This photograph was found in the archives of the Library of Congress. As yet, there have been no official documents that have surfaced detailing what this 1921 meeting must have entailed. It might have been only a courtesy call, with a photo op at the end. Whatever it may have included, it’s at least clear who is regarded as the senior cleric among them (Meletios), despite his status at the time as having been deposed from the see of Athens.
Irony of ironies. What strange bedfellows history makes.
This wasn't the first time Met. Meletios had a run in with the Russian canonical bishops of America:
Archb. Metaxakis' of Athens speech to the Holy Synod of Greece in 1920 concerning his visit to America:
The Patriarchal Tome of 1908 directed the immediate assignment of a Greek Bishop in America. However I learned in America that for a decade, diplomatic pressures prevented the implementation of the Patriarchal Tome. Upon my arrival, I waited for the Russian Bishop to come to me; however, he did not. In order to give him the opportunity, I sent Archimandrites Chrysostom and Alexander to him. He, in turn, reciprocated by sending an Archimandrite to visit me. I then realized that he expected me to visit him, thus recognizing him as the canonical Bishop in America, under whose jurisdiction the Greek Church ought to belong. I held a press conference with the Greek and English language newspapers, in which I quoted Orthodox teaching relative to lands outside the existing Patriarchal boundaries that canon law places them under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Thus, the Church in America is under the canonical authority of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and only by its authority can certain actions be taken. Our presence in America is by virtue of the permission granted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the Tome of 1908, rendering us the only canonical jurisdiction[emph. in the original] No other such permission has been granted. We are aware only that the Patriarchate of Antioch requested the permission of the Patriarchate to send the Bishop of Seleucia to America for the needs of the Syrian Orthodox. Prior to this, Efthymios, who was ordained by the Russians for the Syrians, but never recognized by the Patriarchate of Antioch, was abandoned by the Russians. This event reinforced our position regarding canonicity in America. Throughout our presence in America, the Russian Bishop attempted indirectly to impose this position of hegemony, yet never openly or officiallyhttp://books.google.com/books?id=Uh4VnseTNZkC&pg=PA137&dq=Galveston+Orthodox&lr=#PPA137,M1
Change Russian to OCA, and see how little has changed. The GOARCH was set up, not in ignorance of the Russian Archdiocese, but in defiance of it.
As to this picture, I wonder if this has something to do with it:http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9F07EFDA113EEE3ABC4152DFB467838A639EDE
GREEK PARTIARCH HERE IS HONORED BY 4,000; The Rev. Meletios Metaxakis Presides at First Service SinceArrival 8 Months Ago.
December 19, 1921
More than 4,000 persons gathered yesterday at Holy Trinity Greek Cathedral, East Seventy-second Street, near Lexington Avenue, to greet the Most Rev. Meletios Metaxakis, who will depart for Constantinople this week to be enthroned as Economical Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
It was the first public appearance since his election here of Meletios, although he has been in New York eight months...
Actually no, he had been in America eight months. When the canonical authority of the CoG Met. Germanos arrived in NYC in June of that year, the deposed Met. Meletios ran off to SF, where he divided the Greek community there. The article refers to these problems:
...having been exiled as Metropolitan of Athens when King Constantine returned to the throne and Eleutherios Venizelos, friend of Meletios, resigned as premier and left Greece....
The CoG had defrocked Meletios' exarch, Bishop Alexander, when he refused the Holy Synod's recall to Greece. But here "...With Meletios was the Right Rev. Alexander, Bishop for the Greeks in North and South America...." The EP elect's problems were not over, though:
...Meletios preached in Greek. He said the veto placed by the Sublime Porte upon his election was invalid. He asserted the Treaty of Sevres specifically provided for the full religious autonomy of minorities within the Ottoman Empire, and that the former right of the Sublime Porte to overrule such an election had vanished with the signing of that treaty.
