ENGLISH VERSION: Metropolitan Anthony Gavalas, head of the American Diocese of the Matthewite Synod of the True Orthodox Church of Greece, reposes
Metropolitan Anthony (Gavalas) of New York, head of the American diocese of the True Orthodox Church of Greece (Matthewite Synod under Archbishop Stephanos), reposed on March 21, correspondent of "Portal-Credo.Ru" has reported. Metropolitan Anthony was 73 years old.
The late Metropolitan Anthony was considered to have been a spiritual son of the ROCOR’s third chief hierarch, St. Philaret (Voznesensky). He was born in the state of Georgia in 1942, graduated from Holy Cross Seminary in Boston, and went over to the ROCOR in the early 1960s. He was ordained by Bishop Laurus (Shkurla) and served in the Greek parish on 153rd St. in Manhattan before founding a new parish church in Astoria, NY, dedicated to the feast of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos.
In 1986, after the infamous Nativity Epistle of Metropolitan Vitaly (Ustinov) of that year was published, which, in effect, rescinded the ROCOR’s anathematization of ecumenism, Fr. Anthony went under the omophorion of the Greek Old-Calendarist Met. Akakios together with Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Boston and a whole group of parishes that formerly belonged to that same church. In 1987, Fr. Anthony did not support the decision of the Boston monastery to go over to Archbishop Auxentios, the chief hierarch of another “branch” of Greek Old Calendarists. However, in 1990, Met. Akakios abandoned Holy Protection Parish, thereby placing it in an “acephalos” situation. Only in 1997, after many years of deliberations, the Holy Protection parish in Astoria with Frs. Anthony Gavalas and Michael Maklakov (now Archbishop Andrew of the ROAC) went under the jurisdiction of the Mattewite Synod.
After the death of his wife, in 2011, Fr. Anthony was consecrated to the rank of Metropolitan and became the first head of the Matthewite diocese in the US, with no more than ten parishes under his supervision.