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Orthodox Observer - October 1996

Encyclical

His Eminence Expresses Sorrow for Cyprus Tragedy

September 12,1996 *)

To the Reverend Clergy and the Faithful
of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America:

I address this encyclical to all the faithful of the Holy Archdiocese of America with a heart which yearns for peace in the world and understanding between all people.

As you know, there has been continuing bloodshed and violence on the island nation of Cyprus. Cyprus, which is the home of countless churches, mon-asteries and holy places, a country which has produced saints throughout the ages who continually prayed for peace, continues to be tormented by the abuse of human rights and the killing of precious young people.

On August 11, Tassos Isaak and Solomos Solomou were killed by the brutal action of Turkish-Cypriot citizens and members of the military. These two young people who were expressing their desire for justice, and were bringing attention to the 22-year occupation of a considerable portion of Cyprus by foreign troops were, one, ruthlessly beaten to death, and the other shot to death. Violence and hate are reaching into yet another generation of our young people because of the blatant disregard for international law, and the constant call of all civilized na­tions to peacefully settle the Cyprus question once and for all time.

With a spirit of fatherly love for these two young men, and for the youth of the world who desire for goodness and freedom everywhere, I ask that a memo-rial service be chanted in all of the churches of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on Sunday, September 22,1996. Let us come together in love, as a united Greek Orthodox community, to pray for the blessed repose of the souls of these two young men, and also pray to Christ, the Prince of Peace, to inspire all people of good will to work for peace in Cyprus and throughout the world.

By the coming together of tens of thousands of prayers from every part of this Archdiocese, may the unity of the Greek Orthodox Church in America be most perfectly realized once again.

Praying for the grace and mercy of the Lord to be with you all, I remain,

With paternal blessings,

[signed]

† Archbishop Spyridon
Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

[ Orthodox Observer, Vol. 61 - No. 1119, October 1996, p. 3 ]

[ Spyridon, Archbishop of America (1996-1999), The Legacy,
  Athens (Ellinika Grammata), 2005, pp. 377-378 ]

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*) Protocol No. 46