Alas, we are all well aware how much the right of the Turk to overrule such an election, nearly a century later, has not "vanished." The problem was the Treaty of Sevres was void ab initio as the Turks were concerned, as no one impowered to sign its terms did so: The Ottomans were not a signatory to Versailles. Their Constitution stated:
Art. 1. The Ottoman Empire comprises present territory and possessions, and semi-dependent provinces. It forms an indivisible whole, from which no portion can be detached under any pretext whatever.http://www.anayasa.gen.tr/1876constitution.htm
Art. 2. Istanbul is the capital of the Ottoman Empire. This city possesses no provilege or immunity peculiar to itself over the other towns of the empire.
Art 3: "The Imperial Ottoman sovereignty, which carries with it the Supreme Caliphate of Islam, falls to the eldest Prince of the House of Osman, according to the rule established ab antiquo. On his accession the Sultan shall swear before Parliament, or if Parliament is not sitting, at its first meeting, to respect the visions of the Şeriat (canon law) and the Constitution, and to be loyal to the country and the nation. [according to the 1909 revision, so too the following article].
Art. 7: Among the sacred prerogatives of the Sultan are the following:...the granting of high public offices and titles, according to the law ad hoc; the conferring of orders; the selection and appointment of the Grand Vizier and the Şeyhülislam; the confirmation in their offices of the members of the Cabinet formed and proposed by the Grand Vizier, and, if need arise, the dismissal and replacement of Ministers according to established practice; the approval of putting into force of general laws; the drawing up of regulations concerning the workings of Government departments and the method of administering the laws; the initiative in all kinds of legislation; the maintenance and execution of the canon and civil laws; the appointment of persons to the privileged provinces according to the terms of their privileges; the command of the military and naval forces; the declaration of war and the making of peace;...and the conclusion of Treaties in general. Only, the consent of Parliament is required for the conclusion of Treaties which concern peace, commerce, the abandonment or annexation of territory, or the fundamental or personal rights of Ottoman subjects, or which involve expenditure on the part of the State. In case of a change of Cabinet while Parliament is not sitting, the responsibility arising out of the change rests upon the new Cabinet.
Art. 8. All subjects of the empire are called Ottomans, without distinction whatever faith they profess; the status of an Ottoman is acquired and lost according to conditions specified by law.
Art. 9. Every Ottoman enjoys personal liberty on condition of non interfering with the liberty of others.
Art. 11. Islam is the state religion. But, while maintainig this principle, the state will protect the free exercise of faiths professed in the Empire, and uphold the religious privileges granted to various bodies, on condition of public order and morality not being interfered with.
Art. 18. Eligibility to public office is conditional on a knowledge of Turkish, which is the official language of the State.
Art. 27. His Majesty may appoint as Grand Vizier and Şeyhü’l-İslam whomsoever he confides in, and thinks right to nominate to those posts.
The other ministers are appointed by Imperial Decree (İrade)
Art. 28. The Council of Ministers meets under the presidency of the Grand Vizier.
All weighty state affairs, whether domestic or foreign, come within the competency of the Council of Ministers. Those of their measures, which must be submitted for the approval of His Majesty, are made law by Imperial Decree
Art. 29. Each head of department, within the limits of his powers, carries out the measures, which appertain to his Department. In matters without this limit he must have recourse to the Grand Vizier.
The Grand Vizier takes action on the measures presented to him by the heads of departments, either by referring them, if need be, to the Cabinet, and then presenting them for the Imperial sanction; or, on the other hand, by deciding on them himself, and referring them to the decision of His Majesty the Sultan.
Art. 30. Ministers shall be responsible to the Chamber of Deputies collectively for the general policy of the Government and personally for the affairs of their respective departments. Decisions which need the Imperial sanction shall only become valid if signed by the Grand Vizier and the Minister concerned, who thus accept responsibility, and countersigned by the Sultan. Decisions arrived at by the Council of Ministers shall bear the signatures of all the Ministers, and in cases where the Imperial assent is necessary, these signatures shall be headed by that of His Imperial Majesty the Sultan.
