give them “a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.” (Luke 21:15)…”for it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” (Matt 10:20)

Is the hand of the Lord shortened that it can not choose from among the monks, who have not yet been ordained to the bishopric someone to sit on the throne of Saint Mark?

And even if one of the metropolitans or bishops was chosen to be the 118th Patriarch, would he not be choosing from among the ranks of the monks in order to fill the empty dioceses with new bishops? Is it not more seemly that we choose one of those monks to become the next Patriarch? And by doing so, we will give rest to our consciences and ourselves and our congregations from offences and schisms, and accusations and from breaking the spiritual and ecclesiastical canons, and we become a model and an example in despising ranks and honours.

Lo, Metanoia before all of you.

Demetrius