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Schismatic Embattled bishop resigns

Hierarch of Schismatic Autocephalous church of Australia - Prokopios Kanavas resigns

23 Apr 2014


Prokopios Kanavas, former Bishop of St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Adelaide, and Bishop of the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia (GOCSA), has resigned. The resignation follows three attempts to quit this position that weren’t accepted by the GOCSA. Yet Friday nights resignation was final and now, Mr Kanavas is no longer serving the parishioners of St Nicholas.

Since being ordained as bishop in August 13, 2013, he says that there has been a distinct lack of communication between himself and the executive committee of GOCSA.

“I’ve tried hard to solve many issues since my ordination,” Bishop Prokopios tells Neos Kosmos.

“I was trying to build good relationships between myself and the executive committee and to have a better understanding of the ecclesiastical issues and how we can work together.”

He says he felt as though he was treated as “an employee” and not as a Christian leader of the Orthodox church.

“[GOCSA] think the priests, the bishops are employees which is against the Orthodox church standards, a bishop or a priest can not be an employee,” he says, adding that a priest comes to this role as a divine calling and not the work of man.

“All the time they tried to push me aside and make their own decisions.”

Mr Kanavas says that when he’d try to mentor a priest, and instruct them on how to serve, he would notice they would do the opposite to what he told them, and that the priests would in fact follow the instructions and advice given to them by the president of GOCSA, Mr John Lessos, or someone else from the board.

“[GOCSA] don’t understand how a church works,” he says, “they think the employee should obey the employer.”

Mr Kanavas says in his 14 years of serving the church he had never felt like “an employee” until being employed by GOCSA.

“I serve the office of church and I think I have made the right decision because as a bishop, cleric, as a Christian Orthodox we have to protect our faith and what our church says and our church says to serve the people and Jesus Christ and to follow his commandments – not an employer.”

When asked about his parishioners and how they’ve taken the news to his resignation, he says that they are all “very sad”. But he is standing by his decision so as to not bring any further scandal to the church during Holy Week.

Mr Kanavas says he may pursue another role with the church in a year, but whether that will be in Adelaide or whether it will be with the Greek Orthodox Community of SA or the Archdiocese, he says he isn’t sure.

“‘I haven’t had an offer at the moment,” he says.

Mr Kanavas was previously sacked as an SA Police chaplain. Allegations have also been raised about discrepancies over his tertiary qualifications.

Neos Kosmos contacted the Greek Community of South Australia’s president Mr John Lesses but by the time this article went was published, Mr Lesses or any members of GOCSA had not responded to the interview requests.

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  1. On 11 August 2013, Procopios [Panagiotis] Kanavas [also known as Peter Jones] was fraudulently ordained
    as Bishop [Metropolitan] of Adelaide. Hence he falsely holds the title of Bishop into perpetuity.

    The Greek Orthodox Community of S.A. [GOCSA] were misled by Kanavas and past president John Lesses as the alleged Archbishop Petros orgainized by Kanavas and Lesses to perform the ordination ceremony was a convicted fraudster with in addition the two Bishops [Meletios & Ioannis] accompanying the false Archbishop Petros within the ordination party were also not Bishops as Meletios had been defrocked and Ioannis had never been ordained Bishop, but rather fraudulently posed as Bishop wearing the Bishop’s attire belonging to present GOCSA Bishop, Chrysostomos.

    A fraud was committed against GOCSA and it’s members by which Kanavas benefitted as he received a substantive pecuniary financial increase in his yearly income and materially benefitted from his false Bishop title
    which he carries into perpetuity as GOCSA failed in their duty of care to it’s members to challenge this unscrupulous fraud by which GOCSA suffered a substantial detrimental financial loss. Most serious of all was that this unconsciousable fraud was in contempt and an abuse of the christian faith of 400 parishioner’s who innocently attended the fraudulent ceremony.

    The fraudulent “clowns” imported from Greece respresented as the “Ordination” party by Lesses and Kanavas,
    received substantial financial payment for their fraudulent services with in additional materially benefitted by an all expenses paid trip to Australia for in excess of 10 days. The false “Archbishop” and his accompanying “legal”
    advisor travelled business class at the cost of $8,000.

    Lesses benefitted from a pre-arranged deal to be voted President of GOCSA in exchange for ordaining Kanavas

    • As true as that may all be about “Prokopios Kanavas”, the truth of the matter is that “GOCSA” is also a fraudulent, schismatic and false church jurisdiction. And it is an institution rife with its own questionable, unethical, corrupt practices and unecclesial/uncanonical practices, so it is only natural that figures like “Kanavas” would be attracted to this psuedo-“Orthodox Church”.

      And anyone who knows how an Orthodox Church should function and knows something about ecclesiology and canon law, knows that a secular institution with the appearance and trappings of a church like “GOCSA” needs to be dissolved or united to the true and canonical Orthodox Church; and in Australia, that is those that belong to the Patriarchates of Constantinople, Antioch, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and ROCOR.

      If GOCSA belongs to neither of these (which is the case), and is a Church governed not by the proper canonical order or by the proper ecclesial authorities such as the episcopacy, but by laymen who have political and financial agendas (as is GOCSA’s case), then it is NOT an Orthodox Church. And furthermore, cases like the “Prokopios Kanavas debacle” will continue to occur.

      I am well aware of the ignorance and stubbornness of Adelaide’s Orthodox Christians which is a result of a lack of catechism, the village mentality and the stupid left-right wing political divides that the older generation brought with them to Australia and imparted to their Australian-born children and grandchildren.

      In any case if any argument is to be put forward against the points I raise here, I would remind people to examine what Canon 28 of the 4th Ecumenical Council states regarding the governance and jurisdiction of new lands like Australia, furthermore the formation of the Canonical Episcopal Assembly of Orthodox Bishops of Oceania has been established to correct the uncanonical situation of multiple jurisdictions within the Oceania region. Therefore, GOCSA should not even exist, but must be dissolved and united to the proper ecclesial authority, which Canon 28 states, is the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

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