Peter,This is incorrect.
In 1935, realizing that the state Church was not going to back down from it's adoption of the "new calendar", several Bishops broke with it, formed themselves into a new Synod, and would declare the "official" state church to be in schism.
Heirarchally this remnant was established by three Metropolitans, one of whom was Metropolitan Chrysostmos of Florina. Soon, knowing that the authorities would be after them (and this prediction was correct), they would consecrate four more Bishops (amongst whom was Matthew Karpathakes, father of the so called "Matthewites"). All of these Bishops would endure abuse at the hands of state authorities, instigated by the new calendarists, including imprisonment and exile.
Believe what you will. Since you've leached onto the Vladimir Moss line, I'll post a reply to Vladimir Moss:
The Truth About the Greek Old Calendarists: A Review of V. Moss's Book
A Critical Review of Mr. Vladimir Moss's Recent Book on the Greek Old Calendar Movement
by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Auxentios
The Sacred Struggle of the True Orthodox Christians of Greece: 1919-1992 (Mayford, Woking, England: 1992), by Vladimir Moss, a small book privately published and bearing a copyright legend from "The Orthodox Foundation of St. Michael, Guildford," is a very slanted "history by rumor" of the Old Calendar movement in the Orthodox Church of Greece. While its author no doubt had good intentions in writing the book, he is neither an historian nor a theologian. This fact is particularly evident in his failure to use archival documents in ascertaining the actual facts regarding the recent vagaries of some elements in the Old Calendar movement—materials absolutely crucial to an objective study of the contemporary Old Calendarist witness both in Greece and in the United States—and his heavy reliance on quasi-historical and polemical materials written by the extremist Old Calendarists, both those formerly within the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and now in schism from that Church and those in other extremist bodies.
Mr. Moss's account of the early years of the Old Calendar movement is for the greater part accurate, though he has obviously not carefully read the extensive writings and private letters of Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina, one of the founders of, and the chief apologist for, the Church of the True Orthodox Christians of Greece. Thus he finds "inconsistency" in the Metropolitan's attempts to balance his personal notion of "potential schism" among the New Calendarists against the largely unsophisticated desire by his extremist followers—most of whom, like the extremist Old Calendarists today, lacked the Metropolitan's theological education and acumen—to find canonical and historical precedents for declaring the Mother Church of Greece to be without Grace. A careful scrutiny of Metropolitan Chrysostomos' writings reveals that he held to an ecclesiology very similar to that of Metropolitan Cyril of Kazan, the erudite and brilliant Russian resister to the Sergianist trend in the post-Revolutionary Russian Church.
Chrysostomos firmly believed that the calendar innovation and the hidden ecumenical agendas behind it had placed the Greek Church in potential schism. He did not, however, believe that Church—which he served, until his retirement, as Metropolitan of Florina (in Northern Greece)—to be without Grace. When the Matthewite schism in 1937 and severe persecution of the Old Calendarists by the State Church of Greece prompted Metropolitan Chrysostomos to compromise his ecclesiology, he did so, by his own admission, painfully and for pastoral reasons alone. His deep knowledge of true Orthodox theology, which lies in the "gray" area of apophatic paradox and seeming contradiction, was lost on the artless legalism of untutored zealots who, however sincere, wished to distort the canonical and historical witness of the Orthodox Church. The rubrics of resistance came to be wasted on those who could not understand the subtlety of the complex question of schism and sacramental validity and who sought "black and white" answers in an area of Church thought—ecclesiology—which is shrouded in mystery and available only to those with the highest degree of spiritual discernment. Thus Metropolitan Chrysostomos acted in the only way that he could, with pastoral endurance, setting aside for the moment the intricacies of his own apologetic witness.
Mr. Moss makes it clear, in his book, that he does not believe that the Greek New Calendarists have Grace. Thus, not only does he avail himself of the sometimes perverse fabrications by which, regrettably, contemporary extremist Old Calendarists imaginatively tell their tales-and having been the object of some of this perversity, I can speak with boldness here—, but he finds himself sympathetic to these groups; viz., the Matthewites, under Archbishop Andreas of Athens, and the Old Calendarists under Archbishops Auxentios and Chrysostomos of Athens. His sympathy unfortunately leads him into wholly inaccurate statements, many of which, again, could have been corrected by an objective examination of the archival documents of the four Old Calendarist Synods in Greece. His portrayal of two lines of canonicity in the Old Calendar movement, one through the Matthewites and one through the Synod of Bishops which survived under Auxentios and then, after his deposition in 1985, Chrysostomos II, is a simple fantasy. Aside from the fact, as the author himself is forced to admit, that the Old Calendarists under Chrysostomos II do not recognize the validity of the Matthewites' "orders," and the Matthewites in turn consider the Bishops under Chrysostomos II to be without Grace, these Synods do not represent an unbroken chain of succession back to the original Old Calendarists.