Art. 36. In case of urgent necessity, if the General Assembly be not in session, the Minister may adopt measures to protect the State against danger or to preserve the public safety.
These measures, sanctioned by an Imperial Irade, have provisionally the force of law if they be not contrary to the Constitution. They must be submitted to the General Assembly immediately upon its meeting.
Art. 39. All appointments to various public functions shall be made in conformity with the regulations which shall determine the conditions of merit and capacity required for admission to employment under the state. No functionary appointed under these conditions can be dismissed or transferred; unless it can be proved that his conduct legally justified such removal; unless he shall have resigned, or unless his retirement is considered indispensable by the government.
Art. 41. Both houses of Parliament shall meet without being summoned on the 1st (14th) November of every year.
Art 46. All the members of the General Assembly shall take an oath of fidelity to His Majesty the Sultan and to the country, shall bind themselves to observe the Constitution, to perform the duties entrusted to them, and to abstain from all acts opposed to those duties.
Art. 47. Members of the General Assembly are free to express their opinions and to vote as they like.
They cannot be bound by conditions or promises, nor influenced by threats. They cannot be prosecuted for opinions or votes delivered in the course of debate, unless they have contravened the Standing Orders of the Chamber, when they are amenable to the provisions of the regulations in force.
Art. 48. Any member of the General Assembly who, by an absolute majority of two-thirds of the Chamber of which he is a member, is accused of treason, or attempting to violate the Constitution, or of peculation (“concussion”), or has been condemned to imprisonment or exile, loses his status as Senator or Deputy.
He will be tried and sentence passed by the competent tribunal.
Art. 56. With the exception of the Ministers, of their deputies, and the functionaries summoned by a special call, no one can be introduced in either Chamber, nor allowed to make any communication whatever, whether he present himself in his own name or as the representative of a body.
Art. 58. The votes are given at the call of the House (“par appel nominal”), by show of hands or by ballot. The vote by ballot is subject to the decision of a majority of the members present.
Art. 59. The maintenance of order in each Chamber is entrusted to its President.
Art. 60. The President and members of the Senate are nominated directly by His Majesty the Sultan. The number of senators cannot exceed a third of the members of the Chamber of Deputies.
Art. 61. To be nominated a senator it is necessary to have shown by one’s acts that one is worthy of public confidence, or to have rendered signal services to the State, and to be, at least, forty years of age.
Art. 62. The senators are nominated for life.
The rank of senator may be conferred on persons “en disponibilité,” having exercised the functions of Minister, Governor-General (vali), Commandant of Corps d’Armée, Judge, Ambassador or Minister Plenipotentiary, Patriarch, Grand Rabbi, General of Division of armies by land or sea (“terre et de mer”), an generally on persons combining the requisite conditions.
Members of the Senate, called at their request to other functions, lose the position as senator.
Art. 64. The Senate examines the Bills or Budget transmitted to it by the Chamber of Deputies. If in the course of the examination of a Bill the Senate finds a provision contrary to the sovereign rights of the Sultan, to liberty, the Constitution, the territorial integrity of the Empire, the internal security of the country, to the interests of the defence of the country, or to morality, it rejects it definitely by a vote, assigning its reasons; or it sends it back, accompanied by its observations, to the Chamber of Deputies, demanding that it should be amended or modified in the sense of those observations.
Bills adopted by the Senate are invested with its approval, and are transmitted to the Grand Vizier.
The Senate examines the petitions presented to it; transmits to the Grand Vizier such as it thinks deserving of reference, accompanying them with its observations.
Art. 65. The number of deputies is fixed at one deputy for every 50.000 males belonging to the Ottoman nationality.
Art. 66. The election is held by secret ballot. The mode of election will be determined by a special law.
Art. 67. The mission of deputy is incompatible with public functions, except those of ministers. Any other public functionary elected deputy is free to accept or refuse; but, in case of acceptance, he must resign his functions.
