GOARCH - August 11, 1999

Archbishop Spyridon Denounces Violence in California

New York, NY - Today, His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, released the following statement denouncing the attack upon children and staff at a Jewish Community Center outside of Los Angeles:

"It is with profound pain that I received word of the attack upon this Jewish Community Center. The fact that innocent children have once again become victims of bigotry and hatred underscores the deep moral wound within American culture. Violence such as this which targets faith groups and ancestral origins is reprehensible in the extreme and utterly un-American. Furthermore, I would stress that, in the words of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, 'violence committed in the name of religion is violence against all religion.'

"To our friends in the Jewish Community across our nation, I express the deep sorrow of the Greek Orthodox Community in America and our prayers for the blessing of a speedy recovery for those who have been injured. May God look over these innocents in mercy and grant their families strength and comfort at this difficult time.

We are relieved that the perpetrator of this heinous act has been apprehended and will be brought to justice. As faithful Orthodox Christians we once again must hope that out of this dark act, we shall all find the illumination necessary to move our nation and our culture away from hatred and beyond tolerance. Let mutual respect and kindness shine forth from all faithful hearts and guide our actions, thoughts and intentions toward brotherly love."

   August 11, 1999 ]