Athens News
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.