Art. 68. The following are ineligible as deputies:
1. Those who do not belong to the Ottoman nationality; 2. Those who, by virtue of the special regulation in force, enjoy immunities attached to the foreign service to which they belong; 3. Those not understanding Turkish...7. Those notoriously in disrepute for their conduct; 8. Persons visited with judicial interdiction, as long as that interdiction is not raised; 9. Those not enjoying their civil rights; 10. Those who lay claim to a foreign nationality. After the expiration of the first period of four years, one of the conditions of eligibility will be ability to read Turkish and, as far as possible, to write in that language.
Art. 69. General elections of deputies are held every four years. The commission of every deputy lasts only four years, but he is re-eligible.
Art. 70. The general elections commence at the latest four months before the 1st of November, which is the date fixed for the meeting of the Chamber.
Art. 71. Every member of the Chamber of deputies represents the whole body of Ottomans, and not exclusively the circumscription which has elected him.
Art. 72. The electors are bound to choose their deputies from among the inhabitants of the province to which they belong.
Art. 73. In case of the dissolution of the Chamber by Imperial İrade, the general elections are to commence in such times as that the Chamber may meet again at the latest within six months of the date of the dissolution.
Art. 74. In the case of death, judicial interdiction, prolonged absence, loss of the office of Deputy resulting from a condemnation or from the acceptance of public functions, a substitute shall be elected in conformity with the prescriptions of the electoral law, and in such time as that the new deputy will be able to exercise his mandate at the latest in the following session.
Art. 75. The mandate of deputies elected to vacant places only lasts till the following election.
Art. 78. The sittings of the Chamber of deputies are public.
At the same time the Chamber may form itself into secret committee if the proposition is made by the ministers, or by the president, or by fifteen members, and that proposition is voted in secret committee.
Art. 79. No deputy can, during the session, be arrested or prosecuted, except in case of flagrant delinquency, unless a majority of the Chamber grant an authorization to prosecute.
Art. 80. The Chamber of deputies discusses the Bills submitted to it.
It adopts, amends, or rejects the provisions affecting finance or the Constitution.
Art. 87. Affairs touching the Şeriat are tried by the tribunals of the Şeriat. The judgment of civil affairs appertains to the civil tribunals.
Art. 88. The various categories of tribunals, their competency, functions, and the emoluments of the judges are settled by law.
Art. 92. The High Court is formed of thirty members, of whom ten are Senators, ten Councilors of State, and ten chosen among the presidents and members of the Court of Cassation and Court of Appeal.
All the members are nominated by lot.
The High Court is convoked, when necessary, by Imperial İrade, and assembles in the Senate building.
Its functions consist in trying the ministers, the president, and the members of the Court of Cassation, and all other persons accused of treason or attempts against the safety of the State.
Art. 93. The High Court is composed of two chambers; the Chamber of Accusation and the Chamber of Judgment.
The former is formed of nine members, nominated by lot among the members of the High Court, three of them being senators, three councilors of State, and three members of the Court of Cassation or Court of Appeal.
Art. 94. The decision of sending before the Chamber of Judgement is pronounced by the Chamber of Accusation by a majority of two-thirds of its members. The members belonging of the Chamber of Accusation cannot take part in the deliberations of the Chamber of Judgment.
Art. 95. The Chamber of Judgement is formed of twenty-one members, seven of whom are senators, seven members state councilors, and seven members of the Court of Cassation or Court of Appeal. It judges the cases that are sent to it by the Chamber of accusation by a majority of two-thirds of its members, and conformably to the laws in operation.
Its decisions are not susceptible either of appeal or of recourse to Cassation.
Art. 111. There shall be in every canton a Council appertaining to each of the different confessions. This Council will be charged with controlling:
1. The administration of the revenues of the real property of pious foundations (vakıf), the special destination of which is fixed by the express provisions of the founders or by custom.
