July 12, 1999
Judgment day arrives for embattled US Archbishop Spyridon
ARCHBISHOP Spyridon of America has been summoned to a crucial meeting today at
the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul, Turkey, which is reportedly likely to
decide on his immediate replacement.
The decision to replace Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos' hand-picked
archbishop after only three years comes after a bitter two-year battle with a
large faction of laymen who have persistently demanded his replacement due to
what they perceive as an arrogant and authoritarian leadership style that has
consistently skirted lay authority as provided for in the archdiocese's
charter. Last January, all five of Spyridon's metropolitan bishops also asked
Vartholomeos to replace the US archbishop for similar reasons.
On Friday, the Greek foreign ministry held an emergency meeting on the ongoing
crisis that has divided Greece's largest and most powerful diaspora community.
The patriarchate has reportedly told the Greek foreign ministry that it
intends to install Archbishop Stylianos of Australia, considered a
controversial figure in the Greek-American community.