The Matthewites, a tiny group within the Old Calendarist movement, have always been considered schismatics by the other Old Calendarists. Their belief that the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, which consecrated Bishops for the other Old Calendarists after the death of Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina, is without Grace led one of their most devout Bishops, Callistos of Corinth, to join the mainstream Old Calendarist movement, then unified under Auxentios, in 1976. Shortly after, in an attempt to end factionalism, to formulate a consistent ecclesiology, and to provide for a better educated clergy, new Bishops were consecrated by Callistos and Metropolitan Antonios, with the knowledge and, at least initially, the consent of Archbishop Auxentios. The older Bishops soon disavowed this move, subsequently represented by the extremist Old Calendarists as an attempt to take over the Synod by "secret consecrations," and Callistos was elected President of the Synod. Auxentios finally sided with the older Bishops, who in turn broke into two separate groups, one under Auxentios, the other under Gerontios. Thus the Synod under Callistos, who was later retired and replaced by Antonios, after the former wavered in his support of the moderate ecclesiological stand of the Synod, was by any objective standard the official Old Calendarist voice in Greece. Mr. Moss addresses none of these events in his book with any accuracy whatsoever.
Outside of these synods stood a number of Old Calendarist Bishops who had separated from Auxentios' Synod after its declaration, in 1974, that the State Church was without Grace, among these Metropolitans Petros of Astoria and Chrysostomos (Kioussis)—Petros specifically in opposition to the declaration of 1974, Chrysostomos for unspecified reasons. In 1985, all of the Bishops under Callistos (or, at that time, Antonios), except Metropolitan Cyprian and Metropolitan Giovanni, unilaterally decided, while Metropolitan Cyprian was in California (at our monastery, in fact), to join the Synod under Gerontios, which subsequently replaced Auxentios—despite the fact that he had not relinquished his position—and declared Metropolitan Chrysostomos (Kioussis) "Archbishop" and successor to the "Throne of Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina." We must note, significantly, that Chrysostomos of Florina never claimed the Throne of the Mother Church, but considered himself the leader of a "resistance" movement within that Church. In fact, he always styled himself as the "former" Metropolitan of Florina, the State Church See, as we noted above, from which he retired before assuming the leadership of the Greek Old Calendar movement. In addition to availing themselves of the sizable treasury of Auxentios' Synod, the new Synod under Chrysostomos II—including all of the Bishops from Metropolitan Callistos' (Antionios') Synod (save Cyprian and Giovanni) and Metropolitan Petros and the new Archbishop, all of whom had opposed any move to declare the State Church to be without Grace declared the State Church to be without Grace (though Petros, who refused to sign the 1974 declaration to this effect, and Chrysostomos II, who did not publicly oppose the declaration, claim to hold, even now, private views that contradict their Synod's official stance on the issue)! The Synod also joined with Metropolitan Paisios, whom the Bishops under Metropolitan Callistos had deposed and whom Chrysostomos, Synod has of late designed to depose for his relations with the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
During all of this, Metropolitans Cyprian and Giovanni remained loyal to the reforms of 1979, consecrated new Bishops, and elected Metropolitan Cyprian successor to Antonios, who had succeeded Callistos. In response to this, the Synod of Chrysostomos II, to which neither Cyprian nor Giovanni nor their new Bishops ever belonged, deposed Cyprian and his Bishops for ecumenism (a fatuous accusation), for believing that the State Church of Greece has Grace (which at least several Bishops in Chrysostomos II's Synod also claim to believe privately!), and for communing New Calendarists; without confession and proper examination (an absurd untruth). Interestingly enough, in announcing these depositions in its official publication, Chrysostomos' Synod was unable to name me of the Bishops over whom it supposedly had jurisdiction. Bishop Chrysostomos, Metropolitan Cyprian's Exarch in America and a recognized scholar of Greek ancestry, was described as a "Mexican"—a vile attempt at a racial slur, based on the fact that Bishop Chrysostomos uses both his Greek family name and the name which his family adopted while in Northern Spain-, and he and another Bishop were accused of being married. Such cheap character assassination is, of course, telling, and the ridiculous "depositions" that prompted it have no canonical or logical meaning. Moreover, the deposition of Archbishop Auxentios by Chrysostomos and the Bishops who joined him—oiled by the financial windfall occasioned by their control over the huge Church treasury formerly under Auxentios, which we earlier mentioned-was itself questionable, as evidenced by a careful examination of the deposition procedure. If Auxentios was less than wise to accept suspended clergy from the Russian Synod in Exile several years ago, and if indeed one believes that the direction of the Church was properly taken from him in 1979, there is, nonetheless, little to lead any prudent person to believe that the Synod under Chrysostomos "II" acted correctly in its actions against Auxentios or that it is, as Mr. Moss suggests, the canonical successor to the original Old Calendarist movement.
