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The Florinite Synod

     In June 1937, the President of the Holy Synod, Metropolitan Germanos of Demetrias, joined Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina in declaring (contrary to the Encyclical of 1935) that the New Calendarists were not actually schismatic, but only "potentially" schismatic, and that their Mysteries retained sanctifying grace. Bishop Matthaios of Vrestheni issued an Encyclical on 17/30 June calling on the two Metropolitans to return to the Orthodox Confession of 1935. They refused to reply, leaving Bishop Matthew with no choice but to sever communion with them, which he did on 5/18 September.

     On 9/22 September, Metropolitans Germanos of Demetrias and Chrysostomos of Florina issued an Encyclical reaffirming the Encyclical of 1935, but on 9 November Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina wrote a strongly-worded letter to Metropolitan Germanos of the Kyklades in which he castigated Metropolitan Germanos for receiving New Calendarists by Chrismation, and again repeated his errors of June. At that, Metropolitan Germanos of the Kyklades also severed communion with the two, and re-established communion with Bishop Matthaios.

     In 1943, Metropolitan Germanos of Demetrias petitioned the New Calendarist Schism to receive him as a bishop; the petition was refused. As a result, Metropolitan Chrysostomos severed communion with Germanos, and remained as the only Florinite bishop. In 1944, Metropolitan Germanos died, and was buried by the New Calendarists.

     In 1944, Metropolitan Chrysostomos issued an Encyclical re-affirming his error that the New Calendarists were only potentially schismatic. In the same year, he was joined by Metropolitan Polykarpos of Diavleia and Metropolitan Christophoros of Megara. These two had been consecrated as bishops for the True Orthodox Church in 1935, but had almost immediately joined the New Calendarist Schism. In November 1944, Metropolitan Chrysostomos told the newspaper Eleutheria that he would never consecrate another bishop, since his parataxis existed only as a safeguard against the errors of the New Calendarists, and was not intended to replace the State Church.

     On 29 October 1949, Metropolitan Chrysostomos issued a pastoral letter in which he again returned to the Orthodox confession of 1935. The following January, Metropolitan Germanos of the Kyklades was released from imprisonment and joined the Florinite Synod. The Synod now consisted of four bishops, who on 26 May/8 June 1950 issued an Encyclical affirming the Orthodox confession of 1935 and retracting all their erroneous statements since 1937, including the statement that the State Church was "potentially" in schism.

     At the beginning of 1951, the State Church and the government began to take harsher measures against the Old Calendarists. In February, Metropolitan Chrysostomos was exiled to the Monastery of St. John on Lesvos. On 24 March, while under house arrest, Metropolitan Germanos of the Kyklades died.

     On 6 November 1952, all three of the surviving Florinite bishops resigned their positions "until a final resolution of the calendar question by a Pan-Orthodox Synod." Because of protests from his followers, Metropolitan Chrysostomos immediately retracted his resignation, but the other two remained in the Florinite jurisdiction as laymen. In 1954, they both returned to the New Calendarist schism as bishops.

     Metropolitan Chrysostomos died on 8 November 1955, leaving the Florinites without bishops. He had instructed them to reconcile themselves with the Matthewite synod. Instead, they elected a twelve-member commission to govern their parataxis and to try to establish an episcopate for them. This would lead eventually to the creation of the Synod of Archbishop Akakios.

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