The Holy Metropolis of Sweden and All Scandinavia feels obliged to respond to and refute the false accusations in the Gothenburg Post’s latest article of March 29, 2022 in the interest of restoring truth and combating false information, for the sake of its flock in Scandinavia.
Funeral of Metropolitan Pavlos Menevisoglou formerly of Amaseia
His Eminence Metropolitan Cleopas of Sweden preformed his ecclesiastical duty when he attended the funeral for his ever-memorable predecessor Metropolitan Pavlos Menevisoglou.
Metropolitan Cleopas was accompanied by three clergymen of the Holy Metropolis of Sweden, who joined him in praying for the repose of the soul of the departed hierarch.
The letter that was read prior to the start of the funeral included instructions expressing the late Metropolitan Pavlos’ desire that his funeral was to be conducted by a Romanian priest. However, he did not forbid anyone from attending his funeral to pay their respects and join in prayer – especially not prohibiting his successor to perform his ecclesiastical duty, according to the traditions of the church.
The Holy Metropolis also wants to clearly deny the false statement that Metropolitan Cleopas had forbidden Metropolitan Pavlos to visit the churches under the Metropolis jurisdiction. On the contrary, Metropolitan Cleopas had invited him to celebrate and preside over religious ceremonies and related events on many occasions.
Whenever Metropolitan Cleopas would celebrate the Divine Liturgy, he would also always commemorate his predecessor in accordance with ecclesiastical tradition, during the part of the “Great Entrance” as follows: “Pavlos the Hierarch, my venerable predecessor”.
Metropolitan Cleopas’ Visit to Mt. Athos
His Eminence Metropolitan Cleopas visited the Esphigmenou Monastery in Mt. Athos, in June 2015, following an invitation from the Monastery’s Abbot the V. Rev. Archimandrite Bartholomew, where he presided over the feast of the Assumption of the Lord. This was His Eminence’s only pilgrimage to Mt. Athos during his eight years of service as a prelate and received significant coverage in the media, which proves in and of itself that the trip was not undertaken in secret.
Administrative Reorganization of the Holy Metropolis’ Parishes in Sweden
With the establishment of its new parishes, the Holy Metropolis initiated an administrative reorganization. The reason for this was because some of the existing parishes were previously unregistered as legal entities and faced several administrative difficulties, i.e. not being able to obtain Tax ID and open bank accounts. The reorganization was conducted in order to solve these problems.
As the unregistered parishes had nonfunctioning boards, the Metropolis appointed temporary interim boards that executed the documents for the registration of the parishes as legal entities. The appointment of such boards was done in a totally legitimate way, in accordance with the Metropolis By-Laws
This action was purely administrative and not ecclesiastical in nature. None of the clergymen were obstructed from performing their ecclesiastical duties.
The process was ultimately completed and the Kammarkollegiet issued new ID Numbers for all parishes.
After the registration, the Metropolis was able to assist in the process of opening bank accounts for the parishes of Kalmar, Borås, and Jönköping, immediately depositing the sum of 100,000 SEK to the account of each one of aforementioned parishes, thus fulfilling the promise made to them.
Metropolitan Cleopas has since informed the parish priests of the three new parishes regarding the bank accounts, as well as the Swedish Authorities, and asked clergymen to designate the member of their parish council, who would assume duties of treasurer and the management of their parish bank account.
Metropolitan of Sweden’s Signature
Regarding the use of the Metropolitan’s name in official documents, the state authorities sometimes request the Metropolitan to use his legal name, as it appears on his passport, which is – as everybody knows – different from his ecclesiastical/ordination name. This is the simple reason why the Metropolitan in some cases uses his ecclesiastical name “Metropolitan Cleopas”, and in other cases his legal name, depending on the nature of the matter.
Regarding alleged Kammarkollegiet investigation
The statement that Kammarkollegiet has initiated an investigation regarding the administrative reorganization of the Metropolis’ parishes is incorrect. The Holy Metropolis has made a formal inquiry to Kammarkollegiet and has received a written confirmation that there is no ongoing investigation whatsoever regarding the reorganization of its parishes.
The Holy Metropolis of Sweden has not been notified of any complaint made against Metropolitan Cleopas personally. Moreover, following a recent inquiry by the Holy Metropolis, Police Authorities confirmed that there is no ongoing investigation whatsoever against Metropolitan Cleopas.
We want to note that GP has made several false statements in its previous articles. They alleged in particular that Stockholm stad and Länsstyrelsen Stockholm considered that the restoration of the St. George Cathedral of Stockholm was an “illegal construction”. In its previous statements, the Holy Metropolis has uploaded documents – in the form of unequivocal email confirmations from such authorities – demonstrating that, neither Stockholm stad, nor Länsstyrelsen Stockholm, has made any such statement.
Reference to the allegedly forged signatures on the donation documents of the Göteborg church building
As it was mentioned in the Metropolis’ previous statements, the transfer of the Göteborg church building was done by an executive board decision, executed by the legitimate parish council of the Göteborg parish.
The signed documents were collected personally by the chairman of the Göteborg board, without the involvement of the Holy Metropolis. The original documents were posted to the Holy Metropolis, and simultaneously PDF copies of the same documents were emailed to the Holy Metropolis by the then chairman of the Göteborg parish council.
The Holy Metropolis has originals of these documents. Hence, the false accusation that the Holy Metropolis forged the documents is simply impossible, and this has already been demonstrated by the documents uploaded as appendices in the Metropolis’ previous statements.