GOARCH - January 29, 1999

Archdiocese Welcomes Positive Conclusion of Legal Actions

New York - The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America was informed today that the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, presided over by the Honorable Denny Chin, acted on the Archdiocese's application to terminate the case. The Judge made this decision at a conference with legal representatives of both parties and representatives of the Archdiocesan Council and GOAL. This conference was scheduled as a result of the Archdiocese application for summary judgement.

This decision affirms the Archdiocese's right to protect the privacy of its members' names and addresses pursuant to the restrictions of Judge Chin in his previous ruling of November 24th, 1998. In that ruling, the judge stated that the list may not be used for commercial purposes, or to solicit funds, nor may the list be disclosed to others.

His Eminence, Archbishop Spyridon expressed his sentiments by saying: "I am very pleased that this entire episode has been concluded. Out of our deep sense of responsibility for the personal information entrusted to us by the faithful who are in turn entrusted to us by God, we acted honorably. I regret the pain that this has caused all of us, the faithful believers of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

"As stewards of the Church, it is my belief that our actions sought the common good on behalf of the entire Church. We acted in good faith to protect the faith that our members have placed in their Church. We acted to end what we truly believed was a serious breach of good faith. I have never stopped believing that our first and foremost commandment is to love one another. I am confident that in the love of the Holy Spirit, reconciliation and harmony will prevail upon the hearts of all faithful Orthodox Christians from this point forward. I believe that guarding the repository of our faith includes protecting the personhood of each and every faithful Orthodox Christian of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, which of course, includes every member of GOAL.

"Now, with the Lord's mercy and help, we may proceed to the work that Christ has called us to do, in love for one another, which is to sanctify our lives and our souls by glorifying and praising God. I believe in the ministries of our Holy Archdiocese and will do everything that the Lord permits me to do to further the grace and love that unites us to one another in Christ Jesus."

   January 29, 1999 ]