2. The employment of funds or properties assigned by testamentary provision to acts or charity or beneficence.
3. The administration of funds for orphans, in conformity with the special regulation governing the matter.
Each Council shall be composed of members elected by the community it represents, conformably to special rules to be established. These Councils will be subordinated to the local authorities and the Councils General of provinces.
Art. 112. Municipal business will be administered in Istanbul and in the provinces by elected municipal councils.
The organization of the municipal councils, their functions, and the mode of election of their members, will be determined by a special law.
Art. 113. In the case of the perpetration of acts, or the appearance of indications of a nature to presage disturbance at any point on the territory of the Empire, the Imperial Government has the right to proclaim a state of siege there.
The state of siege consists in the temporary suspension of the civil laws.
The mode of administration of localities under a state of siege will be regulated by a special law.
His Majesty the Sultan has the exclusive right of expelling from the territory of the Empire those who, in consequence of trustworthy information obtained by the police, are recognized as dangerous to the safety of the State.
Art. 115. No provision of the constitution can, under any pretext whatsoever, be suspended or neglected.
Art. 116. In case of duly proved necessity, the Constitution may be modified in some of its provisions. This modification is subordinated to the following conditions:
Every proposal of modification, whether presented by the Minister or by either of the two Chambers, must be, in the first instance, submitted to the deliberations of the Chamber of Deputies.
If the proposition is approved by two-thirds of the members of the Chamber it shall be forwarded to the Senate.
In case the Senate also adopts the proposed modification by a two-thirds majority, it shall be submitted for the sanction of His majesty the Sultan.
If it is sanctioned by Imperial İrade, it shall have force of law.
Articles of the Constitution, which it is proposed to modify, remain in force, until the modification, after having been voted by the Chambers, shall have been sanctioned by Imperial Irade.
Art. 117. The Court of Cassation will interpret the civil and penal laws; the Council of State administrative laws; and the Senate the articles of the Constitution.
Art. 118. All the provisions of the laws, regulations, usages, and customs now in force shall continue to be applied, so long as they shall not have been modified or abrogated by other laws and regulations
Art. 120. Ottomans enjoy the right of assembly, on the condition that they obey the law on the subject. The societies are forbidden which aim at injuring the territorial integrity of the Ottoman Empire, changing the form of the institution or of the government, acting contrary to the provisions of the Constitution, or bringing about a separation between the various Ottoman elements, or which are contrary to public morals. The formation of secret societies in general is also forbidden.
I won't go into here (unless necessary) how in view of the above, the Treaty of Sevres could not be signed by a competent legal authority on the Ottoman side: its terms would make any Ottoman who signed it guilty of treason etc, and the Ottoman government was not legally capable to fulfill its terms. The British abolished the Ottoman parliament, literally at gun point (rule of law, enlightment popular sovereignty, etc.), and the allies arrested members, exiled members to Malta that they didn't kill, and forced the Sultan to abolish it, although under the Ottoman constitution neither he nor they had any authority to do any of the above. So no parliament to give consent, as legally required. Instead over a hundred deputies fled to Ankara, (the articles as to numbers etc. so impowered them legally), where they constituted themselves into the new Grand National Assembly, which functioned as parliament and constitutional convention. They refused to acknowledge the Treaty of Sevres (which was never ratified by the Ottomans), arguing that the Sultan (whose office they abolished) had no constitutional nor sovereign authority, and, by accepting the Treaty of Lausanne, France and Great Britain conceded the argument.
The site with the text of the Treaty of Sevres says it all:
The Peace Treaty of Sèvres
10 August, 1920
(never adopted, superseded by the Treaty of Lausanne).
Met. Meletios seemed to have depended on these clauses:
Subject to the provisions of the present Treaty, the High Contracting Parties agree that the rights and title of the Turkish Government over Constantinople shall not be affected, and that the said Government and His Majesty the Sultan shall be entitled to reside there and to maintain there the capital of the Turkish State.
