Ecumenical Patriarchate - July 30, 1996
Address of Patriarch Bartholomew to Archbishop Spyridon
during the "Lesser Mandate" Given in the Synod Chamber
Most Reverend Archbishop Spyridon of America,
Today is an eminent day for the Great Church of Christ, Mother to us all. For
on this day out of her parental love and reliable concern for her vast numbered
and progressive minded children in America she is called to give to them their
canonical archbishop and shepherd, following the voluntary retirement from
active ministry of our brother, the Most Reverend Archbishop Iakovos, who
God-lovingly pastored them for so many years.
And the Mother Church, among the many worthy candidates, looked to Your
Eminence, someone beloved to us all who has been nurtured with the same milk of
the Theological School of Halki, to take charge of this God-saved eparchy. You
bear many qualifications, the crowning qualification of which is your unlimited
fidelity and devotion to this venerable Ecumenical Throne, to the Mother Church
which nourishes our pious people and all the pious and Orthodox Christians
under heaven. It was to this last virtue of yours over all the others that the
Mother Church looked when reaching her decision. For even if one of her
hierarchs has every talent, every qualification, and all the other virtues, but
does not have unlimited devotion and blind loyalty and lifelong gratitude, he
is nothing, nothing is gained, he is but a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
(cf.1 Cor. 13). Yes, the Mother Church looked to you. Therefore, today is a
great day for you personally, too.
Today the Church rewards this paramount virtue of yours in the absolute
certainly that you will increase and develop it in your new and eminent
position as Archbishop of the Holy Archdiocese of America, to which you are
worthily elevated this day.
There, numerous problems, currents, propensities and ideologies await you.
Awaiting you is an arduous night and day struggle, a struggle to safeguard and
to perpetuate the Church's and our people's highest ideals. We know that you
are a tireless worker, that you are a fighter, that you are strong and
invincible. In other words, we entrust this great and dynamic eparchy of the
Throne into energetic and dynamic hands.
Go, our brother Sypridon, "never doubting" (James 1:6). Go with the
fear of God, faith and love; love for all without exception. Go, and the prayer
of the loving Mother Church and each one of us, your elder and junior brothers
here, will constantly be with you.
We shall stand by you during your difficult task with our prayers and our love.
And we in this sacred place, in this Synod Chamber of the Great Church, shall
stand by you with particular and vibrant concern in finding solutions as you
address each problem of your new eparchy and in satisfying your just requests
Take heart, Most Reverend Brother, and fear not. As you are at the beginning of
your fifties you have every predisposition to do great and brilliant work for
the glory of God, for your flock, for our Mother Church, which places great
trust in you in sending you on new turf to face a variety of struggles, with
honest hopes and justified expectations; hopes and expectations that you will
emerge a champion of the Church.
[ Ecumenical Patriarchate - www.patriarchate.org/SPEECHES/Address_to_Spyridon - July 30, 1996 ]
[ Ecumenical Patriarchate - www.patriarchate.org/Desktop%20Folder/PatrAddr.pdf - July 30, 1996 ]
[ Orthodox Observer, Vol. 61 - No. 1118, September 1996, pp. 1+3 ]
[ IntraText | www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0587/__P1.HTM ]