The Dallas Morning News - September 19, 1999

New archbishop enthroned as Greek Orthodox leader

[ Associated Press ]

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios was enthroned Saturday as the spiritual leader of America's 1.5 million Greek Orthodox Christians, a community that was largely dissatisfied with the reign of his predecessor. First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was among more than 700 attendees at the service, which took place at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan. But in contrast to her other recent visits to New York, the potential U.S. Senate candidate was far from the center of attention.

The day marked the end of a tumultuous three-year reign by Archbishop Spyridon, who was widely criticized for a conservative, autocratic leadership style that many Greek-Americans found alienating.

Archbishop Spyridon resigned Aug. 18, and Archbishop Demetrios was elected by church leaders the next day.

The much beloved and aging former Archbishop Iakovos - Archbishop Spyridon's predecessor - passed the symbolic gold staff to Archbishop Demetrios.

The new archbishop preached a message of unity.

He asked the nation's Greek Orthodox to set aside their differences, which he said "drive away the peace of God."

[ The Dallas Morning News | September 19, 1999 ]