Nevertheless, in the event of Turkey failing to observe faithfully the provisions of the present Treaty, or of any treaties or conventions supplementary thereto, particularly as regards the protection of the rights of racial, religious or linguistic minorities, the Allied Powers expressly reserve the right to modify the above provisions, and Turkey hereby agrees to accept any dispositions which may be taken in this connection.
In the portion of the zone of the Straits, including the islands of the Sea of Marmora, which remains Turkish, and pending the coming into force of the reform of the Turkish judicial system provided for in Article I36, all infringements of the regulations and by-laws made by the Commission, committed by nationals of capitulatory Powers, shall be dealt with by the Consular Courts of the said Powers. The Allied Powers agree to make such infringements justiciable before their Consular Courts or authorities. Infringements committed by Turkish nationals or nationals of non-capitulatory Powers shall be dealt with by the competent Turkish judicial authorities.
In the portion of the said zone placed under Greek sovereignty such infringements will be dealt with by the competent Greek judicial authorities.
Turkey undertakes that the stipulations contained in Articles 141, I45 and I47 shall be recognised as fundamental laws, and that no civil or military law or regulation, no Imperial Iradeh nor official action shall conflict or interfere with these stipulations, nor shall any law, regulation, Imperial Iradeh nor official action prevail over them.
Turkey undertakes to assure full and complete protection of life and liberty to all inhabitants of Turkey without distinction of birth, nationality, language, race or religion.
All inhabitants of Turkey shall be entitled to the free exercise, whether public or private, of any creed, religion or belief.
The penalties for any interference with the free exercise of the right referred to in the preceding paragraph shall be the same whatever may be the creed concerned.
All Turkish nationals shall be equal before the law and shall enjoy the same civil and political rights without distinction as to race, language or religion.
Difference of religion, creed or confession shall not prejudice any Turkish national in matters relating to the enjoyment of civil or political rights, as for instance admission to public employments, functions and honours, or the exercise of professions and industries.
Within a period of two years from the coming into force of the present Treaty the Turkish Government will submit to the Allied Powers a scheme for the organisation of an electoral system based on the principle of proportional representation of racial minorities.
No restriction shall be imposed on the free use by any Turkish national of any language in private intercourse, in commerce, religion, in the press or in publications of any kind, or at public meetings. Adequate facilities shall be given to Turkish nationals of non-Turkish speech for the use of their language, either orally or in writing, before the courts.
Turkish nationals who belong to racial, religious or linguistic minorities shall enjoy the ame treatment and security in law and in fact as other Turkish nationals. In particular they shall have an equal right to establish, manage and control at their own expense, and independently of and without interference by the Turkish authorities, any charitable, religious and social institutions, schools for primary, secondary and higher instruction and other educational establishments, with the right to use their own language and to exercise their own religion freely therein.
The Turkish Government undertakes to recognise and respect the ecclesiastical and scholastic autonomy of all racial minorities in Turkey. For this purpose, and subject to any provisions to the contrary in the present Treaty, the Turkish Government confirms and will uphold in their entirety the prerogatives and immunities of an ecclesiastical, scholastic or judicial nature granted by the Sultans to non-Moslem races in virtue of special orders or imperial decrees (firmans, hattis, berats, etc.) as well as by ministerial orders or orders of the Grand Vizier.
All laws, decrees, regulations and circulars issued by the Turkish Government and containing abrogations, restrictions or amendments of such prerogatives and immunities shall be considered to such extent null and void.
Any modification of the Turkish judical system which may be introduced in accordance with the provisions of the present Treaty shall be held to override this Article, in so far as such modification may affect individuals belonging to racial minorities.
In towns and districts where there is resident a considerable proportion of Turkish nationals of the Christian or Jewish religions the Turkish Government undertakes that such Turkish nationals shall not be compelled to perform any act which constitutes a violation of their faith or religious observances, and shall not be placed under any disability by reason of their refusal to attend courts of law or to perform any legal business on their weekly day of rest. This provision, however, shall not exempt such Turkish nationals (Christians or Jews) from such obligations as shall be imposed upon all other Turkish nationals for the preservation of public order.