In the end, the Old Calendar movement in Greece is easy to understand. The Matthewites and the Bishops under Auxentios and Chrysostomos II all officially hold the same ecclesiology: that the New Calendar Church of Greece is without Grace and that they constitute the Church of Greece. The "True Orthodox Church," a title which distinguishes a Church in resistance which has walled itself off from a yet uncondemned but errant Mother Church, these extremist Old Calendarists take to mean the very Mother Church, the president of their synods claiming the Archepiscopal. See of the Church of Greece. According to their ecclesiology, then, the president of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, a Church in resistance having, in fact, the very ecclesiology of Metropolitan Cyprian, should call himself the Patriarch of Moscow. likewise, the Russian Church Abroad should accept neither the Baptisms nor the Ordinations of the Mother Church of Russia. Clearly, contrary to the conclusion drawn by Mr. Moss in his study of the Greek Old Calendarists—a conclusion prompted by his personal ecclesiology—, an objective observer could only recognize the viability of the Synod of Metropolitan Cyprian, since "canonicity" in the resistance (if one drops the claim that resisters constitute the Church which they resist) rests on proper ecclesiology, the very issue of the Old Calendarist resistance in the first place. For this reason, perhaps, the Old Calendar Romanian Orthodox Church, which is also in communion now with the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, is officially a Sister Church of the Old Calendarists under Metropolitan Cyprian, recognizing only his Synod as the legitimate voice of the Greek Old Calendarist movement—a rather significant point of fact which places Mr. Moss's personal judgment against the ecclesiastical judgment of some very sober and thoughtful Orthodox traditionalists.
Mr. Moss makes some very interesting and insightful comments about the ecumenical movement, comments which need expression—though, we might suggest, with greater moderation. As I have said, he also very aptly describes the heroic struggle of the first Greek Old Calendarists. But his ecclesiological view is extreme, untenable, and conducive to views which prompt him to accept the self-justifying fabrications of the extremist Old Calendarists with whom he identifies as facts. They are not. They are at best distortions of the truth, at worst malicious prevarications. Moreover, to imagine that a few thousand Old Calendarists of a sectarian bent constitute the entirety of the Greek Church—however close to apostasy the ecumenists and New Calendarists may be—is to embrace a position which violates the nature of ecclesiastical resistance, since Godly resistance is undertaken to protect the Faithful and to call the errant back to right belief, not to condemn millions of ailing people prematurely and without every effort, even to the last moment, to save them from apostasy.
Finally, a subject so complex and delicate as the Old Calendar movement in Greece must be approached by mature, trained scholars and theologians and by spiritual men of singular virtue, and this in an objective spirit. As Father Florovsky, one of my own mentors, often said: "To speak about the Church demands that we are humble enough to set aside our own views and to submit ourselves to the truth. And to find the truth, we must be cautious and must add study to study and wisdom to wisdom." Mr. Moss can be commended for his great efforts, but his book lacks careful study and objectivity. I trust that he was innocently misled by his sympathies. Let us hope that others do not use his errors and interpretations without similar innocence.
From Orthodox Tradition, Vol. X, No. 2, pp. 39-44. This review originally appeared in the January 1993 issue of The Shepherd, published by the St. Edward Brotherhood, a monastic community of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in England.