The worldwide head of the Greek Orthodox church has reportedly become involved in a long-standing dispute between the parishioners of Salt Lake City’s two churches and the church hierarchy.
The National Herald, a news website serving the Greek community in the United States, reports that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has intervened in the ongoing conflict between the parish council and Metropolitan Isaiah, the bishop who oversees Greek Orthodox parishes in the Mountain West. The Herald says Bartholomew has asked Archbishop Demetrios, the head of the church in the United States, to intervene and resolve the issue.
The Salt Lake City Greek Orthodox parish includes both Holy Trinity Cathedral in Salt Lake City and Prophet Elias church in Holladay. The budget adopted by the parish council last year included funding for only two priests, though it has employed three in the past. That led to a standoff last summer when the Metropolitan refused to allow the priests to officiate at worship services for a few weeks.
Parish Council President Demetrios Tsagaris declined a recorded interview, but told KUER he’s optimistic the issues can be resolved with the help of the archbishop.
In the meantime, regular services are being conducted at the two churches and some members are contributing to a separate fund to help support the third priest.