The Principal Allied Powers, in consultation with the Council of the League of Nations, will decide what measures are necessary to guarantee the execution of the provisions of this Part. The Turkish Government hereby accepts all decisions which may be taken on this subject.
His problem was that he was not a Turkish national, so its guarentees did not apply to him, Turkey's sovereignty over Constantinople and to issue irade and berat (the credentialing that the EP needed to take office) undisturbed. As we saw, this wasn't his only problem:http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,22981.msg351897/topicseen.html#msg351897
as the NY Times article continues:
Meletios expressed regret at the opposition of the Greek Government, along with the Turkish power, to his election. The prelate said he hoped the Greek Government would not insist upon interferring in this matter, in which the Greek clergy had full autonomy.
But insist they did, and the Greek controlled Churches-Alexandria, Jerusalem, Cyprus and the CoG-i.e. all the Churches that oppose OCA autocephaly, refused to recognize Meletios as EP.
HOLY SYNOD ASKS MELETIOS TO RESIGN; Cables Him Recent Election as Constantinople Patriarch Is Illegal. HE DISCREDITS THE REPORT Says He Has Raceived No Such Cable and Will Go to Constantinople to Investigate.http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9E07EFDA113EEE3ABC4152DFB467838A639EDEhttp://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9E07EFDA113EEE3ABC4152DFB467838A639EDE
December 19, 1921
ATHENS, Dec. 18.--The Holy Synod in Constantinople, according to a dispatch received here, has telegraphed Archbishop Meletios Metaxakis, who is now in New York and who recently was elected Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church in Constantinople, as follows: Your recent election to the Patriarchate was held contrary to the canons of the Church, and therefore is illegal. A majority of the Synod felt compelled to absent themselves from the electoral assembly and entrusted the question to the superior body administering the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which agreed to meet again to consider what future action was necessary. "We fell confident that the greatness of your love for the Church and nation will guide your attitude in this matter."
A dispatch from Constantinople last Wednesday said the Sublime Porte had notified the Allies that Archbishop Metaxakis was ineligible for the office of Patriarch according to the Ottoman Constitution, and that the Turkish Government therefore refused to recognize the legality of his election....
Meletios explained that two bodies had to act in the election of an Ecumenical Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Both hold their meetings at Constantinople. The first is known as the General Assembly and consists of 100 laymen and the all the Archbishops at the time in Constantinople. The second is the Holy Synod, which consists of twelve Archbishops. The first body made three nominations, and Meletios was one. Then the Holy Synod met and considered the three, electing Meletios.
At the election of a patriarch all the Archbishops present in Constantinople have the right to vote in the Holy Synod. Twenty-five Archbishops were present. Seven have resigned, eighteen cast a ballot. Of these eighteen, sixteen voted for Meletios. This is information came to him through private dispatches.
The cable message which Meletios received under date of Dec. 16 from Constantinople was addressed to "His Holiness, Meletios," and was as follows: "By unanimous vote of clergymen and laymen you are elected to the apostolic ecumenical throne....This was signed "The Holy Synod and the Mixed Council...."
(since he admitted himself that 2 did not vote for him, how was it unanimous?
Ah, but ironies of ironies, someone did recognize Meletios as EP:
The Patriarch elect, who has been recognized by both the Russian and Episcopal Churches here, will sail for Constantinople by way of Liverpool. This morning at 10 o'clock there will be a service for him in St. Nicholas Russian Cathedral, Ninety-Seventh Street, near Fifth Avenue, which will be attended by two Russian archbishops, three Episcopal bishops and a Russian, Serbian and Syrian bishop. Wednesday afternoon at 4 o'clock there will be a service in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, on invitation of Bishop Manning.
So Meletios was recognized as EP by those who he claimed had no jurisdiction.