The Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia Inc (GOCSA) is not recognised by any mainstream Orthodox Church.
The group is at present affiliated with the Autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church of America and Australia, a schismatic group that began as a result of a break in relations between the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand and the Federation of the Greek Orthodox Communities in Australia.
Dating back to 1897, the Federation was created with the establishment of the first Greek Orthodox churches in Australia (in Sydney and in Melbourne) that lead to the creation of the Federation of Greek Orthodox Communities of Australia in 1958.
The Federation was the umbrella of the Greek Orthodox Community of Sydney and NSW, the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria, the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia and the Greek Orthodox Community of Newcastle. This was followed by the addition of the Greek Orthodox Community of Clayton Ltd Victoria, the Greek Orthodox Community of Illawarra Wollongong NSW, the Greek Orthodox Community of St Albans Victoria, the Greek Orthodox Community of Keilor Victoria and the Greek Orthodox Community of Sunshine Victoria. These parishes, affiliated with the Federation, formed a part of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Australia and New Zealand and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand, respectively.
When Bishop Ezekiel was elected as Metropolitan Bishop of Australia and New Zealand in February 1959, he set about the restructuring of the Metropolis which was subsequently made an Archdiocese on 1 September 1959. He questioned and challenged the established practices and rights of the Communities.
This lead to friction that disrupted the social cohesion of Greeks with a division between those who supported the democratic Communities as opposed to the Archdiocese and clergy who ran parishes.
The Greek Orthodox Community of SA, along with Communities in Newcastle, Melbourne and Sunshine (Vic.), found cause to leave the Archdiocese. GOCSA left the Archdiocese on 25 September 1960, reporting easy ratification at a general meeting and moral support from Federation members. In response, Archbishop Ezekiel excommunicated the councillors who took this decision and suspended Fr Stylianos Stenos (which meant that his sacraments, as well as being outside the Church, were not recognised by the Greek state).
The Autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church of America and Australia was founded and registered on 4 June 1970 in South Australia. While the name was similar, the Constitution’s Preamble stated that the two were entirely independent aside from having the same Archbishop.
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This entity was designed to cater solely for sacraments and spiritual wellbeing, but was prevented from any other involvement by the Communities – and that each community had to be absolutely independent. It was also sure to safeguard independence, making sure that the Archbishop and two-thirds of the financial members of each Community had to agree before being responsible to, subject to or influenced by any other religious authority.
The Autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church of America and Australia follows the Gregorian calendar (i.e. the ‘new calendar’), and do not deem themselves to have any canonical, spiritual or doctrinal differences with any other Greek Orthodox parish (whether within the Archdiocese or otherwise).