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THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE
THE CHIEF SECRETARIAT
OF THE HOLY AND SACRED SYNOD

PRESS RELEASE

HOLY SYNOD OF ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE ELECTS
SPYRIDON OF ITALY AS ARCHBISHOP OF AMERICA

On Tuesday, July 30 1996, the twelve-member Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate convened in the Phanar under the chairmanship of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I to fill the vacancy in the office of the Archbishop of America whose see is in New York City. The Holy Synod unanimously elected His Eminence Metropolitan Spyridon of Italy to succeed Archbishop Iakovos who retired on July 29, 1996 after thirty-seven years as archbishop.

Furthermore, to better serve the spiritual needs of the Orthodox faithful of North and South America, the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate established three new metropolitanates of the Ecumenical Throne, namely: the Metropolitanate of Toronto and Canada; the Metropolitanate of Buenos Aires and South America; and the Metropolitanate of Mexico City and Central America. The metropolitans to these new eparchies are to be elected at a later date.

● Orthodoxy traces its roots to the Holy Apostles and has been present in the western hemisphere since the 18th century. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I is the spiritual leader of 250 million Orthodox Christians worldwide.

● The Ecumenical Patriarch has direct jurisdiction over the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America as well as other Orthodox dioceses in the western hemisphere. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America is composed of approximately 550 parishes with a membership of over 1.5 million members.

Expressing his appreciation for the dedicated service of Archbishop Iakovos and for the unity and commitment of the Orthodox faithful of America to their Church, His All Holiness noted that, as we prepare to enter a new century, he is confident that Archbishop Spyridon will meet the challenges ahead and lead the vibrant American Church to the glory of God and for the spiritual gratification of all the faithful.

The newly-elected archbishop will be the fifth archbishop of America since the organization of the archdiocese in 1922 and the first American-born elected as Archbishop of America.

The enthronement of Archbishop Spyridon will take place on September 21 at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York City.

At the Phanar, July 30, 1996

From the Office of the Chief Secretary
of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate


[ Ecumenical Patriarchate | www.patriarchate.org/OFFICIAL_DOCUMENTS/
Election_of_Archbishop_Spyridon | July 30, 1996 ]